Andrea Loparic (1941-2021)

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By ANTONIO MARTINS*

Homage to the philosopher, teacher and activist whose flame never went out

When I met Andrea Loparic, in 1998, the That's Internet, which she had created a few years earlier, occupied two rooms in a small commercial building in Butantã, in São Paulo. She had been referred to me by Antonio Rolim, a mutual friend. He immediately took on the proposal that I brought him: to create, on the network, the structure for the Brazilian edition of the Le Monde Diplomatique, that was beginning to emerge. There were no autopublishers, no blogs, let alone social networks. The electronic newspapers were made on the nail, associating html code to the texts. Seated, spacious, behind a small table and an ashtray full of butts, she assured: “the newspaper will come out: the conditions, we'll discuss later.

Nothing bothered Andrea more at that time than the dominance that large corporations were beginning to exert over the internet. the little one That's had been a pioneer. It had offered connection services even before the powerful Telefonica, which controls telephony in São Paulo. But the strength of money undermined their efforts. Without policies to stimulate diversity, how to face the economic power of the giants?

It was this passion for the most difficult battles that led her and her daughter Tereza, two years later, to another feat: the construction of the website of the World Social Forum, in Porto Alegre. Perhaps it was the first political meeting convened exclusively over the internet. The tight budget did not allow printing a single poster or pamphlet. O Fórum, timid at first, became a major global event over the months. The server on which it was installed did not support the number of accesses, coming from all over the world. Andrea, who was over 60 years old, spent many sleepless nights, looking for ways out – which she always knew how to find.

Behind this activism, there was political solidity. A member of Ação Popular from a very young age, in Recife, she studied philosophy and became a professor of logic at USP and UFRGS. She is remembered with admiration and affection at both universities. She retired just over ten years ago. She dedicated herself even more to the causes of her predilection – one of them, the support to the victims of political persecution, among them the ex-deputy José Genoíno. She dreamed, sometimes crazy daydreams, with the creation, by electronic means, of new networks of militants.

Health has shortened your road. He beat cancer, but not the sequels of chemotherapy. When she lost mobility, she struggled in bed. She plotted, polemicized and animated over the networks and over the telephone. The flame never went out. She left us yesterday. Follow with us.

* Antonio Martins is a journalist, editor of the site Other words.

Originally published on the website Other words.

 

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