100 Years of Brazilian Modernism Celebrated in This Anita Malfatti’s Expo

    The São Paulo Museum of Modern Art (MAM) is housing the works of Brazilian artist Anita Catarina Malfatti (1889-1964), which sparked passionate reactions from the critics when they were first put on show, in 1917.

    Her solo exhibit, which included 53 works, among which paintings, engravings, and drawings, heralded the Modern Art Week of 1922, which paved the way for Brazil’s artistic avant-garde trends.

    Some of the pieces, created during the six years she spent in the US and Germany and in the year she returned to Brazil, are part of the exhibit Anita Malfatti: 100 Years of Modern Art.

    In addition to this early phase, the exhibit shows a wide selection from Malfatti’s oeuvre, divided into three periods.

    The first, marked by the scandal with broken paradigms, led to the return of five sold pieces. This phase include famous pieces such as The Man of Seven Colors (1915/16), and the oil paintings The Japanese Man and The Lighthouse.

    The second period, in turn, is comprised by works developed during her studies in Paris, like the oil painting Port of Monaco (1926), A Pyrenean Landscape, in addition to watercolor paintings Venice, Canal, and The Vista of Fort Antoine in Monaco.

    The last part of the collection displays the artist’s production starting from the 1930’s, when Malfatti painted the portraits of a number of friends and family members. Indoor scenes include the Toy Train (1940), Samba, (1945), and At The Shop Door.

    The daughter of an American mother and an Italian father, Anita Malfatti was born in 1889, in São Paulo. She studied painting in art schools in Germany and the US.

    Anita Malfatti was harshly criticized not only for her unconventional work, but also for not corresponding to the female role that was expected from her. Even friends and family members didn’t hide their disappointment when she came back from the United States. She wasn’t producing the soft painting she was supposed to, they noted.

    Respected writer and critic Monteiro Lobato attacked her in an infamous article published in December 1917 by O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper, entitled “Paranoia or Mystification?” Lobato argued that the young artist had been seduced “by the extravagant art of Picasso & Co.” and chided her for a non-realistic and anti-nationalistic style.

    Anita was part of the so-called “Group of Five” that also included writers Oswald de Andrade, Mário de Andrade and Menotti Dell Picchia, and painter Tarsila do Amaral.

    Oswald de Andrade

    In 1928, Brazilian poet and polemicist Oswald de Andrade published The Manifesto Antropófago (Cannibalist Manifesto). Brazil’s greatest strength is its ability to “cannibalize” other cultures, he argued. It’s a way for the country to face the cultural domination by Europe.

    “Tupi or not Tupi: that is the question.” The line, borrowed and cannibalized from Shakespeare’s “to be or not to be” is a reference to the Tupi Indians, who practiced cannibalism.

    The Manifesto Antropófago (Cannibal Manifesto) 1928

    Only Cannibalism unites us. Socially. Economically. Philosophically.

    The unique law of the world. The disguised expression of all individualisms, all collectivisms. Of all religions. Of all peace treaties.

    Tupi or not Tupi that is the question.

    Against all catechisms. And against the mother of the Gracchi.

    I am only interested in what’s not mine. The law of men. The law of the cannibal.

    We are tired of all those suspicious Catholic husbands in plays. Freud finished off the enigma of woman and the other recent psychological seers.

    What dominated over truth was clothing, an impermeable layer between the interior world and the exterior world. Reaction against people in clothes. The American cinema will tell us about this.

    Sons of the sun, mother of living creatures. Fiercely met and loved, with all the hypocrisy of longing: importation, exchange, and tourists. In the country of the big snake.

    It’s because we never had grammatical structures or collections of old vegetables. And we never knew urban from suburban, frontier country from continental. Lazy on the world map of Brazil.

    One participating consciousness, one religious rhythm.

    Against all the importers of canned conscience. For the palpable existence of life. And let Levy-Bruhl go study prelogical mentality.

    We want the Cariba Revolution. Bigger than the French Revolution. For the unification of all the efficient revolutions for the sake of human beings. Without us, Europe would not even have had its paltry declaration of the rights of men.

    The golden age proclaimed by America. The golden age. And all the girls.

    Filiation. The contact with the Brazilian Cariba Indians. Or Villegaignon print terre.

    Montaigne. Natural man. Rousseau. From the French Revolution to Romanticism, to the Bolshevik Revolution, to the Surrealist Revolution and the technological barbarity of Keyserling. We’re moving right along.

    We were never baptized. We live with the right to be asleep. We had Christ born in Bahia. Or in Belém do Pará.

