Lecture: The racial issue and its future in Bioenergetics.

Speaker: Maria Cristina Francisco

24th IIBA International Conference - Toronto - Canada
Toronto – Canadá.

First of all, I’d like to sincerely thank IIBA, the Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis, for inviting me. Expressing my gratitude for Liane Zink, Rebeca Berger, Odila Weigand e Léia Cardenuto, I extend it to all the other members. I feel honored and challenged for this event and for the opportunity to deal with invisibilised issues. I am deeply touched, for this is the 60th anniversary of this institution that so much helped me to grow as a person and acknowledge my own body. It is important to point out that the person presenting this topic is a Black person that has been, and still is, object of racial prejudice; therefore, I have a direct and personal experience with the subject of this presentation.

The racial issue

“You are your body” – Alexander Lowen
The human body is the dwelling of our present and former experiences. The historical racial segregation in North and South America has contributed for a theoretic isolation against the harm caused by racism, making us blind to the specificity of the Black Body. We must get in touch with the place (social-historic concept) out of where this body speaks. It is important to realize how valued the cultural differences are in a shared world – it is not easy to coexist.


We are a mixed race society. Samba symbolizes this cultural diversity searching for happiness through pain. A pulsing and perspiring energy that carries this sentimental duality.

Brazil’s Social History – Colony and Slavery

A country’s social formation can be told by their mode of production. In Brazil, colonial slavery was the mode of production established by the Portuguese, since their arrival in 1500.

The slavery regime endured for 354 years. More than five million Black men and women were mistreated and transported as if they were goods.As a strategy focused on weakening, Black people were grouped in different cultures and religions, in an acculturation process caused by the loss of their original roots, traditions, language and identity. They used to live in nasty conditions in the senzalas (shanties for the slaves), dehumanized and brutalized.

Slavery was abolished only 128 years ago, in May, 13th, 1888. There was no public reparation policy for the population that had built the country.

Towards this huge social inequality and abandonment, it is still hard for a Black person move out of invisibility, reinforce their identity and speak out about racism in all its different shapes.

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Winner for the Social Work: “Meeting Point with Black Women and Men” – 24º IIBA International Conference 2017 – Toronto – Canada. May, 24 to 28, 2017.

See the enlarged poster.