Brazil: What Path Lead to This Ruin?



On October 28, 2018, Brazil elected a new president whose policies threaten directly Indigenous, Black, queer, and poor people. In this poetic account of the situation, Mariana de Matos places these policies as part of the country’s sustained history of settler colonialism and slavery.

I AM SORRY, historians

1500: Beginning of colonization of Brazil;

1530: Arrival of the first slave ship in Brazil;

1822: Independence of Brazil

1824: Brazilian Constitution forbids punishing crimes with physical violence;

1830: Penal Code states that if a convict is enslaved, they do not go to jail, but are scourged as a way of not losing labor and money, making torture against the enslaved institutional until 1888;

1852: Last slave ship to land legally in the country;

1871: Free Womb Law declares free the children of enslaved mothers, as a way to prevent the enslaved to remain in that condition until the rest of their lives;

1882: Illiterates (most of them former enslaved) are forbidden to vote in Brazil;

1888: End of slavery and beginning of the extermination of Black people in Brazil;