quinta-feira, maio 31, 2007

Quase

Um pouco mais de sol - eu era brasa.
Um pouco mais de azul - eu era além.
Para atingir, faltou-me um golpe de asa...
Se ao menos eu permanecesse aquém...
...
Num ímpeto difuso de quebranto,
Tudo encetei e nada possuí...
Hoje, de mim, só resta o desencanto
Das coisas que beijei mas não vivi...

Mário de Sá-Carneiro

quarta-feira, maio 30, 2007

terça-feira, maio 29, 2007

Contexto lisboeta

De acordo com o Correio da Manhã, o próximo presidente da Câmara de Lisboa vai herdar de Carmona Rodrigues (caso não seja eleito) 49 assessores avençados com contratos no valor de mais de 1,3 milhões de euros. De um total de 59 assessores do Gabinete de Apoio à Presidência (GAP), 49 só terminam o contrato mais de cinco meses após as eleições. O que significa que o executivo camarário eleito a 15 de Julho terá de manter a equipa do ex-autarca ou pagar o restante valor dos contratos anuais.
(...)
O município de Lisboa tinha nove mil empregados há dois anos, e agora tem 11 mil.
Não está nada mal, um crescimento superior a 10% ao ano. Um grande contributo para a diminuição do desemprego na capital.
(...)
Segundo o Público de hoje, entre 2001 a 2006 o endividamento do município de Lisboa cresceu de menos de 1000 euros per capita para quase 2400 euros. Mesmo descontando a diminuição da população, a dívida mais do que duplicou!
Excelente resultado das gestão da direita na Câmara Municipal!...

Vital Moreira, in Causa Nossa

quarta-feira, maio 23, 2007

Redescobertas

Canção do Verdadeiro Abandono
Podem todos rir de mim,
podem correr-me à pedrada,
podem espreitar-me à janela
e ter a porta fechada.

Com palavras de ilusão
não me convence ninguém.
Tudo o que guardo na mão
não tem vislumbres de além.

Não sou irmã das estrelas,
nem das pombas nem dos astros.
Tenho uma dor consciente
de bicho que sofre as pedras
e se desloca de rastos.

Natércia Freire

terça-feira, maio 22, 2007

A teus pés...


