Eventos Académicos, 39 ISCHE. Educación y emancipación

Tamaño de fuente: 
The production of visual arts in political prisons in São Paulo from 1969 to 1979: resistance and insistence on the search for new emancipatory directions
Rogério Mourtada Anselmo

Última modificación: 2017-07-17


We understand that education can and must be emancipatory. Thus, education must needs go against the establishment, that is, against dominant ideology that, as such, organizes and creates ideas, values and doctrines conditioning and directing the thinking processes and behavior of individuals, groups and social classes in order to validate projects, values and privileges of the dominant class (Adorno, 1995; Adorno & Horkheimer, 1985). In Brazil, ever since the civil-military coup of 1964, the program proposed by the then President João Goulart to initiate structural reforms for national development founded on distribution of wealth and independence from the two great international powers was interrupted. It was substituted by a program intending to concentrate wealth counting on decreased income and loss of rights for the working class along with other exploited groups (Mota, 1986). This program was tied to the geopolitics of Washington within the context of full-blown renewal of the Cold War. Re-establishing democracy required fighting. There would be no social justice nor recovery or advances in the field of rights without organization and mobilization of certain segments of society: the exploited and the oppressed (Fernandes, 1975, 1982). Many Brazilian artists took part in this struggle and went forward in their experiences and work programs seeking renewed aesthetics, with deliberate political commitment against the dictatorship (Sister, 1994; Freire, 2015). Language is the privileged field where values, ideological and political confrontations are carried out (Joll, 1966). For this reason, several artists took part in the fight against the dictatorship and they were persecuted, kidnapped, tortured and arrested. Many were assassinated or their bodies were made to disappear (Freire, 2015). Censorship prevented much of the Brazilian artistic production that was critical of the government from being viewed by the public. Nevertheless, a collection of visual arts oeuvres resisted under the custody of Alípio Freire and Rita Sipahi. This collection holds artwork produced in the São Paulo political prisons between the years 1969 and 1979, and this is the object of my current on-going research project. My main objective is to carefully catalogue the collection and interview the surviving authors of the artwork as well as others who can contribute to the understanding of the uniqueness of artmaking in that penitentiary system. The bibliographic basis in the field of visual arts for this study is supported by Argan, 1992; Arnheim, 1991 e Gombrich, 1995; 1999. Recovering the memory of artistic production in the paulista political prisons is paramount to recovering memories of a time–the discussions and formulations–that were considered vanquished then, and that official History has erased (see Godoy, de Gran-Ville & Freire, 2014 and Almada, 1975).This study aims to recover the insurgency attempts in the histories of our Latin American countries, with their debates and abandonment of established canons, with a focus on the artistic production related to those times. We cannot forget that the language that was used (Art) and the issues being broached formed an indivisible unit. It was a way to resist and to insist on the search for new pathways and to enrich our repertoire (see Harvey, 2014 e Ianni, 1983).