Gabriela Campos ︎
Where is your God now?
This ain’t a text about Big Brother Brasil lmao
Not far ago, openly identifying yourself as the children of an Orisha, in a reality tv show, would be a laughingstock. But that’s soooo 2000! And in 2021, being it as Lucas with a Shango eleke or as Lumena, with an emoji that represents her and refers to Odé, many people today, reveal, under the spotlights of the real life pay per view, to be part of some form of African descent religion (in addition to overcrowding the shore of São Salvador and throwing white roses to Iemanjá lmao). We could associate this behavior with the democratization of the conversations about the racial and racism processes around the world. We could, but not only.
"My voice, my skin, my logo" - Freedom, Sampa the Great
To talk about religiosity is a Gen Z thing, yes. Extremely the opposite from what the millennials are standing for. But this conversation is not a monologue and talking to yourself is everything this generation doesn’t want to do: and they all, as communicaholic as they are, create the perfect contact point for mass culture and the hyper-individualism language [hi, TikTok] - of which they are native and in which they manifest themselves naturally - to meet and coexist. And by the way, even if you don’t have an account and/or the app, at some point you will be hit in any other social media platform by the content produced there and you can find yourself lost on the challenges/new evangelization processes/resistance & strength spaces. [And that have nothing to do with the Boomers' riot: that after having experienced the pure liberal juice, they believe that taking the reins of the world with a lot of conservatism to honor their "conquests", would save the world from the polarization that they themselves have created]
Willing, of the hustle and bustle
And the ground is fertile only because, unlike the revolutionary break - aka rebel with cause but not much effect - of the millennials in relation to the boomers, the Gen Z are much more open to conversation and aren’t bothered if questioned. Thus, they seem to not have any resistance against the traditional moral standards. What is indeed rejected, is the exploration of faith as an instrument for the maintenance of Christian white sovereignty and, consequently, of the colonial structures of domination, already overly worn out: there’s no room for this kind of civil war and its exacerbated reactions by brands and/or people aka cancelation culture, which in 2021 already smells like mothballs. In the Gen Z community there’s space for everybody - and their complexities - that flirts in a solid way, for the first time in generational terms, with the Moral Relativism and that allows, considering the proportions, that collective issues be discussed before different truths and according with the reality of these morals.
Thinking from a perspective in which hyper-individualism & mass culture meets, this point reflects the generational complexity and reveals the main differences between this and other generations.
And this is where the trouble lives [or not really]
If before [lol ok, boomer] it was preached that ONLY a greater omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent force would be able to save us all from the end of times, the spirituality, not necessarily affiliated, emerges as a card that enables this generation to build a better future and also relieves the burden of those who have an obligation to either save the world, or end everything for good. This movement that, in some ways, proposes a kind of ~detachment~ from what is macro [religious practices - community] to what is micro [hyper-individualism - me, myself and no one else], also allows materialism to be approached in a natural way. To believe in something no longer means to abdicate of your choices in favor of something bigger - one thing doesn’t cancel the other - see the touristic and monumental cemeteries built in the region of Sinaloa, Mexico or the character Leila Kwan Zimmer of Grand Army, who tries to discover her place in the world - but finds in Jewish orthodox practice a place of belonging.
But not everything is flowers, crystals and incense...
Even with social stimulus - such as a never ending pandemic, #BlackLivesMatter, #EndSARS and the fall of old [and new] symbols of colonial sovereignty -, some instruments continue to operate in the name of the globalization and universalization of morals - disguised as egalitarian rights, ignoring, once again, the many perspectives of existing in the world. And the thing is that people are no longer ok with the gradual erasing of their culture, being it through the liberal flag that questions the influence of collective signs about individualisms [hi, Karol Conká!] or about this other face of cultural appropriation, that empties these signs from its own meanings - blue jeans in the head is not a hijab, right Halima? - Right, Azealia Banks mentaly answers, when sharing pictures of parts of rituals from her “traditional African religion”.
They most probably expect that, as much as the first millennial saint, their practices and choices will be respected and that they will be, rather, empowering movements much greater than the faith that say they have moved mountains since 01 AD - ‘cause now faith is #on.