Susana Chicó, Fatal, 2007

Brazil – much more than a colony... para Azzim

The final years of the XV century brought two major Portuguese contributions to world history: the sea route to India by Vasco da Gama, in 1498, and the Brazil discovery two years later. Brazil was discovered by Pedro Álvares Cabral on the 22nd of April 1500, and named Terras de Santa Cruz, and Vera Cruz.
A beautiful and fertile land was a guarantee of a great economic achievement, unlike the African colonies. But just as Africa, Azores or Madeira, Portugal had a great handicap, an evident lack of people for the required colonization.
Impossible to provide both Brazil and India the same amount of human and financial resources, D. Manuel I chose to invest primarily in Asia, and gave the privates the possibility to colonize South America, as the Gonçalo Coelhos’s commerce company in 1503 proves.[1]
The French attacks during the second decade in the Brazilian territories forced D. João III to find a plan to solve this situation. Martim Afonso de Sousa went to Brazil (1530) in order to exploit the coast, stop the French, and essentially colonize S.Vicente and S. Paulo. As well as in Africa and in the Atlantic islands the capitania system was applied to solve the demographic needs. Brazil was divided in 15 zones, but only Pernambuco and S.Vicente achieved the planned.
Therefore, in 1548, the king decided to take in hands Baia capitania and give it to Tomé de Sousa as governador-geral, who founded S.Salvador, and invested in brazil-wood and sugar. The change of paradigm in Brazil with the division in two governos-geral experience in 1574, attest the complexity in defining an ideal administration to such a vast region.
This was a period of important economic achievement, but the exact cause is correlated with the success of sugar cane engenho more than the weight of the political choice of governos-geral. Brazil provided several water resources, as rivers, lakes, or lagoons, subsequently the engenho became the most important area in Brazil’s economy and nobility activity.
The Brazilian administration was truly centralized, with the Ultramarine Council as head-quarter and primarily colonies consultant, and several other organizations as Orders and Conscience Table for religious matters and autos; Baia’s governo-geral for collecting taxes (dizimo); Ouvidor-Geral and Brazil’s Casa da Suplicação for judiciary issues; and a company for military recruitment in middle XVIII.
After the engenho’s economic success the Brazilian economy had been reinforced by an unparallel gold mining. According to Godinho[2] in the mid XVIII had been extracted more gold in Brazil than in the 150 years before in all the Spanish empire. However the Portuguese outcome was bare minimum, with the Lisbon Aqueduct as the only visible consequence to people’s life.
By 1762, with king D.José I and Marquis de Pombay Brazil felt the first gold mining crises and therefore several reforms were taken, such as abolishing donatarias, ending Society of Jesus, and mainly raising taxes all over the country. Some protests rose in Brazil as consequence of higher taxation, the key one was Minas Conspiracy in 1789, which might be seen as one of the most significant independence movements. The Brazilian gold exports tend to decrease during the second half of XVIII century, but the sugar, wood, tobacco and others suffer an important increase.
As consequence of Peninsular War (1808-14) and Napoleon invasion of Iberian Peninsula the Portuguese Queen and Prince Regent as well as the king João VI escape on the 29th of November 1807 from Lisbon to continue ruling over his empire from Brazil. The Portuguese presence in Rio de Janeiro modernized the whole country, as the bourgeoisie became competitive and raised the investment in industries and commerce. Politically was clear that the democratic choice of the public output, encouraged literacy by creating military, commerce, arts schools, as well as medic facilities.
It’s quite simple to comprehend the growing aspiration to independency, and the Ipiranga Scream as noted before was just the natural corollary of the several modernizations felt in Brazil during the D.João VI presence.
Nevertheless, the consequences for Portuguese imaginary of this loss were devastating, and lasted for so long that even Fernando Pessoa one century later claimed the rebirth of the 5th Empire.
[1] AAVV, Da visão do paraíso à construção do Brasil, Lisboa, Editora Mar de Letras,
2001
[2] GODINHO, Vitorino M., Portugal, as frotas de açúcar e as frotas de Ouro (1670-1770), Revista de História, nº15, 1953

The African dream – from slavery in the XVI to the final resistance in Colonial War... para Azzim

