pedal workers

Image: Francesco Paggiaro


Considerations about couriers on bicycles and tricycles in commercial establishments and on digital platforms.

The article on screen amalgamates considerations from common sense, the Brazilian traffic legislation, the Continuous National Household Sample Survey (PNADC/IBGE), the Mortality Information System (SIM)/DATASUS, the Accident Monitoring System of Traffic (INFOSIGA/SP), other research (academic and carried out by entities) and theoretical contributions of some classics of the social sciences to deal with the conditions under which couriers who use pedal vehicles (bicycles, tricycles and others) work in Brazil and in the city of São Paulo. (Some) aspects related to occupational and income, road, gender, age and ethnic-racial issues were dealt with.

With regard to the systematization of the indicators regarding the occupational situation of the workers under study (such as position in the occupation, groups of economic activity, income, qualification, age, gender, color/race and major regions), microdata from the PNADC/ IBGE, from the 3rd quarter of 2022, last base available for consultation. Such PNADC/IBGE microdata were worked on in the SPSS software, through which an estimate was made to capture certain characteristics of workers in occupation 9331 (drivers of pedal-operated vehicles), according to Classification of Occupations for Household Surveys.[I]

To obtain information on the deaths of these workers in traffic, we consulted two sources: one of them, the Mortality Information System (SIM)/DATASUS, linked to the Ministry of Health. In addition to the variables year of death, major regions and sex of the victim, the chapter of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) related to mortality was selected, classified as CDI-10, under codes V01 to V89, which comprise all deaths resulting from for land transport “accidents”, while for deaths involving cyclists, we selected codes V10 to V19. The other source concerns microdata from the Traffic Accident Monitoring System (INFOSIGA) of the Government of the State of São Paulo, a database called Public Deaths, also worked on in SPSS software.

From this base, we selected five variables: municipality, type of vehicle of the victim, type of “accident”, age of the victim, year of death. For both sources, the time frame considered the interval from 2012, the year in which the discussion about cycling infrastructure in the city of São Paulo enters the agenda of public mobility policies in a more incisive way, until 2022, the year in which the information was available. available, being 2012 to 2020 for SIM/DATASUS, and 2015 to 2022 for INFOSIGA/SP, emphasizing that, in the case of this source, for the year 2022, there is a lack of records of occurrences for the month of December for consolidate the data.[ii]


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Regarding common sense, a cyclist working as a goods delivery person can be seen as someone empowered, socially engaged in an occupation that, in addition to earning an income, spreads the banner of health, quality of life, the end of a sedentary lifestyle, sustainability, the reduction of pollution, the modernization of the country as it participates in a technological community that mobilizes digital delivery platforms, the integration of non-motorized vehicles to public roads and which, therefore, signals that cities deserve implementation policies of cycle infrastructure.

In addition, thinking more about themselves than about society, common sense knows that the delivery person bypasses traffic with a bicycle and thus avoids unpleasantness with traffic jams, lack of parking spaces, overcrowding of public transport and other risks. of the big and “unhabitable” city (GORZ, 2005, p. 79).

Regarding the legislation, it is up to the cyclist to travel with “preference” on the “edges” of the road and pedal protected by the distance of 1,5 m that motor vehicles must observe when passing and overtaking them, according to articles 58 and 201, respectively, of the Brazilian Traffic Code (CTB). Such legal devices express, on the one hand, the schizophrenia of existing legislation that, at the same time, institutes those who have the “preference” as cornered for the “board”, since, behind the apparent carelessness in the wording of the CTB, there is the primacy of the commodity form as a current social phenomenon – it cannot be appeased and needs to flow as quickly as possible, to the detriment of life, which is literally pushed to the “board”. On the other hand, it is necessary to consider that the CTB is contemplated within the civilizing process and, according to Ned Ludd, it is more “progressive” (LUDD, 2005, p. 127) than the aggressive habits of many drivers who see cyclists as “intruders” (LUDD, 2005, p. 128) on the road.

From common sense and the aforementioned legal provisions, it is proposed, in order to transcend the superficial level in the treatment of the object, a leap into the debate, led by the latest issues of PNADC/IBGE, by DATASUS, by INGOSIGA, by some academic research and carried out by other entities and by some classic thinkers of the Social Sciences who have documented life in the great modern cities in the last centuries. In order to better understand the data, an exhibition was established that proposes a movement in the scale of the data, between Brazil and the municipality of São Paulo, with the purpose of illustrating the phenomenon both nationally and in the largest city in the country. .

