Alípio Freire: multiform militancy

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WALNICE NOGUEIRA GALVÃO*

Commentary on the life and artistic work of the recently deceased activist, plus a selection of poems.

Alípio Freire's multiform militancy proved to be tireless. Arrested and tortured at the age of 23, when he finished his journalism training at Casper Libero, he was a member of the Red Wing. His peculiar humor bias, well known to his friends, determined that he chose as an email address . It's the best I've ever had the pleasure of seeing: incomparable in its sharpness, "without ideology", that is, saying what was right in the foreplay. Alípio never changed it. And he would persist until death, in his exemplary trajectory.

In terms of resistance, the collection that Alípio has been building since the five years he spent in the Tiradentes prison is unique in the country. Political prisoners occupied themselves with manual activities: one drew, another cut, still another wrote, another wove, another painted. Also a poet and draftsman, Alípio Freire attached himself to drawings, clippings, verses, clumsy paintings, inscribed phrases, models, braided fabrics, objets trouvés … And he realized the scope of what he had in his hands.

Upon leaving prison, he endeavored to follow the traces of the scattered artifacts. And so, now in a larger endeavor, he began to systematically collect them, producing files that gave the history of each piece.

A step forward, and already transformed into a conscious curator, he would start to carry out several itinerant exhibitions throughout Brazil, as a contribution to the “memories of prison”. Two of them were at the Resistance Memorial, installed in the Pinacoteca Station building: “The Fight for Amnesty: 1964 – ? “ (2009) and “Insurrections: plastic expressions in political prisons in São Paulo” (2013).

He would embark on negotiations to donate his collection to a university institution capable of appraising its value and guaranteeing adequate care, since the preservation of materials like these is costly, constant and time-consuming. He contacted the Edgar Leuenroth Institute at Unicamp and the Instituto de Estudos Brasileiros at USP, but at a certain point he gave up. Negotiations did not go ahead: he hesitated between attachment to his treasures and the purpose of guaranteeing their survival.

He mocked himself, in a movement familiar to those close to him, saying that he felt affinities with Sinhá Vitória de Vidas Secas. Enthusiastic about Seu Tomás da Bolandeira's bed, for her the piece of furniture symbolized high status, while for Alípio it corresponded to the enormous map library he bought to house the collection: according to him, it was his fate to balance it on the top of his head for the rest of his days. .

Upon leaving prison, Alípio joined the PT, of which he was a founder, and the MST. He made short films about various aspects of the struggle, collaborated in the writing of pamphlets, newspapers and magazines. He belonged to the editorial committee of the magazine História e Debate, from Fundação Perseu Abramo, having been the editor from 1993 to 1995. At the MST, where he was an active member of the publishing house Expressão Popular, he would also be one of the creators of the newspaper Brasil De Fato and the magazine Landless.

But his activism didn't stop there. Together with his colleagues Izaías Almada and JA Granville Ponce, he organized the volume Tiradentes, a dictatorship prison (1997), with testimonials from former political prisoners of the neglected institution, where they ended up after their training in the hells of OBAN (later DOI-CODI ). With this acronym, the sinister sense of humor of the dictatorship took pains to emphasize the organ's function, which was to inflict pain.

There, lifelong friendships were forged. The preface was written by Antonio Candido, who gave it a very suitable title: O Purgatório. The book was a masterful, far-sighted contribution to keeping the flame of resistance to tyranny burning. The memories of the 35 battle-hardened fighters are vivid.

The poetry books, Estação Paraíso and In the mists of Alcácer-Quibir, which remain unpublished, would also come.

In this restless militancy, a beautiful feature film was still missing, the documentary 1964: a coup against Brazil. Shedding light on what came before, he pertinaciously scrutinizes the vast conspiracy between industrialists, landowners and the United States that would culminate in the military coup.

And this is just a quick summary, which excuses the lack of breath to contemplate all facets of an extraordinary life.

*Walnice Nogueira Galvão is Professor Emeritus at FFLCH at USP. She is the author, among other books, of reading and rereading (Senac/Gold over blue).

Poems Selection

March 31th, 1992
With memory at 64
the feet at 22
the head at 68
and the heart without time
.................. ..
(Paradise Station – fragment)

Pour Marx
the socialist romanticism
Proposes its premises

the bon-ouvrier
the potato harvest
the herding of pigs

wary
Poetry declines any partnership
(Paradise Station)

Juventude
I met Rita
in jail
she crossed courtyards
to receive visit
together with the brother
and the then husband
that we were in the Tiradentes Prisoner Collection.
Then I married Rita
(Paradise Station)

new century
SELECTEDPOEMS

MARCH 31, 1992
With memory at 64
the feet at 22
the head at 68
and the heart without time
.................. ..
(Paradise Station – fragment)

POUR MARX

the socialist romanticism
Proposes its premises

the bon-ouvrier
the potato harvest
the herding of pigs

wary
Poetry declines any partnership

(Paradise Station)

YOUTH

I met Rita
in jail
she crossed courtyards
to receive visit
together with the brother
and the then husband
that we were in the Tiradentes Prisoner Collection.
Then I married Rita
(Paradise Station)

new century
[From dialogues with Oswald de Andrade]
The poet asks for reverence
and as a bachelor
absolves all blame.
The poet feels like a god
And the people - atheist
- applauds the poet.

At the station (subway)
the demoiselles proceed
walking your innocence
and wave to the conquerors
five hundred years late.
(From the mists of Alcácer-Quibir)

Mourarias da Nau Catarineta
the sheikh surrenders
to shakehands
the check to the check

Chiang Kai-shek
five to dry

the french do
du desert son dessert

the yankees
enjoy your milkshake
shaking camel's milk

in rabat
even those who don't plant
from the.

Baghdad
coffee and tea.

Alcali, Alcala,
this is our
tea Tea Tea.

Iran, Tehran
Saudi Arabia, El Riyadh
Iraq, Baghdad
Colombia, Bogota

Funicular, Funicular

The Sheikh in Agadir
Greta Garbo in Iraq

allah is great
and Mahomet his prophet!

Fatah, Fatal
his name is ben
her name is gal

Allah, hashish, axé
Minaret, hookah and candomblé

allah is great
and Mahomet his prophet!

Peep-peep-peep
peep-peep-peep
it's the catarineta ship
which contributes to Brazil:

Drink wine, you filthy little one,
drink wine
For there is no other metaphysics in the world
otherwise drink wine
– if you don't drink wine.

Omar, Osmar, Osman
Khaled, Kadija and Kayan.

Dates, figs, raisins
pistachio, sesame, licorice
Beirut Sandwich
Americans
Baurus.

What is that?
Where is Sebas?
le dernier exile
que revient d'Alcacer-là bas.

What is that?
Where is Sebas?
le dernier exile
what a revient of Marienbad.

From the mists of Alcácer-Quibir (fragment)
The poet asks for reverence
and as a bachelor
absolves all blame.
The poet feels like a god
And the people - atheist
- applauds the poet.

At the station (subway)
the demoiselles proceed
walking your innocence
and wave to the conquerors
five hundred years late.
(From the mists of Alcácer-Quibir)

 

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