Eventos Académicos, 39 ISCHE. Educación y emancipación

Tamaño de fuente: 
Abílio Cesar Borges between Bahia, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires: the emancipation of the body as a political tool
Carlos Eduardo Dias Souza

Última modificación: 2017-07-17


Abílio Cesar Borges, “the childhood’s friend”, as he named himself and was known by his students, was born in Bahia, Brazil, in 1858, but made his fame at Brazilian capital that time, Rio de Janeiro. He also made international webs, including a trip to Buenos Aires, where he took part of the Pedagogical Exposition in 1882. While all this happened, Borges travelled to Europe, aiming with his trips not only to notice himself as part of the “good society” in Brazil, but also to get informed about the new pedagogical thought of the time. With this, Borges differentiated himself in the Brazilian field of education during the reign of Dom Pedro II: he adapted that pedagogical though to the conditions of the secondary schools created by him in Salvador in 1858 (the Gymnasio Bahiano), in Rio de Janeiro in 1871 (the Collégio Abílio), and in Barbacena in 1882 (another Collégio Abílio). They were schools where the child would be raised to the center of the pedagogical practice and to whom it was directed. That is why he was known as “the childhood’s friend”, and that’s why he shall get noticed as an important political actor that time, as this paper aim to show.

The intention of this paper is to debate Borges trajectory between the cities of Salvador, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires as an element of intellectual exchanges. Even if these exchanges were made on the sphere of the pedagogical rule, the proposal here is to present them as a possible intervention on Brazilian political thought of that time. Borges, besides being a famous educator, was also an enthusiast of the emancipation of the slaves, a very expensive political cause in Brazil. While associating the pedagogical practices – and it’s physical and symbolical violence to the student – to the slavery system, Borges made of his pedagogical intervention a way to diffuse and mobilize people to the cause of the education of the citizens and also to the abolition of slavery in Brazil. The second emancipation of Brazil was due to understanding of the violence caused to slaves and children: the country could only get rid of its savage past if the all citizens – former slaves too – looked forward having freedom and progress as their common horizon. While treating children as slaves, which meant not to take them to understand what and why they made what they did (as coming to school and learning history, for example), the country would not find its way to the progress. Borges intervention on the educational field was a way to build the progress as a practice aimed by the Brazilian political elites in the end of the nineteenth century, and that’s what this paper intends to show.