On September 7, 2022, Brazil completes its bicentenary of independence. During these two centuries of history, political and cultural movements have shaped the country’s society and culture. To discuss aspects of this trajectory, the USP has launched the Bicentenary of Independence file.
The dossier includes the latest issue of Revista USP and is the second in a tetralogy produced by the University’s Social Communication Superintendency, as commented by Jurandir Renovato, Editor-in-Chief.
“The idea was to take advantage of the bicentenary of Independence not only to commemorate a date and a distant episode in the country’s history, but above all to reflect, in many ways, on how we got there, and thus follow the paths (and detours) of our political emancipation, its motivations and historical circumstances, as well as its subsequent implications, all from four thematic axes,” said Renovato, explaining part of the editorial of the publication, written by him.
The edition brings reflections that range from the modernist movement in its cultural form and expression to the impacts of context on how intellectuals thought about Brazil, as explored by USP vice-rector, professor and sociologist Maria Arminda do Nascimento Arruda, in the opening text of the magazine.
Jurandir Renovato, editor of Revista USP – Photo: USP Imagens
Intellectual thoughts are also present in the text written by Mário Augusto Medeiros da Silva, sociologist and professor in the Department of Sociology at the State University of Campinas (Unicamp).
In A Brazilian Black Social Thought, after the 1930s, Mário analyzes the production of important Brazilian black intellectuals, such as Abdias do Nascimento, Beatriz Nascimento and Lélia Gonzalez. Currently, the authors’ production “has served as inspiration and theoretical reference for debates on the genocide of the black population and police violence; land rights and the quilombola population; or even discussing black feminism and the struggle of black women, based on the racism and sexism that shape us as a society,” the professor said in an interview with Ciclo22.
His text, as the publication suggests, in addition to the social theme, explores the cultural aspects linked to Independence. Therefore, the professor highlighted the relationship between black intellectuals and art.
“The arts and written communication play a fundamental role in the experience of the struggle for the rights of the black Brazilian population. The black press, black literature, black theatre, the visual arts (by late 19th-century black painters), black music and dance compose a panorama of affirmation of civil, social and political rights”, a he pointed out.
The importance of debating production, the professor said, is to preserve a social memory that racism tries to erase. “Part of the fight against racism and the fight for equal rights for women, black people, indigenous people, people with disabilities, the poor, gay people, etc. has to do with the struggle for social memory. Reclaiming references from the past, inserting them into a public and national narrative, challenging the foundations of dominant power and rewriting possibilities for the present, aiming for a better, more diverse and egalitarian collective future,” he said.
In addition to this issue and the first, which analyzed the economic themes of the Bicentenary, the Bicentenary of Independence will feature the themes of Politics and Science and Technology. “Each of these files was coordinated by a renowned intellectual/professor. The current issue, for example, was coordinated by the vice-rector of USP,” explained Renovato.