    But for ourselves, we never admitted the birth of logic.

    Against Father Vieira, the Priest. Who made our first loan, to get a commission. The illiterate king told him: put this on paper, but without too much talk. So the loan was made. Brazilian sugar was accounted for. Father Vieira left the money in Portugal and
    just brought us the talk.

    The spirit refuses to conceive spirit without body. Anthropomorphism. Necessity of cannibalistic vaccine. For proper balance against the religions of the meridian. And exterior inquisitions.

    We can only be present to the hearing world.

    We had the right codification of vengeance. The codified science of Magic. Cannibalism.

    For the permanent transformation of taboo into totem.

    Against the reversible world and objectified ideas. Made into cadavers. The halt of dynamic thinking. The individual a victim of the system. Source of classic injustices. Of romantic injustices. And the forgetfulness of interior conquests.

    Screenplays. Screenplays. Screenplays. Screenplays. Screenplays. Screenplays.


    Cariba instinct.

    Death and life of hypotheses. From the equation I coming from the Cosmos to the axiom

    Cosmos coming from the I. Subsistence. Knowledge. Cannibalism.

    Against the vegetable elites. In communication with solitude.

    We were never baptized. We had the Carnaval. The Indian dressed as a Senator of the Empire. Acting the part of Pitt. Or playing in the operas of Alencar with many good Portuguese feelings.

    We already had communism. We already had a surrealist language. The golden age.

    Catiti Catiti
    Imara Notia
    Notia Imara
    Ipeju (1)

    Magic and life. We had relations and distribution of fiscal property, moral property, and honorific property. And we knew how to transport mystery and death with the help of a few grammatical forms.

    I asked a man what was Right. He answered me that it was the assurance of the full exercise of possibilities. That man was called Galli Mathias. I ate him.

    The only place there is no determinism is where there is mystery. But what has that to do with us?

    Against the stories of men that begin in Cape Finisterre. The world without dates.

    Without rubrics. Without Napoleon. Without Caesar.

    The fixation of progress by means of catalogues and television sets. Only with machinery. And blood transfusions.

    Against antagonistic sublimations brought over in sailing ships.
    Against the truth of the poor missionaries, defined through the wisdom of a cannibal, the Viscount of Cairo – It is a lie repeated many times.

    But no crusaders came to us. They were fugitives from a civilization that we are eating up, because we are strong and as vindictive as the land turtles.

    Only God is the conscience of the Uncreated Universe, Guaraci is the mother of all living creatures. Jaci is the mother of vegetables.

    We never had any speculation. But we believed in divination. We had Politics, that is, the science of distribution. And a socio-planetary system.

    Migrations. The flight from tedious states. Against urban scleroses. Against Conservatives and speculative boredom.

    From William James and Voronoff. Transfiguration of taboo into totem. Cannibalism.

    The pater familias is the creation of the stork fable: a real ignorance of things, a tale of imagination and a feeling of authority in front of curious crowds.

    We have to start from a profound atheism in order to reach the idea of God. But the Cariba did not have to make anything precise. Because they had Guaraci.

    The created object reacts like the Fallen Angel. Ever since, Moses has been wandering about. What is that to us?

    Before two Portuguese discovered Brazil, Brazil discovered happiness.

    Against the Indian de tocheiro. The Indian son of Mary, the godson of Catherine of Médicis and the son-in-law of Don Antonio de Mariz.

    Happiness is the real proof.

    No Pindorama matriarchy.

    Against Memory the source of habit. Renewed for personal experience.

    We are concrete. We take account of ideas, we react, we burn people in the public squares. We suppress ideas and other kinds of paralysis. Through screenplays. To believe in our signs, to believe in our instruments and our stars.

    Against Goethe, against the mother of the Gracos, and the Court of Don Juan VI.

    Happiness is the real proof.

    The struggle between what we might call the Uncreated and the Created – illustrated by the permanent contradiction of man and his taboo. Daily love and the capitalist modus vivendi. Cannibalism. Absorption of the sacred enemy. To transform him into a totem.

    The human adventure. Earthly finality. However, only the pure elite manage to realize carnal cannibalism within, some sense of life, avoiding all the evils Freud identified, those religious evils. What yields nothing is a sublimation of the sexual instinct. It is a thermometric scale of cannibalist instinct. Once carnal, it turns elective and creates friendship. Affectivity, or love. Speculative, science. It deviates and transfers. We arrive at utter vilification. In base cannibalism, our baptized sins agglomerate – envy, usury, calumny, or murder. A plague from the so-called cultured and Christianized, it’s what we are acting against. Cannibals.

