What Showing Means

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Abstract

This article discusses the narratives and images built about the black Brazilian female writer Carolina Maria de Jesus’ life and work, focusing on the literary and political debates structured on questions of race, class, and gender, with emphasis on black feminist perspectives. I present, from my ethnographic incursions and through interviews, some of the strongest narratives produced currently about the writer. I then deal with the relationship between the narratives and the images that circulate about her today and conclude by putting forward a hypothesis about the change I observe in the images economy about her that circulate today. The theoretical framework is based on the discussions of Georges Didi-Huberman, Marie-José Mondzain, and Nathalie Heinich. The first two discussions are particularly important regarding images, while the last discussion helps us understand the place of celebrities, including established artists, in contemporary imagery. Finally, I emphasize that this article is composed of preliminary considerations, as it is part of my doctoral research, which is a work in progress.