The Visual Diaries of Joaquim Paiva: 128 Diaries Project


  • Sergio da Silva Barcellos Rio de Janeiro State University


"In an essay about the body inscribed in the personal diary, I developed the notion of a diary as an extension of the diarist’s body.... This assertion was provoked by Michel Foucault’s reflection upon “self-writing” in Antiquity, more specifically by his explanation of the letter as a means of creating “presence.”... This concept of the “face-to-face” meeting can be applied to the relationship between diary and diarist, since the diary is a repository of immediate impressions of life experiences. Moreover, the reenactment of pleasures and pains in the diary creates strong ties between the diarist and his/her writing practice. According to Emmanuel Levinas’s concept of hospitality, the subject is morally compelled to accept the stranger or the other within his/her personal space.... French theorist Alain Montandon ... sees the writing of the self as a way of objectification of the subject that, in this relation to oneself as another, recollects and reunites the self through writing.... It is in this sense of “the gathering of bodily experiences through verbal and visual signs” that Joaquim Paiva’s 128 Diaries Project can be understood as a proper and more complete example of a diary as a second body."