    Against Anchieta singing the eleven thousand virgins in the land of Iracema – the patriarch João Ramalho the founder of São Paulo.

    Our independence was never proclaimed. A typical phrase of Don Juan VI – My son, put this crown on your head, before some adventurer does it!

    We expel the dynasty. We have to get rid of the Braganza spirit, the ordinations and snuff of Maria da Fonte.

    Against social reality, dressed and oppressive, defined by Freud – in reality we are complex, we are crazy, we are prostitutes and without prisons of the Pindorama matriarchy.

    Oswald de Andrade, in Piratininga, Year 374 of the Eating of Bishop Sardinha (2)


    (1) “The New Moon, or the Lua Nova, blows in Everyman remembrances of me” in The Savages, by Couto Magalhães.

    (2) The basis of Andrade’s date is the Tupi cannibalization of Bishop Pero Sardinha, who had shipwrecked in 1556 on Brazil’s northeast coast.

    The Portuguese Original


    Só a ANTROPOFAGIA nos une. Socialmente. Economicamente. Filosoficamente.

    Única lei do mundo. Expressão mascarada de todos os individualismos, de todos os coletivismos. De todas as religiões. De todos os tratados de paz.

    Tupi, or not tupi that is the question.

    Contra todas as catequeses. E contra a mãe dos Gracos.

    Só me interessa o que não é meu. Lei do homem. Lei do antropófago.

    Estamos fatigados de todos os maridos católicos suspeitos postos em drama. Freud acabou com o enigma mulher e com os sustos da psicologia impressa.

    O que atropelava a verdade era a roupa, o impermeável entre o mundo interior e o mundo exterior. A reação contra o homem vestido. O cinema americano informará.

    Filhos do sol, mãe dos viventes. Encontrados e amados ferozmente, com toda a hipocrisia da saudade, pelos imigrados, pelos traficados e pelos touristes. No país da cobra grande (1)

    Foi porque nunca tivemos gramáticas, nem coleções de velhos vegetais. E nunca soubemos o que era urbano, suburbano, fronteiriço e continental. Preguiçosos no mapa-múndi do Brasil (2)

    Uma consciência participante, uma rítmica religiosa.

    Contra todos os importadores de consciência enlatada. A existência palpável da vida. E a mentalidade pré-lógica para o Sr. Lévy-Bruhl estudar.

    Queremos a Revolução Caraíba. (3) Maior que a revolução Francesa. A unificação de todas as revoltas eficazes na direção do homem. Sem nós a Europa não teria sequer a sua pobre declaração dos direitos do homem.

    A idade de ouro anunciada pela América. A idade de ouro. E todas as girls.

    Filiação. O contato com o Brasil Caraíba. Ori Villegaignon print terre. Montaigne. O homem natural. Rosseau. Da Revolução Francesa ao Romantismo, à Revolução Bolchevista, à revolução Surrealista e ao bárbaro tecnizado de Keyserling. Caminhamos.

    Nunca fomos catequizados. Vivemos através de um direito sonâmbulo. Fizemos Cristo nascer na Bahia. Ou em Belém do Pará.

    Mas nunca admitimos o nascimento da lógica entre nós.

    Contra o Padre Vieira (4). Autor do nosso primeiro empréstimo, para ganhar comissão. O rei-analfabeto dissera-lhe: ponha isso no papel mas sem muita lábia. Fez-se o empréstimo. Gravou-se o açúcar brasileiro. Vieira deixou o dinheiro em Portugal e nos trouxe a lábia.

    O espírito recusa-se a conceber o espírito sem o corpo. O antropomorfismo. Necessidade da vacina antropofágica. Para o equilíbrio contra as religiões de meridiano. E as inquisições exteriores. Só podemos atender ao mundo orecular.

    Tínhamos a justiça codificação da vingança. A ciência codificação da Magia. Antropofagia. A transformação permanente do Tabu em totem.

    Contra o mundo reversível e as idéias objetivadas. Cadaverizadas. O stop do pensamento que é dinâmico. O indivíduo vítima do sistema. Fonte das injustiças clássicas. Das injustiças românticas. E o esquecimento das conquistas interiores.

    Roteiros. Roteiros. Roteiros. Roteiros. Roteiros. Roteiros. Roteiros.

    O instinto Caraíba.

