• Kunstgeschichtliches Institut
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Brazil Builds: Architecture and Utopia in the Twentieth-Century Tropical Americas
Daniela Ortiz dos Santos
This seminar offers a critical examination on twentieth-century Brazilian Architecture. It intersects modern architecture, urban history and politics in Brazil. Instead of looking at the ‚canons‘ of modern architecture built in this country, whose images have been extensively produced and reproduced in books and lectures, this seminar aims to approach the subject by intersecting the very practice of architecture with the political shifts through the century. It deals with conflicting notions of modernity, militancy and political orientations, different interpretations of how people ought to live in cities, both individually and collectively, and the economic and political conditions that permitted certain urban projects to be successfully executed to the detriment of others.
We will discuss issues as gender relations, displacement, political contexts and the ways in which architects have designed possible solutions for housing and other collective activities in great urban centers, such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília and Salvador. The first decades after WWII proved to be years of intense circulation among various groups of artists, academics and politicians in the Americas and overseas. But these were also decades of violent military regimes and censorships, forcing many individuals to leave their places to Europe and other neighbor countries in Latin America. This proposed seminar insists on the urgency to challenge the ways in which we deal with architecture produced in the Global South and aims to create new narratives together with the students, whose visions are to be less Eurocentric-oriented, as well as more engaged with questions of gender and the social role of the architect.