Cartografia de Direitos Humanos | Human Rights Mapping in São Paulo

Much of what we know as rights
are the fruits of people’s demonstrations and remarks
on Brazilian streets. Not everybody knows it
and, consequently, human rights are considered
a State gift. This project stemmed from the
concern to find means of addressing the issues related
to human rights in such a way it’d raise society awareness
and catch attention to it. I usually say that on
human rights there’s never a last conquest. No matter how much you do,
there’ll always be a place where some offense to the human
rights is happening. Brazil nowadays, on the matter
of some rights has a different stature if
compared to the dictatorship period. Today you can choose
your religion, choose who you’re going
to marry, choose what you’re going
to say, what you’re going to think,
because a lot of people had to do lots of things,
many personal sacrifices so you can have this current
freedom. And it is not guaranteed. You also have to keep
doing. Human rights are not divorced
from democracy. And if you can talk
about democracy today the respect to basic rights is
essential. When you talk about basic
rights, you talk not only about the respect to the person’s
right, but also rights known as being related to the singularities
of the social subjects. The idea of bringing the
project to the city’s territory arose precisely because one
of our perceptions was that sometimes, when you talk about
human rights or dignity people think about something
far distant from their reality. But we believe it’s right
beside us: History is here, it’s not on the
other side of the world, it’s not about a different
person, it’s about you. I’ve been working a long time
on Milton Santos’ idea that what gives meaning to the set
points, are the mobile ones. So a landscape, a hill, a room,
a building, they’ll only get an effective
meaning when you tell what has
happened there. Man keeps evolving and will
always want something better. I mean, younger people don’t
even know how most things had been achieved-
how and what happened. This is already incorporated. I think it’s very important, for
those working with current demands, to understand
how that point was hit from where they are fighting, from where they are militating. To redeem memories of conquests
of the city of Sao Paulo the project’s chosen characters
who participated of fights for more rights. Right to the City, Right to Work,
Migrant’s Right, Civil Rights, Rule of Law, Freedom of Speech,
No Gender Nor Sex Discrimination, No Racial Discrimination. Right to the City You have to think the city
as a whole. you have to think the city
as a way to live with dignity, because without proper housing
you don’t have a set address for where to go by the end
of the day. Human being must be treated
as whole. We want the city to be built
in its horizontal phase. If a house is built in
Itaquaquecetuba, another one in Jardim Angela, one should be built here in
downtown either. There are poor people
in the whole city. All city’s necessities are a
single one. Over our history we’ve started
understanding better and better that precisely the transport is not
considered a right. The first demonstration was
actually a consequence of months, even years of
the movement’s base work- the fare increase’s came,
we’ve called the demonstration and the population came out
unanimously to fight for the fare
decreasing. When the increase happened and
we, with others social movements, with everybody who’d already
rebelled against the increasing, went to the streets and said “no,
we won’t allow the increase” and the demonstrations kept
arising, and people kept on going to the streets, somehow,
the population itself started managing the transport. After what, people from Sao
Paulo’s districts started to mobilize themselves
for the return of bus routes which had been cut
but were used by them. So we see all these little
processes as a way in which, more and more, the people, the
citizens, the ones who build the city, its workers, take
charge of its construction, of its management, by
telling how it is supposed to be done. Migrant’s Rights The Migrant March is a request
from the World’s Social Forum
on Migration. UN’s declared December 18th as
the International Migrant’s Day and we came back to Sao Paulo
and organized the first march already in 2006, at Kantian
Square, a place which was completely
abandoned, precisely because this Square is
a Bolivian migrants’ conquest. Today we have another example,
which is the Cobra Street. This one is being turned into a
cultural heritage of the Bolivian community in
the city of Sao Paulo, available to all the people who
want to know it. No Racial Discrimination Sao Paulo is considered, and
really is the country’s greatest economic and political center. And we must remember that
every inch of this city has blood, sweat, tears and much
strength, and much black people’s life
on it, but it’s a place full of oppression, full of
