Chico de Oliveira



Tribute to the intellectual who would turn 90 today

When I die, don't do nonsense
Don’t even think: He was like that…
But sit on a park bench,
calmly eating chocolates.

Accept what I leave you, almost nothing
of these words that I tell you here:
The life I lived was more than long,
to be in prolonged memories.

However, if one day, alone, in the falling afternoon,
a stray memory emerges,
bird that is born and in flight takes flight,

let it rest in your silence, take it
as if it were only imagined,
like a light, more than distant, brief.

(Carlos Pena Filho, Testament of the Tired Man)


When I worked at the Department of Literary Theory and Comparative Literature at FFLCH-USP, I went to attend an event, in 1997, on the theme “20 years of the ABC strikes and the creation of the Workers' Party” that was being organized by NEDIC, in partnership with the Perseu Abramo Foundation, in the Auditorium of History, where the founders of NEDIC, Chico de Oliveira and Maria Célia Paoli were. Maria Célia coordinated the table which was attended by Jair Meneguelli, Maria da Conceição Tavares, Lula and the founders of CUT.

Then, in 1998 I went to attend some classes by professor Chico de Oliveira in the Brazilian Literature course, as he had been invited to teach a course in that area. It was mid-afternoon when I entered room 102, which was crowded, and a short, cute professor spoke slowly about Brazil, contemporary capitalism and social classes, firmly and with a very familiar accent. I asked a student who that professor was and he told me Francisco de Oliveira, he's not a literature professor, he's a sociologist. A few years later I met the professor in the middle of a hurricane. I was leaving Literary Theory and he needed a detached employee who would take on a job with a fearless tribe, as according to him, it was the “Asterix Tribe” under construction.


A fellow FFLCH employee, our historic representative, Marlene Petros, knowing that I was in disagreement with the coordination of the Department of Literary Theory, introduced me to professor Maria Célia Paoli who had asked her to recommend someone who would be willing to transfer and work with the Group and who identified with them, the Marxists. Marlene then said, a progressive group without resources.

Maria Célia told me about the purpose of the work of the group that studied the topic of universalization of Rights and Citizenship. He proposed the challenge of working in a place without any structure, without a defined room, without equipment, without financial resources, with a small research group, with a work proposal and a project under construction by professors from the Department of Sociology in a Research Center, whose intellectual leadership was Chico de Oliveira. That year, Nedic concluded a project financed by the Ford Foundation, which resulted in the book The meanings of democracy published in 1990, by Editora Vozes. She emphasized that the great leader of the team was Professor Chico de Oliveira, with whom she had already announced my existence and he wanted to meet me.

Now, in 1999, they were building a project that was a fraction of a larger project, a CEPID that would be presented by professor Marilena Chaui to FAPESP. In the case of Nedic's project, it would be something smaller and called by the group “fapespinho”, with just 10 researchers, which was under discussion and construction.

The project was born a year later, in 2000 with the name of Citizenship and Democracy Thematic Project: the ruptures in political thinking and which resulted in 2007 in the book The Age of Indeterminacy.

Maria Célia gave me this information and promised me that she would schedule a meeting with Professor Chico de Oliveira for the following week.

At the time, three other departments invited me and so I told Maria Célia that I didn't want to be linked to the Rectory, but to the FFLCH, and to do so I would need to transform the Center into an FFLCH Center like others that already existed. We scheduled a meeting with Professor Flávio Aguiar for guidance on transforming the Center into an FFLCH Research Center.

Literary Theory asked me not to go out, to think, but I had already decided to change. I decided to leave there, even though I liked all my colleagues and professors in that Department. The director of the College, Francis Aubert, asked me to wait and tried to reach an agreement, but I didn't accept it. I told him that I was going to start working with Maria Célia and Chico de Oliveira, as they had a lot of work, a beautiful project.

I worked in Chico de Oliveira's room, as per his instructions, with a round table, many books recently arrived from CEBRAP, an old computer, a broken printer and a small gray sofa that was the master's well-deserved rest after lunch.