The bond between Portuguese and African history is very tight, not only in a political way but also in a cultural approach. This closeness is effective from the time when the first contacts took place in the North African coast, in merchant cities of Ceuta, and Fez.
The year of 1415, when Portugal captured Ceuta, is generally considered the foundation date in the Portuguese seaborne empire because of it’s evident conquest role, as well as the cities nearby, for the Portuguese and Infant D.Henrique strategy in controlling the market routes in this region.
In the years that followed the conquest, several ships went on exploratory missions in the Atlantic Ocean, its no surprise that Azores and Madeira were found in those days. The colonization of these islands was a prototype for other colonies in the future, like Cap Vert or S. Tomé, where there weren’t local people also.
In North Africa and the Atlantic coast, the system applied was called trading post (feitoria), and was much more a mark of Portuguese strength, with military powers and trade purpose, that an effective colonization on the ground. Elsewhere the political system of capitania-donataria was implemented in the larger African territories, but also in the islands, and it’s defined by the overwhelming powers of the capitão-donatário, which embody the Portuguese king and its judicial, administrative and military role. Angola due to its immense territory needed a different and more centralized administration and, by 1592, the Governo-Geral was created to solve it.
In the beginning of XVI century is clear that a change in colonial administration was in prospect by the Portuguese as new institutions were created (e.g.: Provedoria dos Defuntos; Juizado dos Órfãos) or the Corregedor role strength, in order to balance the influence of the Capitão-Donatário. By those times the military presence and colonies structure were reorganized, as well as were founded the first hospitals and fire departments. Although the Portuguese presence in Africa was real, it is more than evident that the major focus until the middle XIX century, specifically before the Brazilian independence in 1822, wasn’t the African colonies.
The grito de Ipiranga[1] has an unparalleled importance in the Portuguese imaginary for it may be seen as the genesis of the end of the empire. Moreover, its consequences extremely affected the global empire theory and colonial project, as mark of the Portuguese inclination to Africa.
By those times, and after the liberal faction win at the Portuguese civil war, Portugal approached the European ideals such as nationalisms and state-nation, liberalism, human rights. The emerging significance of nationality, and the cultural history of each people obliged Portugal to really study his own territory and culture, and the Portuguese presence in Africa was minimum attending that there were zones in Mozambique and Angola absolutely unidentified.
The European recognition of Africa value was clear at Berlin Conference, in 1885, where the major monarchies tried to divide the continent according with their own interests. The Victorian monarchy achieved an unprecedented power, and it arranged for Africa a railroad from Cairo to Cap, but this plan was obstructed by the Portuguese intention to join together Angola e Mozambique. The dispute on both plans, known as the Pink Map, lasted for three years (1887-1890) and ended up with the British Ultimatum to Portugal and the Portuguese quit.
The Portuguese identity was profoundly affected by this giant diplomatic loss, and the investment in the capture of tribal Africans leaders, as Gungunhana, in 1895, and the exploratory missions were the palpable reply to it.
The instability originated by the monarchy collapse in 1910 and the fragile 1st Republic was severely felt in the Portuguese empire, especially in Africa. Although some policies had been made for the ultramarine territories, as the creation of a colony ministry in 1911, or a new legal and organic framework six years later, it’s clear that Africa was feeling a lack of global strategy.
The military coup, in 1926, but essentially the Estado Novo dictatorship brought some kind of project for all the Portuguese empire: Firstly, the Organic Basis for Colonial Administration (1926); secondly the Colonial Act (1930); but essentially the Ultramarine Administrative Reform approved, in 1933, in which ideological principles as well as legal mechanisms and structural reorganization are planned.
The period after WW II, ending in the colonial war is marked by an effort of the Portuguese empire to modernize economy and society. As in other post-industrialized countries the primary sector tend to lose influence, however in Portugal its clear that either tertiary as supposed, but also secondary activity were growing at a 9% annual average.
After 1961, with the colonial war in Guinea, Cap Vert, Angola and Mozambique the Portuguese administration at Africa was more symbolic than effective. As proved by the difficulty in taxes collection, and running the local governments and institutions.

[1] Prince D.Pedro, son of the Portuguese king, made a speech near Ipiranga river in 1822 in which he gives credit to Brazilian autonomy. His communication is the symbol of the Brazilian independence.
[2] MATTOSO, José (dir.), História de Portugal – o Estado Novo, vol. 7, Lisboa, Estampa, 1994

quarta-feira, maio 16, 2007

Francesca Woodman













From Angel Series, Roma, 1977

sexta-feira, maio 11, 2007

Pensamento mindinho

Há pessoas que pensam em algo e perguntam porquê.
Penso em algo que não existe e penso porque não.

Bernard Shaw

Água vai... Água vem
























fábrica da pólvora, 2005



Fast Culture

O meu Abril Cultural em 60 segundos:

expo
Dan Perjovschi
- no mundo dos surpreendentes e desconhecidos desenhos romenos.

teatro
Stabat Mater
- grandes expectativas... valeu o exercício árduo de um monólogo.

cinema
Vida dos Outros
- talvez o melhor filme do ano, até ao momento. Genial interpretação de Ulrich Muhe.
O Caimão - bom filme politico, talvez um ano de atraso já seja muito.
Fur - muito fraco... alguns ambientes transmitidos por boas cores. Só.
Bom Alemão - celebração do film noir... boa fotografia e ambientes.
Indie Lisboa 07 - muito pouca coisa boa ou apelativa... excepção Daratt.

quinta-feira, maio 10, 2007

"Que chorar não é coisa de cães"

CÃO 2 Toca a correr adeus.
CÃO 1 Adeus.
CÃO 2 Adeus cidade.
CÃO 1 Adeus velha.
CÃO 2 Adeus.
CÃO 1 Mataram-nos por metade não interessa.
CÃO 2 Não conta não.
CÃO 1 Corre.
CÃO 2 Corre.
CÃO 1 Corre.