racism, where many people struggle to expand policies
to fight racism. The Unified Black Movement
have been composed of many groups and entities from the black movement
back then. We called the demonstration
at the Patricarca’s Square, on the steps of the Municipal
Theater, on 7th July. From this demonstration on,
the black movement started expanding to the cities,
to all Brazilian states. Racism is never alone. Racism is often followed by
chauvinism and many other “isms” that are harmful
to the humanity. That’s why the Black Movement
has a historic of working with sectors. I think we’ve helped strengthening
other sectors who are our brothers and
sisters, our allies. I was born in 1970 and I followed the great
caciques’ fight for the State Government and
FUNAI recognize the small lands, where
we saw families growing up as the time went by. We understood the necessity
of keep fighting so the government would think twice
about the delimited areas in a boundaries’ review
process. The territory known today
as Brazil was once a territory
occupied only by populations of ethnic groups, natives, and after
the European invasion, the “Jurua”, we had all of our
lands taken, and nowadays we have to fight for 30, 40, 50
years, for a small piece of land. We want to delimit these areas which are on the boundaries of
the big city, where there’s forest,
where there’s no one living, where there’s no one using it. We only want to preserve it and
have the opportunity to continue our people. Right to Work A significant portion of
Osasco’s workers used to work and study
at the same time. So they were also the people
who were used to think. What made their awareness level
increase. All this things have helped to
develop those worker’s critical
consciousness. And within the labor movement
itself, that was seeking for a political unit, a split has
consequently happened. So the creation of a Unique
Central failed at that first. From this on, the journey
has been hard, but CUT had, at least,
10 years of rising, then I guess it was also
infected by the “power virus” and started going over to
the other side. Nor Gender or Sexual
Discrimination The “Brasil Mulher” newspaper,
number zero, back then was released in October 1975,
when women made a gathering to diagnose the Paulista women
situation. We used to meet there weekly,
to organize the new’s agenda and take them to the most
different possible places. I guess that’s when an embryo was
shaped, or was created of a popular feminism,
anti racist, anti capitalist… The city of Sao Paulo has
contributed a lot for this. We always think about feminism
as a plural movement, so we must think how it
focuses, materializes in the daily life of each of
these women’s group. And that’s what has guaranteed,
until now, what has made us to organize,
think the Slut Walk as a local movement. You are there, taking public
space up, using your body to expose all these forms
of violence which insist to tell that the
women’s place is not the public one, that the women’s
place is still, the domestic one. To woman, precisely,
being there, on the streets is an extremely transforming
step. The parades emerged in 1969
and thereafter the fight begins, the social movements begin. In 1996 there was a calling to
the people participate of a demonstration and,
thereafter, in 1997 we took the Paulista Avenue. Why the Paulista Avenue?
It’s the venue for the great social movements’
claims. The Parade’s main mission is the
LGBT community’s visibility issues. Back then, the homo affective
relationships weren’t certified. And today we need a law that
punishes refinements of homophobia. Unfortunately, it’s a battle
we’ve started against a huge inequality, because we are
pursued and we have no support of the
Legislative Power, all of our progresses are
through the Judiciary, and this progresses, I want to
highlight that, aren’t a search for privileges,
they’re a search for rights equality. Civil Rights We must remember that the
military regime, at the beginning when it didn’t have a typical
South American military dictatorship aspect yet, it had
been supported by the Church. And during this dictatorial
regime, the human rights were basically
unknown. Nobody was interested, on the
government part, in respecting them. As a consequence: there’ve been
a great reaction, led by the Church, I mean,
in a quite penitentiary way for the fact that, back then,
they’d supported the coup d’état. Don Paulo had a leading role
at that time. It was one of the few places in
Brazil where sheltered that way, so generously,
the prosecuted ones. Everybody was afraid,
you know? The Justice and Peace Commission
role, founded by him, who I think he was one of
the most important characters of Brazil in the 70’s. He was the lay aspect of
the church’s performance in defense of the human
rights. To people who looked for us and
they were as diverse as possible, we’ve never asked
“What’s your political party?” “What’s your religion?”