I asked to be made available by Literary Theory and they mistakenly sent it to the Department of Sociology, the then head, who was the opposite of Chico de Oliveira, said he didn't see any point in creating the Research Center, but strengthening the department, and me He proposed going to work at their postgraduate course, but I didn't want to and said I didn't want to work with him, but with Chico de Oliveira and Maria Célia and the Cenedic group. The conversation became tense, he handed me back to the director.

Chico de Oliveira and I went together to talk to the Director of FFLCH, with the project to transform the Center into a Center in hand. Before the director welcomed us, we sat in the cafe. He had just lost his mother and returned from Recife and apologized for not having had time to cancel the meeting the week before. Chico told me the most difficult part, about his memories of his mother interspersing emotional pauses and discreet laughter, that mother who told him that she didn't know what the Social Sciences course was for, but that if God existed, it would be that person, sweet and diabetic, who had 10 children, his brothers.

Chico spoke about Pernambuco, the Sudene times, his life in Recife, the harshness of exile and the experience he had in the basements with testimonies like Luiz Roncari and asked me if I knew him. I remember that we stayed there for hours and I told him that I was also from Pernambuco and my father was a contemporary of Miguel Arraes, that I knew about Gregório Bezerra and the Ligas Camponesas, that he had worked on Marcos Freire's campaign for the senate and government in PE, and that he He had been the godfather of my class at the end of high school in the small town of Cachoeirinha, in Pernambuco.

It was a meeting between a great intellectual and a worker, but Chico de Oliveira was not arrogant, he was kind and had enormous quality, he was humble and treated everyone with respect and equality. An extraordinary knowledge and all that experience, he was not fueled by arrogance or vanity. Chico spoke softly, civilized, careful. My colleagues who were passing by were curious, not knowing who the person was who was almost whispering to me.

I told Chico de Oliveira that the only condition in the conversation with the Director was not to work outside the teaching complex and not be linked to the Rectory, in this way I needed to transform the Center into an FFLCH Center. He said that the group needed to be expanded, especially because until then they were Sociology professors from USP and other institutions such as PUC, Unicamp, etc.

The director welcomed us and Chico de Oliveira was firm, he gave no room for evasions and demanded that the management collaborate with the situation in which he and I wanted to work together in peace, he showed the pile of papers for the project we were putting together and we couldn't stop and that we did not accept staying in that “angu de caroço” and the director then looked at Chico de Oliveira, listened to his arguments and replied: she will be allocated here in the management but working there with you at Nedic I will put her here “to support research of Chico de Oliveira and Maria Célia Paoli” like this and you will transform from Nucleus to Center, as has already been done in other situations. When Cenedic is created and approved by the University Council, it will definitely remain at Cenedic. Which only happened in 2003.


At the time, we were: Chico de Oliveira, Maria Celia Paoli, Vera Telles, Leonardo Gomes and Cibele Rizek (USP) Ana Amélia and Carmelita Yasbeck (both from PUC), Laymert Garcia (Unicamp) Carlos Bello and Roberto Véras and Elson (students of doctorate degree).

Flávio Aguiar, professor of Brazilian Literature, helped us create Cenedic at the request of Maria Célia Paoli (both had been directors of ADUSP), giving us the path of stones that I had walked with him and professor Ligia Chiappini to create the Ángel Rama Center, a decade earlier. We set up the entire process and the FFLCH professors were very sympathetic to the idea of ​​a Center for the Study of Citizenship Rights led by Chico de Oliveira and Maria Célia Paoli and many of them joined. Luiz Roncari, for example, when consulted by me, replied that “with Chico de Oliveira I will even go to hell”. Professor István Jankso also made himself available.

Gabriel Cohn supported Chico de Oliveira, Leonel Itaussu, Olgária Mattos, Irene Cardoso, Marilena Chauí, Maria das Graças, Francisco Escarlato, Zilda Yokoi, Sergio Cardoso also provided great support.

We had support from around 150 professors at the time and from the most different areas and the Departments of Political Science, Philosophy, and Classical and Vernacular Literature came together as proponents and formed the Center's Deliberative Council, which no longer belonged exclusively to the Department of Sociology. .