    Morte e vida das hipóteses. Da equação eu parte do Cosmos ao axioma Cosmos parte do eu. Subsistência. Conhecimento. Antropofagia.

    Contra as elites vegetais (5). Em comunicação com o solo.

    Nunca fomos catequizados. Fizemos foi o Carnaval. O índio vestido de senador do Império. Fingindo de Pitt. Ou figurando nas óperas de Alencar cheio de bons sentimentos portugueses (6).

    Já tínhamos o comunismo. Já tínhamos a língua surrealista. A idade de ouro.

    Catiti Catiti(7)

    Imara Notiá

    Notiá Imara


    A magia e a vida. Tínhamos a relação e a distribuição dos bens físicos, dos bens morais, dos bens dignários. E sabíamos transpor o mistério e a morte com o auxílio de algumas formas gramaticais.

    Perguntei a um homem o que era o Direito. Ele me respondeu que era a garantia do exercício da possibilidade. Esse homem chama-se Galli Mathias. Comi-o.

    Só não há determinismo onde há o mistério. Mas que temos nós com isso?

    Contra as histórias do homem que começam no Cabo Finisterra (9). O mundo não datado. Não rubricado.

    Sem Napoleão. Sem César.

    A fixação do progresso por meio de catálogos e aparelhos de televisão. Só a maquinaria. E os transfusores de sangue.

    Contra as sublimações antagônicas. Trazidas nas caravelas.

    Contra a verdade dos povos missionários, definida pela sagacidade de um antropófago, o Visconde de Cairu (10): – É mentira muitas vezes repetida.

    Mas não foram cruzados (11) que vieram. Foram fugitivos de uma civilização que estamos comendo, porque somos fortes e vingativos como o Jabuti (12).

    Se Deus é a consciência do universo Incriado, guaraci(13) é a mãe dos viventes. Jaci(13) é a mãe dos vegetais.

    Não tivemos especulação. Mas tínhamos adivinhação. Tínhamos Política que é a ciência da distribuição. E um sistema social-planetário.

    As migrações. A fuga dos estados tediosos. Contra as escleroses urbanas. Contra os Conservatórios e o tédio especulativo.

    De William James e Voronoff. A transfiguração do Tabu em totem. Antropofagia.

    O pater famílias e a criação da Moral da Cegonha (14): Ignorância real das coisas + fala (sic.) de imaginação + sentimento de autoridade ante a prole curiosa.

    É preciso partir de um profundo ateísmo para se chegar à idéia de Deus. Mas a caraíba não precisava. Porque tinha Guaraci.

    O objetivo criado reage como os Anjos da Queda. Depois Moisés divaga. Que temos nós com isso?

    Antes dos portugueses descobrirem o Brasil, o Brasil tinha descoberto a felicidade.

    Contra o índio de tocheiro. O índio filho de Maria (15), afilhado de Catarina de Médicis e genro de D. Antônio de Mariz.

    A alegria é a prova dos nove (16).

    No matriarcado de Pindorama (17).

    Contra a Memória fonte do costume. A experiência pessoal renovada.

    Somos concretistas. As idéias tomam conta, reagem, queimam gente nas praças públicas. Suprimamos as idéias e as outras paralisias. Pelos roteiros. Acreditar nos sinais, acreditar nos instrumentos e nas estrelas.

    Contra Goethe, a mãe dos Gracos, e a Corte de D. João VI (18).

    A alegria é a prova dos nove.

    A luta entre o que se chamaria Incriado e a Criatura – ilustrada pela contradição permanente do homem e o seu Tabu. O amor cotidiano e o modusvivendi capitalista. Antropofagia. Absorção do inimigo sacro. Para transformá-lo em

    totem. A humana aventura. A terrena finalidade. Porém, só as puras elites conseguiram realizar a antropofagia carnal, que traz em si o mais alto sentido da vida e evita todos os males identificados por Freud, males catequistas. O que se

    dá não é uma sublimação do instinto sexual. É a escala termométrica do instinto antropofágico. De carnal, ele se torna eletivo e cria a amizade. Afetivo, o amor. Especulativo, a ciência. Desvia-se e transfere-se. Chegamos ao aviltamento. A

    baixa antropofagia aglomerada nos pecados de catecismo – a inveja, a usura, a calúnia, o assassinato. Peste dos chamados povos cultos e cristianizados, é contra ela que estamos agindo. Antropófagos.

    Contra Anchieta (19) cantando as onze mil virgens do céu, na terra de Iracema (20), – o patriarca João Ramalho fundador de São Paulo.