According to PNADC/IBGE microdata, in the 3rd quarter of 2022, there are 30.983 people in Brazil who work with deliveries using “pedal operated vehicles”. The number includes workers who work with and without a formal contract and on their own, with 44,5% linked to the Transport, storage and mail sector, 31,8% to the Commerce sector, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles and 22,4 % to the Accommodation and food sector, as shown in Table 1.

And, on a more limited scale, the neighborhood of Bom Retiro, in the municipality of São Paulo, with 37.602 inhabitants, with a strong concentration of retail and wholesale trade and which has received, in recent years, a certain number of South American emigrants, a survey carried out by Aliança Bike, in the last months of 2017, reached 1.701 establishments and verified that 41,03% of them made deliveries, and, of these, 16,3% (114) with couriers who used bicycles and tricycles. Together, these establishments operated 2349 deliveries per day with pedal-operated vehicles, moved by 220 workers. In 96% of establishments that carried out deliveries with bicycles and tricycles, the vehicles belonged to them and the main reason why they adopted this practice was “speed and practicality” [87,7%] (ALIANÇA BIKE, 2023a).

The common sense perception, which can be, to a large extent, optimistic and even ideological (in the Marxian sense), in relation to the activity of delivering goods using bicycles, neglects the precarious, marginalizing, unhealthy and barbaric experienced by the 30.983 people portrayed in Table 1. With regard to this job insecurity, the data captured by PNADC/IBGE, 3rd quarter 2022, in terms of position in occupation and income, are quite enlightening. Almost 50% are employed without a formal contract and 42% are self-employed, as shown in Table 2. The average salary obtained by these workers is less than R$ 1, as shown in Graph 1.

The best income, although lower than the current minimum wage of 2022 (R$ 1,2), is R$ 1 for those who work in the goods transport sector. A supposed reason for low wages is related to the dynamics of the economic activity in question, whose productivity mechanisms are based on the cheapness of labor (low wages, absence of social rights and demand for low-skilled workers). As reported in Graph 2, the ratio of highly skilled to low-skilled workers is low; in the universe surveyed, medium and low qualification stand out, with percentages of 56,6% and 39,3%, respectively.

With regard to working hours (Graph 3), the Accommodation and food sector has the majority (72%) of its workers working a week of up to 39 hours. Almost 47% of those employed in Commerce, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles work up to 44 hours a week, while those employed in the Transport, storage and mail sector (44,3%) work 49 hours or more. As observed in Graph 3, there is no uniformity in working hours for this professional category, as it tends to be adjusted according to work demand. This is due to the type of activity carried out which, in addition to the responsibility of transporting the load, the weight on the back to carry it, the risk to which one is exposed on public roads, demands expenditure of physical energy to carry out the work.

According to the microdata found in the PNAD/IBGE, whose scale includes national unity, a survey carried out in June 2019, by Aliança Bike, in the city of São Paulo, with delivery cyclists who worked using applications, expresses great similarity of results (ALIANÇA BIKE, 2023b): 6 centralities were reached by the research, namely, Itaim Paulista, Paulista, Pinheiros, República/Santa Cecília, Santana and Tatuapé. It was found that delivery men were, on average, 24 years old; that 53% had completed high school and that 40% had completed elementary school; 44% declared themselves brown, 27% black (together, 71%), 26% white, 2% yellow and 1% indigenous; 99% were Brazilians and 1% were foreigners.

In terms of mobility, it was discovered that 51% of the couriers previously used the bicycle for other purposes, such as transport to study and/or work and that 65% used the bicycle to transport themselves to the place in the which deliveries were made. Regarding work and income, 65% had delivered for up to six months, 57% worked every day of the week, an average of 9:24 hours a day, with 75% working up to 12 hours a day, 59% said they started the occupation because they were unemployed and, on average, earned R$ 936 per month.

Below are considerations that strive to avoid common sense and, on the other hand, seek to explain the numbers presented by PNAD/IBGE and other surveys. In order to ratify the hypotheses of precariousness, marginalization, unhealthy conditions and barbarism, the investigation of five questions is delimited, namely, road, social stratification, gender, age and ethnic-racial , as well as the intersections between them.

Regarding road violence, when using the bicycle as a vehicle for work activity, the delivery person “becomes a cyclist” (ZÜGER JUNIOR, 2015, p.12); however, in a different way from those who use the pedal-operated vehicle as a transport, leisure, sports and environmental engagement activity – some of them can choose safer places, regions, days and times, take advantage of the activity to develop a perception and a different and contrary cognition to the current car-centric society, since pedaling can occur interspersed with “adventure” (AUGÉ, 2009, p. 18), the reminiscence of childhood experiences, the imagination that can offer ideas about a societal organization that goes beyond the existing and characterizing itself as a “denial” (AUGÉ, 2009, p. 52) to it – pedaling is “poetic” (AUGÉ, 2009, p. 106) for raising pleasure as a priority in life and for decolonizing the time, space and the body of the commodity form. “I pedal, therefore I am” (AUGÉ, 2009, p. 105).

