University of São Paulo: Agenda Bonifácio brings analysis by USP researchers on Brazilian Independence

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An important milestone in the country’s history, the Bicentennial of Brazil’s Independence will be celebrated in early September, but also over a significant period, with many events being commemorated. To record this celebration and the thoughts of our time, Agenda Bonifácio was created , a platform available on the internet with cultural programming and critical content about the date.

The initiative is from the Secretary of Culture and Creative Economy of the State of São Paulo and managed by the Social Organization Amigos da Arte, which since May this year has been supplying the platform. The name refers to José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva, one of the most important characters of Independence, working in the fields of art, science and politics. “By hosting and publicizing a wide range of music, dance, visual arts, theater, literature and other areas, Agenda Bonifácio aims to be a great showcase for the Bicentennial of Independence, with plurality and diversity”, highlight the organizers in the presentation of the platform. “Thus, it is intended to stimulate engagement, reflection and the spirit of belonging among Brazilians in relation to the theme of the 200th anniversary of the Independence of Brazil”, they conclude.

Among the various contents, it is possible to navigate through a timeline that covers the years from 1500 to 2022, bringing remarkable facts from this period in Brazilian history. Several researchers and scholars who passed through USP appear in the area of ​​interviews , a space that brings together personalities elaborating important reflections on the ephemeris. Some of them respond to the question posed by Agenda Bonifácio: “Is Brazil, in fact, an independent country?”.

Among the uspians, historian and writer Lilia Schwarcz , from the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences (FFLCH), addresses in an interview aspects about Independence, the legacy of slavery in Brazil, the importance of preserving the memory of a nation and the nuances of democracy. In another text, Ynaê Lopes dos Santos , PhD in Social History from USP and specialist in the History of Slavery and Racial Relations in the Americas, deals with the slavery of black people that prevailed in Brazil during the colonial period and the empire, and left a legacy of blood and suffering in Brazilian history.

Mary Del Priore , who wrote the book As Vidas de José Bonifácio , biography of José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva, talks about the findings she made when studying the trajectory of this controversial character who was named Patron of Independence. In another interview, historian Joana Monteleone , a postdoctoral fellow at the Jaime Cortesão Chair at the FFLCH, analyzes political and economic aspects of the Independence era with the emergence of fashion in Brazil as a social phenomenon.

Architect Eduardo Ferroni , with a master’s degree from the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism (FAU) at USP, reveals in his interview how the challenge of the renovation project of the Ipiranga Museum was, reconciling restoration of the original construction with expansion of the building. His office, H + F Arquitetos, winner of the bid for the renovation, had a year and a half to make the changes possible, in an effort that involved around 200 professionals from various areas.

Independence heroes and curiosities

The site also presents some curiosities that marked the process of separation from Portugal and one of them is the sequence of decrees that culminated in the proclamation of Independence by Dom Pedro I. The first of them, in fact, was signed by Maria Leopoldina, on August 13 1822, when she was appointed Head of State and acting Princess Regent, due to the prince’s trip to resolve political disputes. Realizing the pressure from the court after her husband refused to return to his native country, she convened the Council of State of Rio de Janeiro and signed, on September 2, yet another decree declaring Brazil officially separated from Portugal.

In the Other Heroes section , it is possible to learn about the trajectories of people little remembered in the historical process, such as, for example, many pioneer women who left a legacy of resistance and bravery. One of them is Maria Felipa , an important name in the independence movement in Bahia.

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