When I called teachers to invite them to participate in a debate at Cenedic, I was immediately answered, any request on behalf of Chico de Oliveira was immediately accepted. Much could be done at Cenedic precisely because Chico de Oliveira was at the helm. In addition to being a great intellectual, Chico de Oliveira was a charismatic figure, devoid of vanities and glamour. We never had money, it was all up to us, as he said, but we brought students, education workers, activists, intellectuals and held big events. Chico de Oliveira was singular and plural and because of him I received crossed looks from conservatives and received sincere hugs from the Marxist left inside and outside the University.


In 2000, I became pregnant and Maria Célia, upon seeing me returning from vacation, immediately said: Chico, we have news! And Chico looked at me and asked: are you pregnant, dear? How beautiful! It's Wonderful! I was still scared by such responsibility and they were so supportive of me... I had a high-risk pregnancy, Chico de Oliveira always warned me to follow medical instructions, suggested appointing a colleague to replace me at Cenedic on maternity leave and brought my classmate from the Literature course to Jane Pessoa, who also began to admire Chico de Oliveira and see how affectionate, polite and kind he was to everyone.

When Lucas was born, he was the second person to arrive at HU. They barred him, Rebeca and Victor from the ground floor, but he insisted with the guards and went up to the fifth floor. He stayed with me in the room, went to the nursery to see Lucas and said that Lucas was great, he would overcome his health problem, and observed that he had the forehead of someone who was intelligent. He's going to be a great man, he's going to be Vitão's friend. When he grows up I'm going to give him Asterix to read and then The Communist Manifesto for him to open his eyes!

Obviously, Lucas read all the Asterix comics and when Lucas was 12 years old he read The Communist Manifesto and then reread it. That day I discovered that Chico de Oliveira not only understood politics, economics, history and sociology, but also human relations, dealing with people, he knew the implications and suffering of a working mother, single and recently given birth facing a child admitted to the ICU. He didn't turn a blind eye and stayed close by.

One day Professor Antonio Candido called me saying he had looked for me at the Department of Literary Theory and they gave him my extension. He wanted to thank me for some photos I had taken of Dona Gilda and sent to him. I said I changed sectors, but my heart remained the same. He then thanked me and said that I had made a great journey because Chico de Oliveira was a great Brazilian sociologist and also an extraordinary Pernambuco native, founder of the PT and his friend. A man of extraordinary value and knowledgeable about Brazil. I told Chico de Oliveira the story of Professor Candido, who was happy to hear about the distant praise he received from the great master.

It was 2003, Chico published his memories in The bride of the revolution. And then the article The Platypus – and here comes controversy. Afterwards, Chico de Oliveira broke with the PT and gave an interview on the program Roda Viva da TV Culture which led to a lot of talk: lots of calls every day, people inviting people to debates, journalists asking for interviews and one day, years later, I said: Chico, Brazil is better, I'm going to the Northeast every two years and I see the difference. You are being very harsh with the PT, I have nephews studying in well-attended courses at Federal Universities, for example, there were large investments in the construction of ports, the transposition of the São Francisco River, for example.

He replied: “Dear, the Northeast was very backward and therefore the difference you describe is very small compared to the profits that this big capital has with this government. There is not even a Welfare State in this country. That's my role, dear, to be critical. Consumption does not generate citizenship, dear, it does not civilize. This government is not making the right bet, it made an alliance with those at the top and it doesn't work, this is a trap.” Wasn't he largely right?

Chico de Oliveira was Brazil that resists, he always prioritized research on Brazil, he was constantly requested by journalists and could choose the day and time they rushed to interview him. Chico went to strike classes, went to employee training groups at the Union, debates promoted by the DCE, Chico attracted the best, he brought people from PUC, Unicamp, Federal Universities. Chico de Oliveira was sought after by students from the Northeast and South and he never closed his doors to them, he participated in stalls, presented books, Chico missed flight schedules, forgot papers, but he did not lose his reasoning or generosity. He was punctual with those who waited for him and never imposed himself with arrogance or superiority in front of the group. Chico helps found PSOL and debates come!

