Image_Marcio Costa


The political crisis in Brazil is the result of centuries of failures – or successes, perhaps – in the various national educational projects. These failures sooner or later hit the anonymous and the famous, involuntary political agents and volunteers, professional or not.

The singer Anitta publicly responded, on her social networks, to the criticism she has been receiving, on these same networks, for having assumed her relative lack of knowledge in the field of Political Science. The artist's reasoning could not have been more precise, and an honest synthesis of it is: “I don't know about politics today because they didn't teach me before; now I ask because I want to learn to better decide my vote later; mocking this desire to learn hinders the process of political maturation that Brazil needs to go through”.

Without a doubt, the whole episode says a lot about the “scythe fight in the dark” that is national politics in 2020, a fight irresponsibly stirred up by several actors over the last ten years, at least. It also says a lot, unfortunately, about “our” everyday misogyny, elitism and racism. However, intricate in this episode of the attacks on Anitta, there is a basic aspect – first, therefore – that cannot be neglected. This aspect concerns both Education and Communication: the flow of information and knowledge, in times of instantaneous media communication, is a process that is too sensitive to be entrusted to chance or personalistic generic assumptions, lacking objective, verifiable support.

Simply put, the Brazil of 2020 is clear evidence of how much we need an educational political project aimed at promoting the effective circulation of the multiple knowledge produced by humanity. Running the risk of sinning by reductionist exaggeration, the urgency of building and adopting, in Brazil, a pedagogical proposal like this, transcultural and communicational, is the great pulsating alert in the pages of Reinventing Education, one of the last books by the former director of the National Library Foundation and professor emeritus at UFRJ, journalist Muniz Sodré – who, incidentally, at the time of writing, is recovering from COVID in a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, to the joy of family members and friends.

The surroundings of the scene starring Anitta attest to a series of gaps in the education of the Brazilian people with regard to issues related to politics – Darcy Ribeiro, by the way, suggested that such gaps may not be accidental. In the event in question, they show the breadth of their spectrum: on the one hand, contrary to what supporters of the “School without a party” defend, the Brazilian school, considering the empirical evidence of the practical results of its action, does not indoctrinate anyone, it is not even capable of offering, in an adequate and ostensible way, a minimum of information that allows children, adolescents, young people and adults (in extemporaneous school formation) to glimpse the dynamics of political forces that keep them dominated, easily manipulated and ignorant; on the other hand, among the few who somehow managed to escape this intellectual domestication machine and reached some degree of criticality, they often lack pedagogical commitment and political ability to embrace those who want to learn, inform themselves and develop a critical sense, a primordial initiative for the full political exercise, but which, once ridiculed, quickly turns into hurt, resentment and aversion, which, at the limit, greatly facilitates the deception of the outsiders, as we have seen around the world.

The political crisis in Brazil is the result of centuries of failures – or successes, perhaps – in the various national educational projects. These failures sooner or later hit the anonymous and the famous, the involuntary political agents and the volunteers, professional or not. Within this last group, that of voluntary political agents, especially among professionals, there are those who benefit from the political ignorance of the majority of the people, and there are those who supposedly want to combat it. It is past time for these voluntary political subjects, those who claim to be progressive, to understand the fundamental, vital urgency, in the historical and social moment we live in, to welcome and teach politics to the greatest possible number of people, without jokes or revanchism. Today it is clearly mathematical how much the lives of millions of Brazilians depend on it.

It's time for affection and dialogue, two pillars of Paulo Freire's pedagogy, the world-renowned patron of Brazilian Education. And – point to Anitta and Gabriela Prioli! – “no theory that cannot be communicated in an everyday conversation can be used to educate the public”, as bell hooks rightly points out (written like that, with lowercase initials, by her choice, named Gloria Watkins); the passage is in Teaching to transgress - Education as a practice of freedom. hooks is an enthusiastic and committed reader of Freire, also read by Muniz Sodré, another intellectual defender of Education through Communication.

The intersection of Freire, hooks and Sodré's thoughts is stamped in the confrontation between the intelligent and beautiful Anitta, and the rabid beast of Brazilian political miseducation (sometimes openly fascist, sometimes only superficially progressive). Let's learn to read the signs.

*Luciano Nascimento He holds a PhD in Literature from UFSC and is a professor at Colégio Pedro II.

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