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Synopsis

In 1951, precisely twenty-five years after reading his “Regionalist Manifesto of 1926” for the first time, the sociologist Gilberto Freyre still deemed the effects of regionalist expression to be visible. This was particularly true in journals published in the northeastern Brazil, such as Região, Nordeste, Província, Clã, and Bando. While regionalism was impregnated with modernism in its own way, it was ultimately eclipsed by the modernist movement in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, due to its inadequate coverage by the press in those cities. In the manifesto, Freyre celebrated both the culture and the nature in the northeast, which were fully in harmony to the point of generating an authentic culture based on elements including its environmental idiosyncrasies. Understood by Freyre as “modernist and traditionalist at the same time,” this regionalist movement introduced a strong tone of nostalgia and restoration into the art world. At the outset of the proclamation, the writer stated that his purpose was not separatist. Instead, they were in keeping with the plans of a nation destined to organize itself in an interregional way in order to moderate the shocks caused by the state system. The “Regionalist Manifesto,” brimming over with nostalgia, was seductive to the palate; cooking was the thread that united it. By taking pride in regional cooking and denouncing its growing “denaturalization,” the writer hit the nail on the head regarding the region’s power. That is why Freyre lamented the abandonment of the mortar [for pulverizing grain], of culinary traditions cast into oblivion, of handmade candy (and the craftsmanship involved), and of the slow work of embroidering hammocks and clothing. However, in spite of the evidence of industrial progress, the manifesto made no mention of the economic development taking place in Brazil. To a certain extent, Freyre lent an exotic flavor to popular culture when he described the black women of Bahía, referring to them as “monuments,” true “immense statues of flesh.” In addition, he called for someone to set up, in the region, “a café or restaurant that has plenty of local color (palm trees, cages with guacamayas or cages to fatten up crabs by the entrance, and a large black woman at the stove cooking the dinner or cassava with shredded coconut).” Among other highly controversial aspects, the “Regionalist Manifesto” defended the mocambos [refuges for runaway black slaves in the mountains]. Freyre regarded them as the ideal abode for poor people, coming to consider them as “having value for what they represent, for the aesthetic harmony of a human-scale construction in the midst of nature.”

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Synopsis

Vinte e cinco anos depois, Gilberto Freyre publica pela primeira vez a íntegra do "Manifesto Regionalista", que teria sido lido no Primeiro Congresso Brasileiro de Regionalismo, que ocorreu em Recife em 1926. Considera ainda visíveis os efeitos da expressão regionalista, em revistas como "Região", "Nordeste", "Provínvia", "Clã", "Bando". O Regionalismo, a seu modo também modernista, teria fica obscurecido pelo movimento paulista e carioca, por falta de divulgação na imprensa metropolitana. Nele, Freyre faz apologia da cultura e natureza do nordeste que estariam em estreita relação, gerando uma cultura autêntica, construída com base em suas idiossincrasias inclusive ambientais. O Movimento Regionalista, entendido por Freyre como "modernista e tradicionalista ao mesmo tempo", instaurou forte tom nostálgico e simultaneamente reivindicatório. Logo no início do manifesto, o autor assinala que o movimento não tem caráter separatista e segue os desígnios de uma nação destinada a se articular inter-regionalmente, para resolver os choques implantados pelo sistema estadualista. O "Manifesto Regionalista", embebido em saudosismo, busca seduzir pelo paladar. A cozinha é seu fio condutor. A valorização da cozinha regional e a denúncia de sua crescente "descaracterização" simbolizam a queda do poderio nordestino. Assim, o autor lamenta o abandono do pilão, o esquecimento das tradições culinárias, a feitura de doces manualmente, o bordar pachorrentamente de redes e vestes. No texto, fica escamoteado o processo de desenvolvimento econômico do país, com uma industrialização emergente e evidente. Freyre valoriza e, de certa forma, exotiza a cultura popular, por exemplo, ao descrever as baianas, percebendo-as como "monumentos", verdadeiras "estátuas gigantescas de carne", ou ao pedir para que se instale na região "um café ou restaurante a que não falte cor local - umas palmeiras, umas gaiolas de papagaios, um caritó de guaiamum à porta e uma preta de fogareiro, fazendo grude ou tapioca". Entre outros aspectos controvertidos, o Manifesto Regionalista defende o mocambo como moradia ideal para o pobre, tomando-a " como valor pelo que representa da harmonização estética da construção humana com a natureza".

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Annotations

This text is Freyre’s rereading, from the perspective of one-quarter century later, of the document introduced by this sociologist, anthropologist, historian, writer, and journalist, Gilberto [de Mello] Freyre (1900-87). It was originally presented in 1926 at the Primeiro Congresso Regionalista do Nordeste, held in his native city, Recife (Pernambuco). To a certain extent opposed to the modernist trend of the Semana de 1922, the “Regionalist Manifesto of 1926” was published oddly enough for the first time in 1952. The document sought to organize the political/cultural forces in northeast Brazil for a hegemony that would ultimately be lost by central-southern Brazil after three centuries of economic predominance. The text should be considered for its originality and importance for both Brazilian sociology and anthropology, regardless of its controversial focus. It was a manifesto that had great influence on many generations of Brazilian artists. They were not particularly put off by its socioeconomic model and more interested in a recovery of popular culture. They arranged to approach the roots of early, pre-immigration Brazilian culture as a counterweight to the “Europeanization” that was in vogue in Brazilian culture in the 1920s. Setting aside influences inherited from investigations conducted by modernism in Europe, their basic objective was to join forces to support a national culture and identity.

For additional information, see Freyre’s “Manifesto Regionalista de 1926” [doc. no. 1074787], and its practical application through an individual artist, Cícero Dias, also from Pernambuco, who created most of his work in France: “O regional e o universal na pintura de Cícero Dias” [doc. no. 1075269]. 

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Annotations

Opondo-se de certa forma ao Modernismo da Semana de 22, o "Manifesto Regionalista" de 1926 (ainda que publicado apenas em 1952), lançado no Recife, por Gilberto Freyre, tentava articular as forças da região Nordeste diante da hegemonia perdida para o Centro-Sul, após tres séculos de hegemonia economica De abordagem original e reconhecida importância para a sociologia e antropologia brasileiras, apesar de polêmico em seus pontos-de-vista, o Movimento Regionalista teve grande influencia sobre inúmeras gerações de artistas brasileiros, que, menos incomodados com seu modelo sócio-econômico, e mais interessados no resgate da cultura popular, buscaram se aproximar à cultura brasileira, em contrapartida à voga de "europeização" da cultura (pelas influências herdadas das investigações modernistas européias), e se engajaram aos esforços para pensar a cultura e a identidade nacional.

 

Ver também: FREYRE, G. Manifesto Regionalista de 1926. Rio de Janeiro, [1955]. Manifesto.

 

b- Experiencia regional e renovação artística

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Researcher
Equipe Brasil: Clarissa Diniz
Team
FAPESP, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Credit
Cortesia da Fundação Gilberto Freyre, Pernambuco, Brasil
Location
Fundação Gilberto Freyre