Drinking from the fountain

In this edition, we delve into a wealth of initiatives from cultural institutions in São Paulo, the North and Northeast of Brazil that are interested in revealing part of the erasure of our history, part of the post-colonial erasure. Like the exhibitions Rehearsals for the Museum of Origins, set up at Tomie Ohtake and Itaú Cultural e Histórias Indígenas, at MASP; the exhibition with recent acquisitions for the collection at Banco do Nordeste, in Recife (PE); of the Bienal das Amazônias, in Belém do Pará, and the Manto Tupinambá route, presented by Célia Tupinambá. We interviewed curators, thinkers, archaeologists and artists from various regions of the country. We heard about the need for radical changes in museums and how much it would be necessary to listen to nature. In a country that was and is indigenous, caboclo, riverside, Afro-descendant and white. In a country whose plurality began more than 6.000 years ago, and not, as is traditionally understood, in a country that was born in 1500.

During this journey of almost two months, we saw how fundamental our vision of interdisciplinarity is to analyze practically all phenomena that relate to the individual and, therefore, the impact they have on art. This has already been covered in depth by arte!brasileiros, in its VI Seminar: In defense of Culture and Nature, still in the pandemic, and our experience in the face of the collapse already brought the need to “think around”. 

Of course many of these conclusions are obvious to anthropologists or historians, students of art history or philosophers, but they are definitely not obvious to many.

We have always developed technologies: here is the report on the Emílio Goeldi Archeology Museum, in Belém de Pará, showing ancestral techniques of communication, roasting and agriculture. The question is: what do we put it at the service of?

Even today, national curricula do not take into account regional knowledge and studies, which have already been carried out respecting languages, wisdom, beliefs, research carried out by national universities, with highly qualified professionals. The fact that independence from the colonizers was declared did not eliminate an outward-facing intellectual construction. The Amazon is closer to the history of the Andean countries, to their ancestral wisdom and discoveries, than to the European one, for example. However, its post-colonial construction led it to look beyond Brazil and the Atlantic Ocean, towards Europe or even towards the countries of the North. 

Latin American elites grew up with financial capital, little prepared or prepared for an individualistic vision of building society. With the rise of neo-liberalism, starting in the 1980s, society as a whole became increasingly distant from trying to understand who we are, where we live, and the forest became increasingly distant and our “social symptoms” they only got worse. We recommend reading the chapter Diagnosis of Modernity and Amerindian Perspectivism, (Malaise, suffering and symptoms, Christian IL Dunker, pg. 273, Editora Boitempo) 

We are moving forward. The most recent São Paulo Biennial was an excellent surprise, making associations between past and present, bringing questions and a careful aesthetic. The return of investments in culture will serve this purpose, but it is necessary not to lose sight of the need for criticism and how, often, anti-hegemonic struggles only serve to be captured by marketing campaigns, instead of becoming their due path to building formative and collective knowledge. 

Happy reading, happy 2024, with health, strength and joy. ✱

OS: We recommend “bubuiar” (read interview with Professor Paes Loureiro) on vacation!

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