I will never forget an episode in which one day a French researcher participating in an agreement forced me to take on a certain task that was not within my responsibility, made unreasonable insinuations to his colleague, out of revenge, and I, naturally, refused to comply. He shouted at me and said he was going to complain to Chico de Oliveira. I picked up the phone in front of him and called Chico and told him the incident. Chico de Oliveira immediately told me: Don't submit, dear. Tell him to leave your room and I will tell him to behave like a French citizen. So I just asked: do you want to hear from him or do you want me to broadcast it?

Chico de Oliveira respected women, didn't shout at anyone, was polite and generous and strengthened us as people, as women and as the working class. Chico is an example of a civilized, competent man devoid of vanity. Chico de Oliveira was careful with the building's doormen, with the cleaning staff, with the healthcare workers, with the nursing staff at the Hospital. Chico made no distinctions in human treatment, something rare on this planet.


Chico de Oliveira traveled non-stop, was invited to many places and rarely refused. Maria Célia put him as the center of the circle, she planned activities at Cenedic for every Friday and Chico couldn't miss it. He got closer and closer. He thought nonstop, was intuitive, led any meeting with brilliance and generosity.

He and Maria Célia were top-notch partners, with endless conversations. I remember one time that after talking so much, he and Maria Célia missed two flights on the same afternoon in Congonhas (when they were going to Minas Gerais to participate in a Seminar with the Republican Group) at the same airport (laughs), there were flight tickets , forgot invoices, didn't remember payment dates, Chico de Oliveira was apparently distracted, but he wasn't in fact.

The students liked Chico, who was not a bureaucrat, who stayed away from offices and he called them to fight and avoided the traditional categories imposed by the academy.

Chico de Oliveira liked parties, wine, talking. Dinners at Maria Célia's house, lunch at Cibele's house, birthdays in restaurants and at the end of the year. He had his 70th birthday party at councilor Nabil Bonduk's Casa da Cidade, in Vila Madalena, and there we were, meeting the whole family, the eight children he said he had, were actually there. A beautiful moment.

Chico de Oliveira was honored as a citizen of São Paulo, a proposal presented by councilor Nabil Bonduk, in 2003 and there we were in the Auditorium of History. Cibele Rizek, Wagner Romão and I were the organizers, a 3-day event with afternoon and evening tables. From this tribute the book was published Chico de Oliveira: the task of criticism, in 2006, by Editora da UFMG.

Chico received the Jabuti award for The Platypus, and then the title of Professor Emeritus at FFLCH in 2008 and there we were, with citations and honor, Maria Célia as godmother and us in the audience. It was a birthday and there we were.

And in 2006 the “Hegemony in reverse” Project was approved with funding from CNPq and another three years of debates and external guests at Cenedic. Chico invited professors Luiz Werneck Viana, Carlos Nelson Coutinho, José Paulo Neto, all from Rio de Janeiro and Ary Minella from UFSC, among others. He expanded his horizon at a major launch event for another book in 2009 published by Editora Boitempo.

And in this tribe, many people arrived, Chico de Oliveira proposed to the new members that they present a seminar to the group with their work, their research. Paulo Arantes was always an early collaborator, then came Walnice Nogueira Galvão, Wolfgang Leo Maar, Leda Paulani, Luiz Renato Martins. Students Elson, Solange Sanches, Joana Barros, Sara Freitas. In 2009 Josefa Barros (UFMA), André Singer (DCP) and Profa. Maria Elisa Cevasco (DLM) and later Isabel Loureiro (Fundação Rosa Luxemburgo).

Chico de Oliveira invested in his students and let them work independently, but demanded rigor and quality in their research. This was the case with Elson, Carlos Bello, Solange Sanches, Joana Barros, Álvaro Comin, Annye Daymetman, Sara Freitas. And the postdoc students, Ary Minella and Josefa Barros.

Chico de Oliveira left his little house on Rua Caio Graco, in Lapa, where he lived with his collection and later returned to live on Rua Tito. He had to get rid of his library, he suffered because the space no longer allowed him to house his books. He decided to listen to the suggestion of Ana Regina, his librarian who took care of his books at his house. Ana took his collection to the Federal University of Sergipe (where she and her husband, the philosopher and professor Márcio, went to work (today they are both linked to UNB), so that it could be made available to that University Community in the Central Collection of that University.