    A nossa independência ainda não foi proclamada. Frase típica de D. João VI: – Meu filho, põe essa coroa na tua cabeça, antes que algum aventureiro o faça (21)! Expulsamos a dinastia. É preciso expulsar o espírito bragantino, as ordenações e o rapé de Maria da Fonte (22).

    Contra a realidade social, vestida e opressora, cadastrada por Freud – a realidade sem complexos, sem loucura, sem prostituições e sem penitenciárias do matriarcado(23) de Pindorama.

    Oswald de Andrade

    Em Piratininga(24)

    Ano 374 da Deglutição do Bispo Sardinha(25)

    (Revista de Antropofagia, Ano I, No. I, maio de 1928.)


    (1) Selva amazônica; na mitologia indígena da amazônia, “cobra grande” é o espírito das águas. Esta entidade foi motivo de um longo poema antropófago, Cobra Norato (1931), de Raul Bopp (1898/1984), que, ao lado de Macunaíma (1928), de Mário de Andrade (1893/1945), compõe exemplos da antropofagia oswaldiana.

    (2) Referência à extensão continental do país e à necessidade de resolver os problemas lingüísticos no Brasil, se pautava pela tradição lusitana, ignorando as especificidades do país. Retomada, sob outro ângulo, da grande polêmica por José de Alencar (1829 / 1877), na vigência do Romantismo brasileiro no século XIX.

    (3) Oswald idealiza a união dos indígenas através do vocábulo caraíba, que designa tanto uma das comunidades indígenas com as quais os primeiros portugueses tomaram contato à época do Descobrimento do país, que viviam mais ao norte, quanto uma grande família lingüística a que pertenciam várias tribos brasileiras mais ao sul.

    (4) Antônio Vieira (1608/1697), lisboeta de nascimento, fez seus estudos com os jesuítas na Bahia, ordenando-se aos 26 anos. Tinha idéias avançadas para sua época e devido a elas foi inúmeras vezes criticado. Oswald de Andrade refere-se, aqui, à investida políticoeconômica na exploração do açúcar maranhense, à época do período colonial, o que beneficiou apenas a metrópole portuguesa, deixando em franca miséria a então colônia.

    5) Referência à elite intelectual que busca copiar os modelos europeus, em exclusão do sentimento de “brasilidade”. Neste sentido, os vegetais são entendidos como seres vivos sem mobilidade, o que equivale a dizer sem a capacidade crítica que fomenta as mudanças.

    6) Junção, numa única referência, da produção romanesca indianista de José Martiniano de Alencar (1829/1877), escritor romântico brasileiro de reconhecido valor, com a ópera O guarani, do músico também romântico Antônio Carlos Gomes (1836/1896), cujo libreto foi escrito a partir do romance homônimo de Alencar. Em ambos textos o herói indígena, Peri, tem atitudes cavalheirescas em consonância aos grandes senhores portugueses.

    (7) Catiti catiti/ Imara Notiá / Notiá Imara / Ipeju: pequeno “poema” em língua indígena, a qual, pelo apelo sonoro e lúdico, é aproximada da estética surrealista. Couto Magalhães traduziu por: Lua nova, ó Lua Nova! Assoprai em lembranças de mim; eis-me aqui, estou em vossa presença; fazei com que eu tão somente ocupe seu coração.

    (8) “Lua Nova, ó Lua Nova, assopra em Fulano lembranças de mim”, in O Selvagem, de Couto Magalhães.

    (9) Referência ao ciclo das grandes descobertas ultramarinas portuguesas iniciadas em 1421, sob o comando do infante Dom Henrique, filho de Dom João I, que, para o Reino de Portugal, culminou com a Descoberta do Brasil em 1500; o acidente geográfico mencionado por Oswald é a conhecida Ponta de Sagres, ou seja, um cabo formado por rochas elevadas, lugar ermo e de beleza trágica de onde teriam partido as primeiras expedições oceânicas portuguesas, ou seja, a expansão do homem europeu; na realidade, estas expedições sob o comando do infante Dom Henrique partiram da Vila de Lagos, localizada a cerca de 30 km a leste da Ponta de Sagres, na região do Algarve.

    (10) José da Silva Lisboa, economista do início do século XIX que, tendo adotado a política liberal do Marquês de Pombal, posicionou-se contrário à permanência jesuíta no Brasil.

    (11) Moeda portuguesa feita de ouro ou prata.

    (12) Réptil da ordem dos quelônios e da família das tartarugas; habitante das matas brasileiras, nas religiões indígenas representa a perseverança e a força.