Furthermore, the bicycle arranges people on the roads in a way that facilitates relationships with others rather than replicating the myth of bourgeois monastic individuality; thus, it inclines to “solidarity” (TRONCOSO, 2017, p. 88) between road occupants and encourages group pedaling, talking, taking pictures, making new friends, playing, helping, sharing tools, hydration , food, etc., to form a “Dionysian” spirit and behavior (ZÜGE JUNIOR, 2015, p. 54).

However, for the delivery cyclist, devoid of the metal structure to encapsulate/protect the driver and when using the bicycle in the busiest regions and times and for work activity, the situation is that of (greater) potential victim of collision, of being run over and death, both due to the absence, insufficiency and/or degradation of cycling infrastructure, as well as the lack of inspection of CTB devices and the shelving of current legislation. The situation can be described with the semantics of Giorgio Agamben: there are laws, but which are not implemented, which are applied “unapplying” (AGAMBEN, 2002, p. 36) and, thus, a certain form of state of exception occurs. to discriminate in the community those who can be banned because they are abandoned by the laws and those who must be protected, those who deserve to live or not, those who receive security or not.

Here is the case of São Paulo: in 2022, there were only 699,2 km of bike paths and lanes in the city, a number that represents less than 5% of the roads, despite being the city with the largest network of bike paths in the country (SÃO PAULO , 2023); long before, the capital of São Paulo grew with a disorderly street, full of ups and downs, prioritizing motorized and private transport, increasing noise and air pollution to gigantic levels and condensing such a large number of cars that the number of “accidents ” resembles a war and, in this, pedestrians and cyclists are the most vulnerable.

According to research in the Mortality Information System (SIM)/DATASUS, linked to the Ministry of Health, in the period between 2012 and 2020, Brazil recorded 21.992 fatal “accidents” involving cyclists (not just those who made deliveries), which represents 6,5 .339% of deaths out of a total of XNUMX deaths from land transport “accidents” for the investigated period, expressing the dimension of traffic violence in peripheral capitalist societies, where an avenue, a street or a road can be deadly.

Indeed, and following the example of Ned Ludd, the present analysis registers the numbers above not as “accidents” (LUDD, 2005, p. 19), since this term covers an effect that is not desired by the logic of the economic and transportation systems which, even without intention, kills on a large scale. The Engelsian expression social murder, explained below, is used here.

Of the nearly 22 deaths involving bicycle users in the period surveyed (applicable not only to couriers), according to information extracted from SIM/DATASUS, 70% (15,4 people) were male and 30% (6,5 people ) female. At the ranking of the regional distribution of deaths involving cyclists (deliveries or not), the Southeast Region leads with 46% (10,0 people) of cases for the period from 2012 to 2020. Next, appears the Northeast, with 21% (4,7, 18 thousand people), followed by the South, with 4,0% (XNUMX thousand people). Close the ranking the Midwest and North regions, respectively, with 9% (2,1 thousand people) and 5% (1 thousand people).

Now, observing the occurrences within the city of São Paulo, between 2015 and 2022, according to INFOSIGA/SP microdata, violent deaths caused by traffic “accidents” reached the number of 7 thousand, of which 255 (3,6% ) relate to bicycle users (deliveries or not); it was also verified that the frontal collision is the main cause of death among cyclists, accounting for more than 50% of occurrences, and the health establishment, with 73% of cases, is the place with the highest incidence of deaths, followed by on public roads (23%).

In Graph 4, one can see the evolution of fatal events in the municipality involving victims whose type of vehicle was a bicycle. Still according to INFOSIGA/SP, the majority of victims are men (percentage greater than 90%), with an average age of 39 years.

As for the regional distribution of those employed as pedal vehicle drivers, in turn reported in Graph 5, not only does it indicate that the largest contingent of these workers is in the Northeast Region, with a percentage above 30%, but it also suggests a correlation between its significant presence with the percentage of deaths registered in the Region. The same occurs with the Southeast Region, second in the ranking in the item residence of these workers and first to stand out in numbers of fatal accidents with cyclists.

Regarding social stratification, the case of the city of São Paulo shows that the poorest are the majority among bicycle users (not just couriers): 57% are from class C and 12% from class D and E (RAQUEL, 2020, p. 197). Among couriers, it is necessary to consider that they are subject to the logic of economic life, to the exchange of goods, to digital platforms and to the companies in which they work – they themselves have been transformed/reduced into goods and, therefore, are far from facing their daily lives. the day to the pedal unilaterally as poetic and Dionysian; on the contrary, even on the bicycle, they contract the passivity of a sandwich man (AUGÉ, 2009, p. 58) by becoming an instrument subjected to distributive and commercial strategies. Among couriers, perhaps other hypotheses are presented that some classics of the Social Sciences launched in previous centuries.

