Barreto, José Manuel

Human Rights and emotions from the perspective of the colonised

Anthropofagi, legal surrealism and subaltern studies

The Third World can easily experience a form of ghost existence: We speak but are not heard. However, in our culture there are a number of trends and positions that are relevant to the task of thinking human rights in a new light. Among them, the critiques of rationalism advanced by Oswald de Andrade and Luis Alberto Warat in Brasil and Argentina—where there is a possibility of integrating the emotions into human rights theory. Sharing a preoccupation with those excluded from the ‘world order’ and the appeal to sensibility, Subaltern Studies have advanced some insights pointing at establishing a link between colonialism, human rights and suffering. This is the case in the work of Upendra Baxi, who has made a criticism of Western theorisations of law and crafted a fruitful encounter between the insights of Subaltern Studies and the theory of human rights.

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