That didn’t matter. It was a human person
struggling, suffering. I still remember the House of
Detention’s entrance. There was no gun, there hasn’t
been found a single fire gun. When the police arrived,
and that’s normal in a riot, the knives, all the melee
weapons they had- and they must have it to defend
themselves from each other, were thrown through
the windows. So, the Massacre was against
defenseless people. The House of Detention has
become a symbol of the violence against
unarmed people. This kind of massacre, which
has given us so many lessons and with so many consequences,
can’t be forgotten. We must preserve the ability
to think over these great human rights
violations. Every time someone dies, we also die a little. The Federal Public Ministry has
been working on the dictatorship subject and its
search for victims’ redressing, also searching accountability
for the accused of committing those crimes. And for the 50th anniversary,
we’ve thought about something lighter. Something that could communicate
better with the population. The will was bringing art inside
the Federal Ministry to recall the coup’s
50 years. And I’m satisfied because this
exhibition is at the Federal Ministry, because
its main vocation is the human rights’ defense,
and the memory’s defense, and the defense of the
social rights, of the collective rights,
of the cultural rights. So, the human rights exist and
are to be protected. Rule of Law The Faculty of Philosophy used
to be the Faculty of Literature, Philosophy and Human
Sciences. So it covered all the sciences
you can imagine: Maths, Physics, Chemistry,
Biology, Zoology, etc. And Philosophy, Social Sciences,
History, Geography- so, there was a core
considered “Human”, and another one more like
“Hard Sciences”. And, in 1964, when the coup
took place, we’ve realized that some
teachers were promptly called to testify, while others
were arrested- And that’s exactly when the
feelings really began to radicalize. Then, in 1968,
the Battle of 68 took place, that’s when the dictatorship has
really become into a fierce fight, let’s say,
against, as it seemed to us, the
country’s intellectual elite. The Battle, in fact,
was a constant part, because the right-wing group,
extreme right-wing group, used to get together
at Mackenzie. So the confront was set just by
crossing the street. And it was a kind of
constant fight. They used to invade- so much
that, at a certain point, that was when the thing got
really radical, the street was blocked and
there were many schemes not to let the police
access it, because it had been expected
that it could happen. Additionally the students
occupied the college to avoid its invasion
by the CCC. Thereafter, the Police
and the Army occupied Maria Antonia st.
and classes were taken to the University City’s
Campus. Freedom of Speech The Evening Party’s
emerged at a bar. We had a bar in Campo Limpo,
and there we used to do that we called the
Candle Evening. And during that Candle Evening,
we’d play the “pancakes”, the vinyls, you know.
It was back 95, 96. and between a vinyl and another,
between a song and another, someone’d say
“Can I read some poetry?” Then I also started bringing
some poetry or stuff, things I had at home- then it
slowly set into our lives. Thereafter people got to
know that there in Campo Limpo,
something was being done, then an interested person or
another would come. It’s created a cultural
melting pot there. I think expressing is
inside and it’s inherent. to every human being. We are born with this genetic
potential and creativity. And this creativity, when cut,
trapped or not allowed to express itself, it ends,
many times, in a society which will turn
toward other directions. So, art has this vital
role for growth both social,
of what’s around, also of the human being
itself. And it’s important to think
human being is what he aims to be or he can be whatever
he wants to be. So we’re asking ourselves:
“What do people want to be?” I think the awareness of the
human rights’ needy to occupy these places has
increased a lot. I mean, I’m an optimistic
about it, but I’m also realistic enough
to consider that our situation is still very
deficient about institutions that really
preserve, promote and assure
the human rights. The social movement can never
stop acting, because we are culturally
the “thermometers” to the Government
keep progressing allowing us new rights,
and opening a window
inside our fight, to keep achieving progress
trough time. Above all, I guess the young
people don’t realize how hard it was, and sometimes
it’s so difficult to transmit it that we get distressed about
not being able to express perfectly, to make sure it’ll
never happen again. We’ve joined forces,
we’re a new raft together with a pretty intense
list of historic feminists and I think that in the name
of the collective we can’t deny how feminism
is really in evidence currently. We’re feeling a large
opening to treat this matters with
the youth, with other social movements,
it’s a very deep change. The black people existence is
a political existence. The black presence in a place where
there’s only white people, where only people with
money is, it’s outrageous. It’s outrageous by its form
and content. Brazil faces a racist violence
rising. So, the claim for identity
is really important, an underprivileged area
identity consequently peripheral
consequently class-based, consequently racial. This is very important
in the fighting process of Brazilian people. I think we’re facing a whole
new period, that’s when cities start seeing the
migrants as important people, who contribute, who are active and have
participation right. We want a society which
respect its differences, which recognizes others
dignity to what we need to straighten
the civil society. I mean, everyone who’s got the
human right’s idea as a common agenda which can be
supplemented with different views. If we would only get involved
with the fights that concern us personally,
I think that wouldn’t have much to do with the human
rights idea which is exactly the
perspective that a human right violation
against anyone, anywhere, it’s a violation against
everyone’s dignity. The Identity is always under
constant construction, it’s not something that comes
ready. We’re under constant construction.
Our identity is progressive. It wants to be what it is,
by being. It’s something in constant evolution
and construction. We’re in charge of the
future, so we have to work today
in the present, to build this future. And create a fairer society, more supportive, more tolerating
and with an ideal. I think we can’t live without
ideals, without willing something
better to ourselves and to the other, above all. Otherwise there’s no point
in living.

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