The collection was received by Jônatas da Silva Meneses, sociologist at UFSE, in Aracajú, at the time Director of the Center for Education and Human Sciences (2005/2012), now retired (but until recently no agreement had been made to incorporate the collection into Central Library). Chico de Oliveira then had very few books left and told me that he would now stick with literature, with fiction. So I got there and he was reading fiction in a corner of the sofa.

In 2011, Cenedic decided to offer a training course at night and we offered 16 classes in different areas, almost all with full professors, no resources and a unique experience in the training of university students and teachers in the public education network, as the course extension program was offered free of charge to interested parties at the request of Francisco de Oliveira and 85 students participated in all classes.

Chico de Oliveira was a partner of SINTUSP and ADUSP, he was a witness for students to defend them against lawsuits due to occupations, he faced Dean Rodas when retirees were fired, he defended USP workers at various tables in successive strikes and always He said not to call him teacher, as workers should always treat each other as companions.

Chico fought for the HU, for the USP Nurseries, he was a partner in the student movement, he was a candidate for Rector just to provoke and question the USP Statute, a legacy of 1973, static and conservative. Averse to bureaucracy, a free being who also viewed workers with absolute respect, he was outraged when he found out about discriminatory treatments within this University.

We took Chico to the FE-USP Application School, in 2015, the APM Director and I picked him up at home and he spoke to 180 high school students. The students were silent and then asked many questions. Chico affectionately warned them: Do politics, participate in Brazil's political life, get informed, do sociology, political science, philosophy. The best path is knowledge and participation in public life as citizens. Don't be fooled by the FEA. It was a very special moment for us, whose children aged 15 to 18 were able to see this historical figure bringing them so many precious tips.

At the end of 2018, my son was the speaker of his third year class chosen by fellow graduates of that school and gave a progressive speech calling on his colleagues to take the reins and become citizens present in the political life of this country. Lucas signs up for the Economics course at Unicamp and Biology at USP and passes both. He breaks the news to Chico, who celebrates. That's great, Lucas, go to Unicamp, there you'll have great training in political economy. Lucas replied that he preferred to stay at USP, but not at FEA, and said to him: Chico, I'm going to Biology, I don't want FEA and Chico was happy.


For me, Chico was a being of light, but light indeed. The one who illuminates with knowledge, encouragement and enjoys life with the grace of sharing, a helping hand, rigor and recognition from companions in struggle and life like Professors Paul Singer, to whom he constantly said “to be the best among them all” , as he “belonged to the “saint” category, Otávio Ianni, Maria Célia Paoli, Irene Cardoso, Lena Lavinas, Wolfgang Leo Maar, Roberto Schwarz, Vilma Areias, and especially Celso Furtado, his great master.

I remember that in 2018 I was with André Singer in his apartment, because André was taking the book Lulism in Crisis recently launched with a dedication that says “Chico de Oliveira gave us ruler and compass” which was the result of the collective project and coincidentally it was on the day of the stabbing of Jair Bolsonaro, and Chico de Oliveira, when asked about the elections, immediately replied that Jair Bolsonaro would be president. I got scared and thought he wasn't following the news, but that was entirely my mistake.

Chico de Oliveira focused on his purpose. He did not disconnect from his country Brazil, he remained an avid intellectual and drew the group's attention to thinking about Brazil and Latin America.

He loved USP, even though he was critical of the Central Administration, he admitted that it was a great environment for an intellectual life, the healthiest of his recent career. USP should, therefore, be unconditionally defended as a democratic higher education institution at the service of society. He got older, but said that the extra sugar in his veins was the mother's candy that sugared all her children...

