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Vilém Flusser in Brazil: Media and the New Human

This study focuses on Vilém Flusser’s seminal essay on the diverse aspects that permeate life in Brazil, Fenomenologia do brasileiro: em busca de um novo homem. Despite the fact that it presents a lucid analysis of Brazilian society, the text still has not been as extensively studied as other important works from the philosopher. Through qualitative content analysis, I stress the role attributed by Flusser to the media in the genesis of a new human. Flusser argued that a new form of sociability (the new human) could result from the peculiarities of Brazilian society, such as a synthesis of diverse influences in the creation of original cultural manifestations, and a unique form of mutual responsibility. And he called attention to the predominance of broadcast media as constitutive of public discourse in that country, due to the high level of illiteracy among the general population until recently. I hope this article contributes to the scholarship on Flusser by providing context to the interpretation of an essay that remains up-to-date and useful for reflection on Brazil’s past, present and future.

Media and the New Human (PDF 218.82 KB)