Next Tuesday (28), the Rio Memórias Virtual Museum will have three more galleries to add to the existing 12. The 15 galleries tell the story of Rio. The event will be held at Renascença Clube, in Andaraí, in the north of Rio de Janeiro, during a samba circle led by historian and sambista Marquinho China.
The inclusion of new galleries occurs annually at the museum, which can be accessed at this address. The research is carried out continuously by specialists linked to the largest universities in the country. The launch event of the galleries is free, upon withdrawal of a ticket at Sympla.
In an interview for Brazil Agency, the creator of Rio Memória, Livia Sá Baião, explained that each of the new galleries was made by a curator who is an expert in the subject. Thus, the Galeria das Artes, for example, was designed by Frederico Coelho, who chose unforgettable characters, events and moments in the city, as well as those rarely remembered, from the colonial period. “He was the curator of the Museum of Modern Art (MAM), he has a special vision and made a very nice and almost chronological cut. But it has the importance not only of Rio de Janeiro artists, but of all the art movements that were born in Rio de Janeiro, the spaces that are fundamental here and that reverberated throughout Brazil”, said Livia.
To fill the six rooms online at the Galeria das Artes, curator Frederico gathered cartoons and covers from illustrated magazines, such as phon-phon and the grimace. He revisited the founding of the Museum of Modern Art (MAM) and the Ateliê do Engenho de Dentro, by psychiatrist Nise da Silveira, and addressed modern ways of expressing oneself visually, including photography, installations, happenings (a form of expression with a characteristic of performing arts) and performances (presentations of art in public).
Highlights include exhibitions, debates and spaces that marked the cultural life of Rio, such as the famous exhibitions opinion 65 It is New Brazilian Objectivity and the relationship between the plastic artist Hélio Oiticica and the samba school Estação Primeira de Mangueira. Frederico holds a PhD in Literature from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio (PUC), in addition to being a historian, essayist, researcher and professor. He is currently director of the Solar University Museum Grandjean de Montigny.
Galeria Rio Suburbano is curated by Rafael Mattoso, who holds a master’s degree in comparative history from the Graduate Program in Comparative History at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (PPGHC/UFRJ). He is a professor of the Degree in History at the Augusto Motta University Center (Unisuam), at the Joaquim Venâncio Polytechnic School of Health, at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation and at the State and Education Secretariat of Rio de Janeiro. He is also the organizer of Suburban Diálogos and Viradão Cultural Suburbano.
As explained by Livia Sá Baião, Mattoso has lived in the suburbs his whole life and “has several initiatives to enhance the history of the suburbs. What the suburb has and what explains its special taste, which is very carioca”. In the five virtual rooms of the gallery, Rafael Mattoso gathered memories that reveal the subtleties of suburban life, such as running after Cosme and Damião’s sweets, flying kites in the streets and on the slabs and taking over the sidewalk or public roads to commemorate an important date .
The Galeria Rio Operário offers an overview of the life, work and struggles of workers in Rio, mainly workers in fabric factories, such as Bangu, Bhering and Confiança, who, from the end of the 19th century to the 1930s, formed neighborhoods and influenced the way of life of the carioca. The factories became the subject of songs, such as samba Three Whistles, by Noël Rosa. This world of work promoted, in a way, the modernization of the city.
The curator is Antonio Edmilson Rodrigues, historian, associate professor at PUC Rio and adjunct professor at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (Uerj). Lívia Baião said that the content of the seven rooms in the online gallery has a special flavor because the texts were developed by students of Rodrigues at PUC Rio.
The gallery tells the whole story that comes from the factories, mixing with the history of football, which began at the Bangu Factory, with the leisure of the workers. “We also talk about the issue of gender, the situation of women and racial and social issues. There is a whole universe of working class, of work, in this world of factories that was super important in building the city’s identity”, stressed Livia.
In the Greves room, for example, workers’ struggles were discussed since the 19th century, recalling the stoppage of enslaved workers at the Real Fábrica de Pólvora, in Jardim Botânico, in the late 1820s, who joined free workers to demand improvements under the conditions offered, including daily rates and meals. The stoppage of the printers in 1858 is also cited, considered the landmark of the strikes in Rio de Janeiro, until reaching the great strike movements of the 20th century.
The galleries of the Virtual Museum Rio Memórias were born little by little, since the inauguration of the digital museum, in August 2019. With more than 180 thousand visitors, the site has an average of 15 thousand people per month, and now in March, 17,000 accesses have already been recorded. All of this is available to the public on mobile, tablet or computer, in different formats and free of charge.
Livia also stated that each gallery brings a new look at Rio, at the same time that it reveals little-known narratives and perspectives, contributing to the mission of disseminating and valuing the city’s history.
“Only by knowing the past can we take care of our future, reflecting on the city we want to have in ten or 15 years and engaging each citizen in caring for the rich and diverse tangible and intangible heritage of Rio de Janeiro”, he analyzed.
At the launch event for the new galleries, Marquinho China will sing masterpieces of the most suburban musical genre that exists, such as apotheosis of samba (Silas de Oliveira), I’m more the samba It is samba philosophy (Candeia). Accompanied by Rafael Mallmith (seven-string guitar), Léo Pereira (cavaquinho), Marco Basilio (surd and percussion), Rodrigo Jesus (tambourine) and Marcelo Pizzott (tantan), China will tell stories of samba and carioca sambistas.
For the second semester, Livia hopes to launch a new gallery, which will tell the story of Complexo de Favelas da Maré. Data collection has already started.