Chico liked listening to classical music, but he also loved frevo by Capiba and Claudionor Germano. He liked the verses of the Pernambuco poet Carlos Pena Filho, even admitting that he was a minor poet. He always recited the poems. One of them was

Loneliness and Its Door, by Carlos Pena Filho
When nothing else is worth resisting
the pain of living and the pain of loving
And when nothing else matters
(nor the torpor of sleep that spreads)
When due to disuse of the razor
The beard freely walk
and until God silently walks away
leaving you alone in battle

Architect farewell in the shadows
From this world that was contradictory to you
Remember that after all, you have life left

With everything that is insolvent and provisional
and that you still have a way out
Enter into chance and love the transitory.

When he remembered his own adolescence at the carnivals in Rua de Recife, his face was very particular, he shone with a joy that only those from Pernambuco in front of the frevo “vassourinha” can understand...

Then he entered the difficult phase, dependence on medicines, clinical laboratories and traveling was not easy. When I went to Recife we ​​had to think about a care package and I ended up discovering a friend (Dr. Polyane Carvalho Lopes, who is a nephrologist and her sister Patrícia Carvalho, specialized in kidney problems there in Recife and I put them in the circle to take care of him there.

Arriving in Recife on the first scheduled day, Chico de Oliveira, instead of going to the Clinic, went to sea and the doctor called me at night terrified about the risks he was taking. I then also called the hotel at night to scold him: Chico, what do you mean, you didn't go for hemodialysis, your life is at risk, you know? – No, dear, I went to the sea, the sea is life. Honey, come here too, Boa Viagem is delicious. Hemodialysis is the killer! (laughter)

Chico, I'm serious, I spoke to the doctor to see you first thing in the morning and you can't miss it and the other clinics are not reliable. He laughed, said he was already “going downhill”, but he obeyed and ended up being so kind to the team that his friends were enchanted with him…

Chico de Oliveira knew things and laughed at the vain people, but he laughed quietly so as not to hurt them. He knew how to differentiate the small greed of opportunism from the big ones “so-and-so is from the grocery store and so-and-so is from the Foundations”, so-and-so needs to “put on the slippers of humility”, “so-and-so doesn’t care”, so-and-so “is sharp, but stays on track” “tuti good people".

And that Father Anselmo, the priest of jokes, so often mentioned by Chico? He said “An old and tired priest from the Sertão of Pernambuco was called to attend to the souls offering extreme unction to the citizen at the time of death – he is called at the time of death to help the souls. He gets there and finds a beautiful woman. Ariano Suassuna would call it “a woman dressed in the sun” and Father Anselmo asks the Bishop what to do, and hears “This happiness is not for this priest, Lord”.

Chico de Oliveira was like that, a playful and I think almost unspeakable intellectual.

One day he called me asking for help for the workers at the bakery in his neighborhood to recommend popular courses for them. He was generous and discreet.

He spoke of his children with special affection, saying that “if God existed, it would be his children and his mother.” He was worried about unemployment, about the vulnerability of new forms of work.

Chico was really unique and I didn't have a day or time to talk to him on the phone or go visit him. He brought cakes, fruits and other treats that he enjoyed, hominy, cashew jam sweets brought from Itamaracá, soursop, pine cones, rocambole, coalho cheese and Souza Leão cake and even handmade clothes such as raw linen shirts bought at street markets. . Before signing papers he was an apple, a coffee, a tea, a juice, because we were from Pernambuco.

Chico, I'm going to pick you up for lunch, we're going to eat baião de Dois and crab cakes, stay ready! He looked beautiful and smelling good, he was a gentleman, I told him about my passions and he said that if I wanted he would give me a little help, a little push, but I told them that I was Dulcinea in search of Don Quixote and he answered me which by then already had half a name, all that was left was to salt the pigs and I told them that they better not. (laughter)

We were sincere friends, people from front and character. He lost many friends recently and was very sad after each departure: Carlos Nelson Coutinho, Antonio Candido, Paul Singer, Maria Célia Paoli. There were a lot of people from his class. In June 2019, when Maria Célia died, he wanted to write a text to honor her, he asked me for material to review. I put together the folder, but he didn't write and he called me and asked me to write. I said I would choose a poem or more by Drummond and Bandeira and on the day of the tribute we would read it together to her in the presence of her daughter Mariana and he agreed. He left the following month, I owed him this, but I will fulfill it on the day of honor to Maria Célia.