    (13) Guaraci e Jaci: entidades divinas indígenas que representam o sol e a lua, respectivamente. São os dois princípios que governam o mundo.

    (14) Oswald refere-se à repressão sexual das crianças, as quais eram doutrinadas no sentido da inexistência de vida sexual na procriação; à cegonha era atribuída a função de entregar os bebês aos seus pais.

    (15) Índio filho de Maria, afilhado de Catarina de Médicis e genro de D. Antônio de Mariz: por alusão a personagens extraídos de obras indianistas, Oswald propõe o repúdio ao aculturamento dos índios pela civilização branca cristã e ocidental.

    (16) Elaboração matemática para comprovar o resultado de operações aritméticas elementares.

    (17) Em tupi, terra de palmeiras; designa, por extensão, o Brasil, cuja costa litorânea era coberta pela planta; a palmeira, desde o poema canção do exílio, do poeta romântico Gonçalves Dias (1823/1864), transformou-se em um dos ícones do país.

    (18) Rei de Portugal, que veio para o Brasil-colônia em 1808 com todo seu séquito, fugindo do avanço napoleônico na Europa. Oswald faz referência à usura desmedida dos cortesãos.

    (19) José de Anchieta (1534/1597), padre jesuíta que veio para o Brasil no início da colonização portuguesa e que, a pretexto de catequizar os índios, criou um sistema de desculturação pela arte teatral.

    (20) Anagrama de América, é também o nome da índia protagonista do romance homônimo de José de Alencar (1829/1877) que, junto com O guarani, se transformou em emblema de brasilidade durante a vigência do romantismo no país.

    (21) Oswald menciona, de forma irônica e jocosa, o ato da Independência do Brasil, ocorrida em 7 de setembro de 1822, protagonizada pelo primogênito do então rei de Portugal. O príncipe português governou até 1831 e ficou conhecido como Dom Pedro I, o primeiro Imperador do Brasil.

    (22) Camponesa portuguesa que liderou uma rebelião, em 1846, contra as opressões político-econômicas de D. Maria da Glória, então rainha de Portugal. Pleiteava, entre outras coisas, a colocação de produtos agrícolas portugueses no mercado interno que estava, na época, dominado por produtos ingleses.

    (23) Oswald fala no matriarcado numa referência à libertação do sujeito, em oposição ao patriarcado, este sim, governado por instituições de poder amplamente castradoras e cheias de interditos.

    (24) Em língua indígena, nome da região onde surgiu a futura cidade de São Paulo.

    (25) Oswald busca uma marcação temporal para a existência brasileira, que no Manifesto começa com o primeiro ato antropófago conhecido oficialmente; o Bispo Sardinha, isto é, Pero Fernandes (?/1556), naufragou no litoral do nordeste brasileiro e morreu como vítima sacrificial dos índios caetés. Oswald equivocou-se nas datas, acrescentando 2 anos ao tempo decorrido entre a morte do Bispo Sardinha e o ano de publicação do Manifesto Antropófago. Entretanto, Oswald parece desconhecer as cartas de Américo Vespúcio, em uma das quais o aventureiro florentino afirma ter assistido um ritual antropofágico em 1501, na Praia dos Marcos, no Rio Grande do Norte, em que a vítima era um europeu.

    ANDRADE, Oswald de. O manifesto antropófago. In: TELES, Gilberto Mendonça. Vanguarda européia e modernismo brasileiro: apresentação e crítica dos principais manifestos vanguardistas. 3ª ed. Petrópolis: Vozes; Brasília: INL, 1976.
    Comentário e hipertextos: Raquel R. Souza (FURG)


