In the simple definition of “nation”, the Houaiss Dictionary speaks of an autonomous political grouping, which occupies territory with defined limits, and whose members respect shared institutions (laws, constitution, government). And, more than that, it shares the same language, cultural roots, customs, historical past.
In Brazil, we are far from being able to have a definition of nation that reaches the individuals or citizens who live in it territorially. For many, definitely, the idea of ​​nation is linked to the idea of ​​a patriotism developed by some, for themselves.

The nation of the whites is fundamentally the nation of the whites, who have accumulated money and power based on predatory capital. Everything that has come to light in recent months – about illegal mining practices in indigenous communities, the brutal attack on Amazonian lands and rivers, as well as the rescue of countless workers in conditions analogous to slavery, on agricultural farms in various regions of the country – definitively denies that we can define Brazil as a nation.

It is as if there were a structural impossibility of the nation. The Brazilian Constitution, which, by itself, would not be a safeguard for citizens, is literally thrown into the fire, and reality shows how fragile the structures that defend it are.

Let us turn to the words of Tadeu Chiarelli, in the brilliant article in this issue O samba do branquelo doido (p. 10): “Part of the Brazilian 'white' middle class insists on not seeing itself as a member of a society defined by a series of characteristics and contradictions, preferring to live as if it constituted a group of exiles from other societies and cultures. He lives in the interior of Santa Catarina, as if he were German, in São Paulo; as if it were Italian; in Goiás, as if I lived in Texas. But the paradise of this group tends to be the United States, Florida, Miami and Orlando – for its members, a kind of Brazil that 'worked'.

[…] Because of this need to live here, as if they were there, this class ends up creating local correspondents to what they understand as international prototypes. Thus, Ismael Nery is never Ismael Nery. For these people, Nery will always be 'our' Marc Chagall; Portinari 'our' Picasso, Fabio Assunção, 'our' Brad Pitt. Avenida Paulista as 'our' Fifth Avenue, and so on, until it culminated in the belief that Jair Bolsonaro would be 'our' Donald Trump.”

On the other hand, those of us who understand the need to refound the nation, thinking of it as inclusive, developed and supportive, start where we can.

The idea of ​​defending the creation of inclusive public policies, respectful of the other, and the construction of environments capable of providing freedom, are commented on in a text by Fabio Cypriano, showing how much it is possible to make nods to a refoundation of these policies in the context of culture .

Some examples are already happening and, just as Sandra Benites, an indigenous curator, was appointed to the direction of visual arts at Funarte, Ana Flávia Magalhães Pinto, a professor at the University of Brasília, was sworn in as Director General of the National Archive. This is the first black woman to assume the position of director of the body, in 185 years. A huge step in supporting research, management and democratization of documents and access to knowledge.

In São Paulo, the inauguration of Pinacoteca Contemporânea, a project that has been desired since 2005, far from merely adding one more cultural facility to the city, brought an exponential gain to its culture. It was a breath of air, recognized by everyone present. Maria Hirszman tells all the details of the project in this edition.

The building, thought of as an open museum, gave new meaning to Parque da Luz, in Bom Retiro, the oldest public park in the municipality, built in 1825, and listed by CONDEPHAAT in 1981. The new exhibition space is placed in a loving dialogue with the Pinacoteca from São Paulo, to Pina Luz, providing a new tour for the city.

Jochen Volz, director of the Pinacoteca de São Paulo since 2017, highlighted, in his welcome speech to the guests: “As the architects Paula Zasnicoff and Carlos Alberto Maciel, responsible for the project, say, the museum should be an 'oasis'.

[…] Pina Contemporânea is not just an expansion of the exhibition area, but the offer of other – contemporary – ways of contacting the public with art and culture. The Pinacoteca library, one of the largest specialized in Brazilian art in the country, is installed at the park level, with direct access for all.”

On the cover of this arte!brasileiros, the dragons by Chico da Silva from Acre remind us that we have a permanent struggle to pursue, and art helps us in this struggle. ✱

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