Thank you Chico, for existing, for having found you in this São Paulo, for giving me your hand and for having learned that being critical and dissident is not breaking with the values ​​of the left and the struggle, but investing in what moves and builds rights and citizenship even if utopically.

With Chico I reinforced my certainty that being a woman, a single mother, from the Northeast and a worker at this University does not make me any less, I am not a by-product, I am people who build and defend their ground, their base, and that in small gestures they are created the sociability of relationships. In everyday life, bonds are strengthened, challenges are overcome and, above all, without foundations there is no revolution.

In this tribe, I know, there have been and will be many crossings, but we learned from him that we are hardwood that termites don't chew through.

Finding Chico de Oliveira was like crossing a bright road, it was being grateful for the accent and generosity of the roots of Pernambuco, it was having someone around to talk about Nabuco, Freire, Capiba, the joyful celebrations and wounds of our singing people . Crossing paths with Chico was an instant, wow, it’s gone…

I can't believe we're here to talk about Chico in the past tense. Chico is, and will always be, present, he shook us up, shook up ideas, found metaphors, made analogies without losing the spirit of good anarchy, of grace. Who doesn't remember Father Anselmo? Chico liked fantasy poetry, joy.

He was elegant and acerbic, attentive like no one else, Chico brought together the best of this country.

Chico, our master friend, you left deep roots. You are present, because you were an intellectual who, like Paulo Freire, was never afraid to be affectionate, present, proud!

For you, Chico, I want to confess, my son and I prepared a camera to photograph you on Monday night and there was no time, you left in the early hours of the morning without telling us. I then chose the poem Consoada, by Manuel Bandeira, which is an example of someone who lived, suffered, but assimilated each step with great wisdom, despite the suffering he was not bitter, but completed his journey with decency, ethics and generosity. He closed a cycle and left us feeling light and this was a huge legacy: A duty fulfilled as a friend, as a fighting man, as a Statesman!


When people's unwanted arrives
(I don't know if it's hard or expensive),
Maybe I'm afraid.
Maybe smile, or say:
– Hello, inescapable!
My day was good, the night may come.
(The night with its spells.)
You will find the field plowed, the house clean,
The table is set,
With everything in its place.

To you, Chico, I dedicate the song that you loved so much, which is a carnival march that gives new meaning to the struggle and strengthens us so much “Madeira do Rosarinho” in the name of the USP workers, of all the other members of Cenedic who could compose here this table, from the people of Pernambuco and in the name of resistance to barbarism:

Rosarinho Wood
Come to town to show your fame
And bring with your people
Your banner so original
Don't come to make noise
Come and say it with satisfaction
Whether the judges want it or not
Our block is indeed champion
And if here we are, singing this song
We came to defend our tradition
And say out loud that injustice hurts
We are hardwoods that termites do not chew.

*Lucinéia Almeida it's fuemployee of the Center for the Study of Citizenship Rights – CENEDIC, of ​​the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences at USP.

Text read in November 2019 on the occasion of a tribute to professor Chico de Oliveira.


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  • Hélio Pellegrino, 100 years oldHelio Pellegrino 14/06/2024 By FERNANDA CANAVÊZ & FERNANDA PACHECO-FERREIRA: In the vast elaboration of the psychoanalyst and writer, there is still an aspect little explored: the class struggle in psychoanalysis
  • The strike at federal Universities and Institutescorridor glazing 01/06/2024 By ROBERTO LEHER: The government disconnects from its effective social base by removing those who fought against Jair Bolsonaro from the political table
  • Volodymyr Zelensky's trapstar wars 15/06/2024 By HUGO DIONÍSIO: Whether Zelensky gets his glass full – the US entry into the war – or his glass half full – Europe’s entry into the war – either solution is devastating for our lives
  • PEC-65: independence or patrimonialism in the Central Bank?Campos Neto Trojan Horse 17/06/2024 By PEDRO PAULO ZAHLUTH BASTOS: What Roberto Campos Neto proposes is the constitutional amendment of free lunch for the future elite of the Central Bank