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    It seems the future never arrives in Brazil What Lies Ahead in Brazil? Brazil Has No Exemplary Past or Present. But What Lies Ahead for the Country? Europeans, US, developed country, developing country. Bolsonaro, future B. Michael Rubin For years, experts have debated what separates a developing country from a developed one. The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of a country is one simple way to measure its economic development. Another way to measure a country's progress is the extent of public education, e.g. how many citizens complete high school. A country's health may be measured by the effectiveness of its healthcare system, for example, life expectancy and infant mortality. With these measurement tools, it's easier to gauge the difference between a country like Brazil and one like the U.S. What's not easy to gauge is how these two countries developed so differently when they were both "discovered" at the same time. In 1492 and 1500 respectively, the U.S. and Brazil fell under the spell of white Europeans for the first time. While the British and Portuguese had the same modus operandi, namely, to exploit their discoveries for whatever they had to offer, not to mention extinguishing the native Americans already living there if they got in the way, the end result turned out significantly different in the U.S. than in Brazil. There are several theories on how/why the U.S. developed at a faster pace than Brazil. The theories originate via contrasting perspectives – from psychology to economics to geography. One of the most popular theories suggests the divergence between the two countries is linked to politics, i.e. the U.S. established a democratic government in 1776, while Brazil's democracy it could be said began only in earnest in the 1980s. This theory states that the Portuguese monarchy, as well as the 19th and 20th century oligarchies that followed it, had no motivation to invest in industrial development or education of the masses. Rather, Brazil was prized for its cheap and plentiful labor to mine the rich soil of its vast land. There is another theory based on collective psychology that says the first U.S. colonizers from England were workaholic Puritans, who avoided dancing and music in place of work and religious devotion. They labored six days a week then spent all of Sunday in church. Meanwhile, the white settlers in Brazil were unambitious criminals who had been freed from prison in Portugal in exchange for settling in Brazil. The Marxist interpretation of why Brazil lags behind the U.S. was best summarized by Eduardo Galeano, the Uruguayan writer, in 1970. Galeano said five hundred years ago the U.S. had the good fortune of bad fortune. What he meant was the natural riches of Brazil – gold, silver, and diamonds – made it ripe for exploitation by western Europe. Whereas in the U.S., lacking such riches, the thirteen colonies were economically insignificant to the British. Instead, U.S. industrialization had official encouragement from England, resulting in early diversification of its exports and rapid development of manufacturing. II Leaving this debate to the historians, let us turn our focus to the future. According to global projections by several economic strategists, what lies ahead for Brazil, the U.S., and the rest of the world is startling. Projections forecast that based on GDP growth, in 2050 the world's largest economy will be China, not the U.S. In third place will be India, and in fourth – Brazil. With the ascendency of three-fourths of the BRIC countries over the next decades, it will be important to reevaluate the terms developed and developing. In thirty years, it may no longer be necessary to accept the label characterized by Nelson Rodrigues's famous phrase "complexo de vira-lata," for Brazil's national inferiority complex. For Brazilians, this future scenario presents glistening hope. A country with stronger economic power would mean the government has greater wealth to expend on infrastructure, crime control, education, healthcare, etc. What many Brazilians are not cognizant of are the pitfalls of economic prosperity. While Brazilians today may be envious of their wealthier northern neighbors, there are some aspects of a developed country's profile that are not worth envying. For example, the U.S. today far exceeds Brazil in the number of suicides, prescription drug overdoses, and mass shootings. GDP growth and economic projections depend on multiple variables, chief among them the global economic situation and worldwide political stability. A war in the Middle East, for example, can affect oil production and have global ramifications. Political stability within a country is also essential to its economic health. Elected presidents play a crucial role in a country's progress, especially as presidents may differ radically in their worldview. The political paths of the U.S. and Brazil are parallel today. In both countries, we've seen a left-wing regime (Obama/PT) followed by a far-right populist one (Trump/Bolsonaro), surprising many outside observers, and in the U.S. contradicting every political pollster, all of whom predicted a Trump loss to Hillary Clinton in 2016. In Brazil, although Bolsonaro was elected by a clear majority, his triumph has created a powerful emotional polarization in the country similar to what is happening in the U.S. Families, friends, and colleagues have split in a love/hate relationship toward the current presidents in the U.S. and Brazil, leaving broken friendships and family ties. Both presidents face enormous challenges to keep their campaign promises. In Brazil, a sluggish economy just recovering from a recession shows no signs of robust GDP growth for at least the next two years. High unemployment continues to devastate the consumer confidence index in Brazil, and Bolsonaro is suffering under his campaign boasts that his Economy Minister, Paulo Guedes, has all the answers to fix Brazil's slump. Additionally, there is no end to the destruction caused by corruption in Brazil. Some experts believe corruption to be the main reason why Brazil has one of the world's largest wealth inequality gaps. Political corruption robs government