The road was hard

Image: Zeeshaan Shabbir


Getting to the elections was a long time of struggle and resistance, but our tomorrow is the 30th of October

The path was hard, painful and many times we felt mentally destroyed, without the strength to believe that it would be possible. And was it possible? This question requires a double answer, which at the same time does not exclude other answers.

We can say that it was not possible if the lens is fixed on that imaginable horizon of a victory in the first round of the democratic front. It was what we all wanted and we were prepared for a big party that would mark the beginning of another (re)construction of Brazil. A country anxious to burst forth in shouts of euphoria and joy at the arrival of a spring that we have not enjoyed for years. It would be the conjunction of a natural spring with another political and social spring.

However, not only can we say yes, we must say yes, it was possible. And it was because it came from a profound resilience of each and every one of us who believe that democracy and our rights are inalienable political assets, like the right to spring and its golden and luminous flowering of new life cycles.

Since, in 2014, the PSDB offered ideological support and the party-institutional apparatus for the ultra-conservative and coup-mongering radicalization to begin its resurgence in Brazil, we have lived a long, dark and haunted night, as dark as the shadows of Duque Barba Azul Castle. ,[I] the character from the homonymous opera by Béla Bartók. A desperate darkness that plagues and devastates the soul of a people, just like the desperate loneliness that torments the soul of Duke Barba Azul, in whose castle there are seven mysterious and dark doors.

The first door leads to a torture chamber. The second opens onto a weapons depot. The third door brings out a treasure trove of gems, but they're stained with blood. The fourth door, when opened, sprouts trees and flowers, but like precious stones, they are stained with blood. The fifth door opens onto a landscape where an almost blinding light is enveloped by shadows of terror. Behind the sixth there is an almost transparent lake, but its waters are the tears of the pain of a life full of secrets and secrecy. The seventh and last door is a metaphor for the prison of the Duke's mistresses, who live alone and in the dark, like us, a people who are prisoners of themselves, of their choices and decisions.

Since then, not just darkness, but fear, pain, death, hatred and prejudice have become symbols of a country devastated by a project to destroy our political, economic, social and cultural sovereignty. Brazil was transformed into an obtuse and abject castle of the Innominable Duke who, like Duke Barba Azul, is condemned to fail in any attempt to be happy, as his tormented and lonely soul will never understand the meaning of alterity.

The castle of the Innominable Duke also has seven gates built since 2014, strengthened by the 2016 Coup and since then, controlled by false religious moralists and military ministers who are unaware of their own country. These and others are supporting the absolute destruction of Brazil. These and many others, offer protection and are watching over the social dungeon of misery and hunger that opened with the “bridge” to the retrogression and to the slave past, cunningly planned in the underground of the Jaburu Palace. All of this was formally legitimized in the records of the federal proceedings “with the Supreme Court and with everything” and in the name of God and the family.

This is the castle we live in, a country in which all the landscapes are scenarios of fear, hopelessness and pain. In this castle, we have the door that gives access to carrying weapons, the door to flatter torturers, the door to the exploitation of illegal mining, the door that lets the cattle through to destroy the forests. There is also the door of shadows caused by the fires, the door of rivers and seas contaminated by broken dams, as well as the door that hid the secrets of a non-public republic for a century, in addition to the door that turned affection into hate. Bluebeard would certainly feel awkward in Brazil's Castle of the Nameless Duke.

However, outside, where the shadows of the castles of Brasilia and its doors cannot impose themselves on spring, there are clear flowers and crystalline waters. There is a country out there that does not accept torture or dictatorship, ever again. There are no weapons there, but books. There are the precious stones of this country, its dispossessed and criminalized people, who have blood in their bodies, but which were shed by the lashes of exploitation imposed by the oligarchies and elites of backwardness.

Outside there is the Amazon forest, the swamps, the cerrado, the caatinga, the Atlantic forest, the pampas and many other ecosystems. Outside, there is the skyline of the central plateau, a blue that cannot be seen from the darkness of the castles. There is also a lake, many lakes, paranoás, seven lakes, rivers, canals, streams, tietês, pretos, solimões and são franciscos flowing into the immensity of the sea of ​​our exuberant green, yellow, blue and red coast. Outside, there are no prisons, as there are resilient people who do not accept being subjugated and who will fight every day against their oppressors.

We are living in the spring of October 2022 and we are firmly attached to it, we will not let go and we have to believe that yes, it is possible, it will always be possible to build other doors for Brazil, which will once again shine and breathe democracy, a political antidote against the dark doors of the fascist castle that haunts and torments us.

The path up to here has been hard and painful, but our tomorrow is the 30th of October and it has to be a beautiful day of “the craziest joy imaginable”. And if still the nameless Duke's dark and hateful castle remains unshaken, then it behooves us to understand the lesson of the "Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo” who, in the midst of a dictatorship and with their children kidnapped, disappeared and brutally murdered by state terrorism, understood the dilemma that faced them: “continue crying over the loss of our children and children or fighting. We chose la lucha".

*Rodrigo Faria Professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Brasilia (UnB).


[I] A Kékszakállú hercegvára. Opera authored by the Hungarian Bpela Bartok, whose composition began in 1911, until its premiere in Budapest in the year 1918. A piece that derived from a short story by Charles Perrualt.

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