(Chega a MÃE num carro descontrolado. Arrasta consigo e mata o CÃO 1 sem quase se aperceber e desaparece. O CÃO 2 ficá imóvel uns instantes. Depois tenta deslocar o CÃO 1 até que compreende que está morto. Longa pausa.)

CÃO 2 Por estas lágrimas que me caem. Pelo menos podemos ficar a saber que a fêmea era eu. Que chorar não é coisa de cães. Coisa de cães machos. Estás a ver. Estás a ver que se calhar era melhor termos ficado por cá. A apanhar pontapés e restos de comida. Ou talvez não. Talvez fosse pior não sei. Não sei qual de nós está pior agora. Talvez tenhas só saído a correr à frente e te encontre quando chegar ao rio. Nos olhos de alguma rã no salto de algum peixe. Era eu a fêmea. Era eu o macho. Por estas lágrimas que me caem só consigo dizer que nem a outra metade de mim me mataram. Fazia-me falta um pouco. Um pouco daquela água preta agora. Foi pena tê-la bebida toda. Dava-me jeito para correr mais depressa. Para chegar primeiro ao rio. Procurar-te nos olhos de alguma rã no salto de algum peixe. Ou talvez me atire para baixo de uma destas coisas que andam tão depressa e vá ter contigo já. Mas não. Bem sabes. Vou seguir devagar. De cabeça baixa. Chegarei ao rio já noite cerrada. (atira um punhado ou dois de terra para cima do CÃO 1 e vai-se embora.)

Letizia Russo in Os animais domésticos
Apresentado no TNDM II, 2005

Introdução ao Império Português... para Azzim

Prologue
Portuguese empire, as well as the Spanish empire, is truly one of the most important achievements in mankind. One minor country with an abysmal lack of population attains to become a major empire all over the world, responsible by a giant territory like Brazil, Angola and Mozambique. This feat is far more brilliant when it’s accomplished by an archaic kingdom with a recent political and cultural identity and several financial problems due to its latest independency, and its obsolete economy.

Francisco López de Gómara, Spanish chronicler remarked in the mid XVI that the Iberian discoveries were “the greatest event since the creation of the world, apart from the incarnation and death of Him who created it. “ Like C.R. Boxer noted in his major work The Portuguese seaborne empire1 this Iberian mission made the world smaller by reaching inhabited zones or getting in touch with different cultures, and may be seen as the genesis of a global world.

It’s impossible not to recognize the magnitude of an event like the Tordesilhas Treaty, in 1494, in which Portugal and Spain divided the entire world according with their own ambitions, attesting the difference with former major empires like Mogul, or Aztecs.

The modern historiography, mainly the one that focuses on imperial dynamics, made several contributions about the Portuguese empire but wasn’t able yet to answer the key question: What was the main reason for the Portuguese seaborne experience?

Primarily we must be aware that several answers exist, and not only one. This means that are reasons in the political field, as the necessity to emphasize the recent independency (1143) internal and internationally, as well as rewarding the nobility that was by the king side during the reconquista cristã. Geographically a small country with an enormous coast allows it to consider the shipbuilding, the fishing and ship discoveries as potential breakthrough, using a know-how acquired by the natives well before the descobrimentos. There’s also an explanation correlated with the Portuguese cultural history, Portugal was a recent Christian kingdom approved by the Pope, and needed to reaffirm its Christianity fighting overseas against the infidels.

As we’ll try to demonstrate Portugal in the early XV was a traditional country, with the classical structure of society, where the nobility and clergy were a minority, but still, much more powerful than the people. This large majority of peasants in the interior and fishers in the littoral, made the people the larger stratus in society, but the inexistence of an entrepreneur bourgeois was the essential key to understand this period, and more important to comprehend the lack of an strategy in the portuguese empire therefore. The policy and approach chosen by the Portuguese politics for Brazil, India, Africa and Macau illustrate exactly this unplanned empire, and how its guiding principle was distorted by the course of action.