The International Sociological Association Forum of Sociology is one of the most important global events in the field and counts on PUCRS' partnership in its fourth edition
From February 23 to 28, the fourth edition of the ISA (International Sociological Association) Forum of Sociology, one of the main sociology events in the world, will take place. Scheduled to take place as an in-person event in July 2020 at PUCRS, it had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and now will be held online for the first time. In a joint effort by the University and the Brazilian Society of Sociology (SBS), the forum will discuss the challenges of the 21st century in four different themes: democracy, environment, inequality and intersectionality.
Alongside the virtual debates among sociologists from 125 countries, the highlight this year will be the launch of the video series entitled Challenges of Contemporary Brazil, comprising six episodes that explore some of the main current issues in Brazil. According to Hermílio Santos, professor at the School of Humanities and president of the local organizing committee of this year’s forum, the purpose of the videos is to show some of the challenges faced by the country, in view of the impossibility of people coming to Brazil to participate in the event.
“In addition to facilitating the attendance of Brazilian sociologists, hosting this event would be an opportunity to show our reality to the international community. The series is a work built by many hands, especially involving colleagues from the field of Sociology in the local organizing committee, to present a real snapshot of the current status of critical issues for Brazilian society”, says the professor.
The series Challenges of Contemporary Brazil was produced by Conta Pra Mim Filmes, a production company from Rio Grande do Sul, under the general direction of Professor Hermílio Santos, with funding from the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (Capes). The production was recorded in places like Complexo de Favelas da Maré, in Rio de Janeiro, and the city of Brasília. Two organizations from Rio Grande do Sul are also portrayed: União de Vilas da Grande Cruzeiro, in the South Zone of Porto Alegre, and Ocupação Mulheres Mirabal, in the North Zone.
According to the professor, the films aim to present the Brazilian perspective on some issues related to the main themes of the event, including environment, indigenous peoples, civil society in ghettos, women’s challenges in the labor market, reinvention of Brazilians to overcome the pandemic, and community solidarity in times of crisis. The series, which will be launched during the forum, will be available on the ISA and SBS websites.
The ISA Sociology Forum has taken place every four years since 2008, having already occurred in the cities of Barcelona, Buenos Aires and Vienna. According to Santos, it would be the first time that Porto Alegre would host an event of this relevance, held by the largest international entity gathering professionals and scholars in the area. “Brazilian sociologists have always been very participative in conferences. In the 1980s, the ISA was presided by Fernando Henrique Cardoso and it currently has other Brazilians chairing some of the entity’s committees,” says the professor, who chairs the Biography and Society research committee.
For the event in Porto Alegre, around 5,000 people were expected. “Although PUCRS will not be able to host the forum on its premises, it is a co-organizer of the event. This is important because it demonstrates the relevance of our University and draws attention to our city”, he highlights.
Santos also remarks that the fact that PUCRS was chosen to host the forum, to the detriment of the universities of Moscow, Helsinki and Lyon, is a great recognition both for the University and for the part of Brazilian sociology in the international scenario. “The Brazilian presence at the forum is very significant. Not only professors, but also doctoral and master students present their papers”, he concludes.
The IV ISA Forum of Sociology will take place from February 23 to 28, with over 800 sessions, more than 3,000 papers and the participation of sociologists from 125 countries. The panels will explore the world in the pandemic and the world that can emerge from it based on research grounded in the field and topics of the ISA Research Committees, Working and Thematic Groups.
In addition to Hermílio Santos, PUCRS professors André Salata, Emil Sobotkka, and Rodrigo Ghiringheli de Azevedo will also coordinate sessions. The local organizing committee also includes Professor Rafael Madeira.
The program of the forum will include the screening of the documentary Infância Falada, resulting from the research project Childhood and Violence: Daily Life of Small Children in Favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Recife and São Paulo, conducted by PUCRS Center for Economic and Social Analysis (Caes). The film is directed by Santos and Kamila Almeida and produced by Conta Pra Mim Filmes. The exhibition will be in the afternoon of February 27.