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An Italian captivated by Brazil speaks with sadness of the major backward steps the country is taking with the impeachment of its first female president and a growing fundamentalist wave. http://leipglo.com

Brazil: the future that never came

in Glocal/Opinion/Politics by

In these days of pronouncements, here is mine. There were 10 non-extendable minutes [during the impeachment proceedings], but I think this would fit into less time. I had this stuck in my throat for some months.

I’m not Brazilian. I chose Brazil as “home” four years ago, with all the pros and cons of this great nation. I chose a country that had a female warrior as president.

An Italian captivated by Brazil speaks with sadness of the major backward steps the country is taking with the impeachment of its first female president and a growing fundamentalist wave. http://leipglo.com
Happier days, August 2011: President Dilma Rousseff poses with residents after a ceremony related to a social program in Pernambuco, Brazil. (Photo: Dilma Rousseff account on Flickr)

It was a country that looked ahead with hope, and foreseeing a better future for all. The country I chose was also looking to the past, to recognize its recent and faraway mistakes, mistakes that were never fully faced nor understood by the population.

I chose a country that believed in itself (even a little too much; sometimes the haughtiness of some would even bother me). I chose a country where young people, women and black people assumed positions of responsibility, and where there was no fear to experiment and err if things came to that.

I chose a country where black lesbians or transsexuals could expect to have, tomorrow, the same possibilities as the men, white and heterosexual. There were attempts being made in various forms to break the vicious cycle of inequality. Here everything was different from the Italian atmosphere, hopeless and heavy, in which I had lived during my formative years.

Everything was, in some manner, new, attractive and interesting, exciting, as some would say.

It wasn’t the best country; “the best country” doesn’t exist. Each country has its pros and cons. Many times [I could see] those same policies about which I had severe criticisms, and could perceive that a lot of things should be improved and a lot of things shouldn’t be done.

An Italian captivated by Brazil speaks with sadness of the major backward steps the country is taking with the impeachment of its first female president and a growing fundamentalist wave. http://leipglo.com
The Brazilian currency.

But [Brazil] was a country that was building a proposal of development in its own way – which, if not a profound alternative to that of Europe and the USA, was at least diverse and particular, open to being built [in collaboration].

And who was I to criticize anything, from the heights of my “Europeanness,” when we on the other side of the ocean erred so much?

Outside of any partisan rhetoric: I am not only talking about public policies and government programs; so much had already changed in this sense even before the interim government, now official, had come to power. I am talking about the attitude and look in people’s eyes.

In these years, I saw a crisis being built or perhaps amplified, in clear form, by the dominant political and economic class – something I knew and had already seen happen in Italy. The purpose was to privilege the global financial system. Have you asked yourselves how many are speculating in this whole Brazilian crisis?

An Italian captivated by Brazil speaks with sadness of the major backward steps the country is taking with the impeachment of its first female president and a growing fundamentalist wave. http://leipglo.com
Cross in Bahia, Brazil.

I saw “God,” the most conservative and least loving of gods ever seen in the world after the Plagues of Egypt, gain seats in the Parliament and in the ministries, even vote and contribute to this “fair” impeachment. I saw the advance of the backwards march in the combat against inequality.

But above all, I saw the look and attitude of Brazilians get lost behind false myths and lies of cleanliness, declaimed by politicians with dirty hands and consciences.

It’s the green and yellow of “if we want everything to remain the same, everything needs to change.” Wipe it with a cloth and everything goes back to sparkling, like in the best commercials.

It will only sparkle when each person commits to doing the common good. Each of our actions is political. The crisis is us, here or in Italy. I returned to remembering this today, after four years of sleep and silence.

“No mais,
estou indo embora,
no mais,
estou indo embora,
no mais.”

My flight out is planned for 8 September. I won’t hide that, today, I feel like no longer returning…

By Silvia Toso

Translated by Ana Ribeiro. Original version in Portuguese below:

———–

Nestes dias de pronunciamentos, segue o meu, tinha 10 minutos não prorrogáveis, mas acho que coube em menos(!!!) Estava com isto preso na garganta há alguns meses.

Não sou brasileira, escolhi o Brasil como “casa” há 4 anos com todos os pró e contras dessa grande nação. Escolhi um país que tinha uma mulher guerreira como presidenta.

Um pais que olhava para a frente com esperança e vislumbrando um futuro melhor para todos, escolhi um país que estava também olhando para trás para reconhecer seus erros recentes e longínquos, erros que nunca foram plenamente enfrentados e entendidos pela população. Escolhi um país que acreditava em si mesmo (até um pouco demais, as vezes chegava a me incomodar a altivez de alguns!!!), escolhi um país onde jovens, mulheres e negros cobriam cargos de responsabilidade, e onde não se tinha medo de experimentar e errar, se for o caso. Escolhi um pais onde as mulheres negras e lésbicas ou transexuais podiam esperar de ter, amanhã, as mesmas possibilidades de que os homens, brancos e heterossexuais, onde se tentou de várias formas quebrar os círculos viciosos das desigualdades. Aqui tudo era diferente da atmosfera italiana desesperançosa e pesada que tinha vivido nos meus anos de formação. Tudo era, de alguma maneira, novo, atrativo e interessante, empolgante diriam alguns.

Não era o melhor país, não existe “o melhor país”, cada país tem prós e contras, muitas vezes á aquelas mesmas políticas eu tinha criticas severas e enxergava que tinha muito para melhorar, e muito não deveria ser feito. Mas era um país que estava construindo do seu jeito uma proposta de desenvolvimento, que se não era profundamente alternativa à aquela de Europa e EUA, era pelo menos diversa e própria e se estava abertos a construir juntos. E quem era eu, do alto da minha “europeidade” para criticar alguma coisa, se nós do outro lado do oceano erramos tanto??

Fora de qualquer retorica de partido, não estou falando apenas de políticas públicas e programas de governo, tanto já tinha mudado neste sentido mesmo antes da posse do governo interino, hoje oficial. Estou falando do olhar e da atitude das pessoas.

Nestes anos vi uma crise ser construída ou talvez ampliada de forma evidente pela classe política e econômica dominante, algo que conhecia e que já tinha visto acontecer na Itália, ao fim de privilegiar o sistema da alta finança internacional. Já se perguntaram quantos estão especulando nesta crise toda brasileira?! Vi “Deus”, o mais conservador e menos amoroso dos Deuses que já si viu neste mundo depois das pragas do Egito, ganhar assento no parlamento e nos ministérios, até votar e contribuir ao “justo” impeachment. Vi o retrocesso no combate as desigualdades avançar. Mas sobretudo vi o olhar e a atitude dos brasileiros se perder atrás de falsos mitos e mentiras de limpeza, ordem e progresso, declamadas por políticos com mãos e consciências sujas. O “Se queremos que tudo continue como está, é preciso que tudo mude” verde-amarelo. Uma passada de pano e tudo volta a brilhar, como nos melhores anúncios publicitários.

Só se brilha quando cada um se compromete a fazer o bem comum. Cada nossa ação é política. A crise somos nós, aqui ou na Itália. Voltei a lembrar disto hoje, depois de 4 anos de sono e silenciamento.

No mais,
estou indo embora,
no mais,
estou indo embora,
no mais.

Meu voo de ida é previsto para dia 8 de setembro, não escondo que, hoje, a vontade é de não voltar…

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