What Was Life Like In Brazil During The Military Dictatorships – Photographs Detail Brazil’s History and Slavery: The South American country was the last place in the Americas to abolish slavery and that time coincided with many advances in new photographic techniques. What emerged is the world’s largest archive of photographs of slavery, and it provides new knowledge to academics and ordinary Brazilians about the country’s tragic history.
Slaves on a coffee plantation. Vale do Paraiba, Sao Paulo, 1882. Marc Ferrez / Moreira Salles Institute Archive hidden under this link
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What Was Life Like In Brazil During The Military Dictatorships
Brazil was the last place in the Americas to abolish slavery – it didn’t happen until 1888 – and that means the last years of the practice were photographed.
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This has given Brazil what could be the world’s largest archive of slavery photography, and a new exhibition in Sao Paulo is shedding new light on the country’s dark history.
One painting in the exhibit, for example, was blown up to the size of a wall. “Things you can never see, suddenly you see them,” says Lilia Schwarcz, one of the curators of the new exhibition Emancipation Inclusion and Exclusion.
In its size and composition, the image of the photographer Marc Ferrez, one of the most famous photographers from the 19th century Brazil, shows a large image of a group of slaves drying coffee in a field. Their appearance is vague but the general impression is one of order and calm. But when the image is blown up, the expression is different and the details are detailed. A shepherdess nursing a child in the field; the clothes look good and look torn.
“By expanding photography, we can see a lot of things that we couldn’t see and the government didn’t want to see,” says Schwarcz. “We don’t want to show slaves only as victims.”
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Slavery in Brazil lasted for 300 years, and brought about 4 million people to Africa. These pictures were taken during the waning days of slavery and the Brazilian Empire. Many are responsible for government efforts to portray slavery in a positive light.
Sergio Burgi and the Moreira Salles agency, who presented the photos at the show, say the explosion of footage shows the brutality of the system. In another picture, slaves are lined up waiting to be taken to the field. They are all feet. Between them, when the image is expanded, we can see small children.
“It’s amazing what you see,” says Burgi. “The number of children who come out so early … how are they able to take care of those children out in the fields?”
Lilia Schwarcz says that the slave system was based on violence, and the photos, if you look closely, show how violent that system can be. Whats amazing about the exhibition is the different ways in which the slaves were photographed: not only in the fields but also in the houses of their owners, in the city and taking care of the children of their masters.
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One of the most prominent images is that of a white man sitting in a garbage can. The two slaves who were to carry him through the streets of the city stood by his side. One looks down, respectfully. Another man leans against the trash can, his hat tipped to the corner, staring intently into the camera.
“He’s showing himself, and he’s saying ‘I’m not like that, I’m something else. I’m something else. I’m something else,'” says Schwarcz.
Detail of photo of slaves going to harvest coffee with oxcar. Vale do Paraiba, Sao Paulo, 1885. Moreira Salles Institute Archive hides the description
Detail of photo of slaves going to harvest coffee with oxcar. Vale do Paraiba, Sao Paulo, 1885.
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The pictures in the exhibition were taken from 1860 to 1885. Slavery ended in Brazil in 1888, and the photos also show a difficult and difficult time for slave owners in Brazil, said Maria Helena Machado, an anthropologist. Historians were also involved in the exhibition.
“It was almost the end of the slave system in Brazil, but the owners … were desperate to continue the slave system,” says Machado.
According to Machado, the end of the 19th century was more brutal than before because, with slavery coming to an end, owners wanted to get as much as they could in terms of slave labor. “They’re not worried about survival, so who cares? ‘I need my money back,'” he says.
Machado says many slaves ran away, while others formed armed groups and rebelled. Large pictures show the faces of the slaves. Lilia Schwarcz says this fight is very visible.
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The talk of the director Sergio Burgi continues today, with the people who came to see the exhibition. “People here in Brazil have been very receptive and say ‘oh that reminds me of when I was a kid, and I used to live in the countryside and everything was the same,'” he says.
Burgi says that even decades after slavery, blacks lived in the same circumstances, and that legacy is still felt today. Portuguese culture dominates these influences; from it Brazilians found their language, their main religion, and many traditions. The Indian population is now numerically small, but Tupí-Guaraní, the language of the majority of Brazilian Indians, continues to play an important role in Brazilian Portuguese; other Indian contributions to Brazilian culture are most evident in the Amazon basin. The African influence on Brazilian life is particularly strong on the coast between the Northeast and Rio de Janeiro; it includes traditional food, religion, and music and dance, especially the samba. Imported goods and culture from Europe and North America often competed with—and influenced—Brazilian cultural production, and critics argued that the country’s culture suffered as a result. Despite many economic and financial problems, Brazilians remain active and creative in their festivals and arts.
The Brazilian Academy of Letters, headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, is generally regarded as the most prestigious institution in the country. The National Library, also in Rio, was founded in 1810 with 60,000,000 volumes from the Royal Library of Portugal; now has millions of books and articles. Most of the other libraries in Brazil are limited. Important museums include the Museum of the Republic (1960; housed in the former government building) and the Museum of History (1922), both in Rio, the Museum of the University of São Paulo (1895), and the Imperial Museum (1940). in Petropolis. The São Paulo Museum (1947) and the Rio de Janeiro Museum of Modern Art (1948) are internationally renowned. Rio and São Paulo both have museums of anthropology and many sports. The most famous center for the performing arts is the State Orchestra of São Paulo Symphony (1953; revived 1972), housed since 1999 in Sala São Paulo, a railway renovated at the beginning of the 20th century. Few of the country’s cultural institutions based in Brasília.
Brazil has more famous literary figures than Portugal because of its diverse ethnic and regional themes. Joaquim Machado de Assis, the son of a freed slave, was a major 19th-century voice and romance novel. In the 20th century the North published a wide variety of works, including Gilberto Freyre’s about life in slavery, Graciliano Ramos’s tragedy about the four-cornered drought, João Guimaraês Rosa’s stories about life and violence inside, and Jorge. Amado’s humble history is set in the cacao growing zone of Bahia. Érico Veríssimo’s tale of southern Brazil has also been translated into several languages.
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Roberto Burle Marx’s landscape architecture led urban Brazilians to recognize the beauty of the natural environment by replacing the traditional, typical European garden with imported plants and a mix of native species relative to their landscape. Some of Marx’s environment was used to block the conceptual structure of the famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. In his work, Niemeyer designed the impressive public buildings in Brasília, in collaboration with Lúcio Costa, the architect of the capital city. Brazil also boasts beautiful colonial and imperial buildings, from the palatial houses and beautiful churches of Salvador to the palaces and public buildings of Rio de Janeiro. Among the most revered are the 18th-century churches in Minas Gerais that were decorated with frescoes, biblical scenes, and soapstone sculptures by Antônio Francisco Lisboa, better known as Aleijadinho (“The Little Crippled”).
Western style of painting began to flourish in Brazil in the 18th century. In the 19th century, especially during the reign of Emperor Pedro II, the School of Fine Arts of Rio de Janeiro promoted the development of in Brazil, it was influenced mainly by Neoclassical and Romantic styles
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