“Um Oceano Inteiro para Nadar”


THIS YEAR MARKS the quincentenary of the European discovery of Brazil. The official commemorations engendered violent polemics focusing on topics central to discussions of postcolonialism. Descendants of the indigenous peoples whose communities were destroyed have condemned the ethnocentrism of the very idea of such a “discovery.” Oilier groups denounced the Portuguese colonial heritage of violence, slavery, and discrimination, which even today can be linked to the brutal inequalities of Brazilian society. Perhaps for this reason, the curators of “Um Oceano Inteiro para Nadar” (Spanning an entire ocean)—Ruth Rosengarten in Portugal and Paulo Reis in Brazil—have made no attempt to illustrate or reveal purported affinities between the two countries. They opted to follow the traditional model of a panoramic exhibition by presenting works by thirty-seven artists from the two countries,

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