coffers of desperately needed funds for education and infrastructure, in addition to creating an atmosphere that encourages everyday citizens to underreport income and engage in the shadow economy, thereby sidestepping tax collectors and regulators. "Why should I be honest about reporting my income when nobody else is? The politicians are only going to steal the tax money anyway," one Brazilian doctor told me. While Bolsonaro has promised a housecleaning of corrupt officials, this is a cry Brazilians have heard from every previous administration. In only the first half-year of his presidency, he has made several missteps, such as nominating one of his sons to be the new ambassador to the U.S., despite the congressman's lack of diplomatic credentials. A June poll found that 51 percent of Brazilians now lack confidence in Bolsonaro's leadership. Just this week, Brazil issued regulations that open a fast-track to deport foreigners who are dangerous or have violated the constitution. The rules published on July 26 by Justice Minister Sérgio Moro define a dangerous person as anyone associated with terrorism or organized crime, in addition to football fans with a violent history. Journalists noted that this new regulation had coincidental timing for an American journalist who has come under fire from Moro for publishing private communications of Moro's. Nevertheless, despite overselling his leadership skills, Bolsonaro has made some economic progress. With the help of congressional leader Rodrigo Maia, a bill is moving forward in congress for the restructuring of Brazil's generous pension system. Most Brazilians recognize the long-term value of such a change, which can save the government billions of dollars over the next decade. At merely the possibility of pension reform, outside investors have responded positively, and the São Paulo stock exchange has performed brilliantly, reaching an all-time high earlier this month. In efforts to boost the economy, Bolsonaro and Paulo Guedes have taken the short-term approach advocated by the Chicago school of economics championed by Milton Friedman, who claimed the key to boosting a slugging economy was to cut government spending. Unfortunately many economists, such as Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman, disagree with this approach. They believe the most effective way to revive a slow economy is exactly the opposite, to spend more money not less. They say the government should be investing money in education and infrastructure projects, which can help put people back to work. Bolsonaro/Guedes have also talked about reducing business bureaucracy and revising the absurdly complex Brazilian tax system, which inhibits foreign and domestic business investment. It remains to be seen whether Bolsonaro has the political acumen to tackle this Godzilla-sized issue. Should Bolsonaro find a way to reform the tax system, the pension system, and curb the most egregious villains of political bribery and kickbacks – a tall order – his efforts could indeed show strong economic results in time for the next election in 2022. Meanwhile, some prominent leaders have already lost faith in Bolsonaro's efforts. The veteran of political/economic affairs, Joaquim Levy, has parted company with the president after being appointed head of the government's powerful development bank, BNDES. Levy and Bolsonaro butted heads over an appointment Levy made of a former employee of Lula's. When neither man refused to back down, Levy resigned his position at BNDES. Many observers believe Bolsonaro's biggest misstep has been his short-term approach to fixing the economy by loosening the laws protecting the Amazon rainforest. He and Guedes believe that by opening up more of the Amazon to logging, mining, and farming, we will see immediate economic stimulation. On July 28, the lead article of The New York Times detailed the vastly increased deforestation in the Amazon taking place under Bolsonaro's leadership. Environmental experts argue that the economic benefits of increased logging and mining in the Amazon are microscopic compared to the long-term damage to the environment. After pressure from European leaders at the recent G-20 meeting to do more to protect the world's largest rainforest, Bolsonaro echoed a patriotic response demanding that no one has the right to an opinion about the Amazon except Brazilians. In retaliation to worldwide criticism, Bolsonaro threatened to follow Trump's example and pull out of the Paris climate accord; however, Bolsonaro was persuaded by cooler heads to retract his threat. To prove who was in control of Brazil's Amazon region, he appointed a federal police officer with strong ties to agribusiness as head of FUNAI, the country's indigenous agency. In a further insult to the world's environmental leaders, not to mention common sense, Paulo Guedes held a news conference on July 25 in Manaus, the largest city in the rainforest, where he declared that since the Amazon forest is known for being the "lungs" of the world, Brazil should charge other countries for all the oxygen the forest produces. Bolsonaro/Guedes also have promised to finish paving BR-319, a controversial highway that cuts through the Amazon forest, linking Manaus to the state of Rondônia and the rest of the country. Inaugurated in 1976, BR-319 was abandoned by federal governments in the 1980s and again in the 1990s as far too costly and risky. Environmentalists believe the highway's completion will seal a death knoll on many indigenous populations by vastly facilitating the growth of the logging and mining industries. Several dozen heavily armed miners dressed in military fatigues invaded a Wajãpi village recently in the state of Amapá near the border of French Guiana and fatally stabbed one of the community's leaders. While Brazil's environmental protection policies are desperately lacking these days, not all the news here was bad. On the opening day of the 2019 Pan America Games in Lima, Peru, Brazilian Luisa Baptista, swam, biked, and ran her way to the gold medal in the women's triathlon. The silver medal went to Vittoria Lopes, another Brazilian. B. Michael Rubin is an American writer living in Brazil.

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