Friedrich Engels described the implications of the Industrial Revolution in the 2010th and 59th centuries as one of the factors for the regimentation of the proletariat in large cities, depriving it of autonomy, accelerating the ruin of the old social classes, starting the division of labor and making the working class the “most important fruit” (ENGELS, 1840, p. 2,5) of that phenomenon. The author analyzed London in the 2010s, with 68 million inhabitants, and argued that, in it, people learned to live with a “brutal indifference” and under the need to bear the sacrifices of the “better part of the condition”. (ENGELS, 2010, p. 69) of themselves – a war of all against all was spreading because they found themselves in competition and relegated to usable objects to be stepped on with the authorization of the law and, for the poorest, victimized by the unemployment, poor wages, dishonesty on the part of employers, successive crises of overproduction, poor sanitary conditions in neighborhoods and workers' homes, hunger, inadequate and inadequate food, increased crime and reduced security, distance between these residences and the workplaces, a “social murder” was carried out (ENGELS, 2010, p. 135,), that is, the exposure of people to “premature death” (ENGELS, 2010, p. 191), or , still, to mutilation, since the long hours of work deformed the body, crippled and engendered a contingent of “cripples” (ENGELS, XNUMX, p. XNUMX).

Another author, Georg Simmel, exponent of another theoretical matrix, developed a hypothesis for life in big cities that recorded the prerogative of an “intensification of nervous life” (SIMMEL, 2013, p. 312,) resulting from rapid and constant changes; of the monetary economy to promote the empire of the objectivity of exchange value that levels quality to quantity and reduces people to the condition of suppliers, customers, couriers who take goods to “unknowns” (SIMMEL, 2013, p. 314) , all subject to the “laws of things” (SIMMEL, 2013, p. 330); the huge amount of relationships and opportunities typical of cosmopolitan life, in addition to its long distances, demanding punctuality, the fulfillment of promises, achievements and accounting accuracy; from the division of labor to form a multiple variety of realizations and specializations that coerce individuals to learn and fulfill them, that encourages the formation of new needs, that indicates the predominance of the objective spirit over the subjective as it evolves. each one becomes one-sided according to the demands of the division of labor itself and thus atrophies its personality.

This myriad of situations socializes the inhabitants of the big city in the acquisition of an intellectualist character of soul life in order to preserve their subjectivities, in the victory over the impulses and irrational characteristics that would be outside the general scheme, at the same time, they contribute to the edification of personality of the “blasé character” (SIMMEL, 2013, p. 317), of the “reserve” (SIMMEL, 2013, p. 319) in the face of so many fleeting contacts, the coldness that one learns to have due to exposure to dangers, indifference in relation to the gigantic amount of stimuli and the meanings of things, as can be seen in monetary relations that prioritize the exchange value that levels the qualitative difference between goods and erodes their peculiarity. The freedom of the individual thus retains the characteristic of reaction to demographic greatness and the extensive amount of connections that require “spiritual distance” within the “narrowness of bodily proximity” (SIMMEL, 2013, p. 323), solitude within crowd.

Now mutatis mutandis, the Engelsian suggestion of social murder, (1) despite being formulated at a time when there were no motor vehicles running over the city population en masse, and (2) based on a reality in which people were transformed into commodities in competition and placed under living conditions that anticipated their deaths and/or mutilated them (because they are preventable, such deaths cannot be treated as “accidents”), would it not be a vivacious concept to explain 21.992 deaths of cyclists between 2012 and 2020 in Brazil?

The Simmelian ideas of intensifying nervous life and acquiring a blasé character, contextualized by the empire of objectivity, monetary economy and the division of labor in a megalopolis would not yet be relevant to think about people's subservience to digital platforms and/or or the establishments they work for, the coldness and reserve they have among themselves? Wouldn't they be concepts to be mobilized to explain themselves as delivery people on the pedal, with an average salary of less than R$ 1 thousand during the third quarter of 2022, forced to resign themselves to everything and everyone, as well as to understand how customers receive the goods with the coolness of someone who doesn't care about all the risks assumed by the delivery person?

Under the current era of flexible accumulation, the set of barbarism described above is increased by strategies to leverage the super-exploitation of labor. Among them, there is the Labor Reform implemented in Brazil in 2017 and the precariousness leveraged by the Gig Economy (also present among pedal couriers), which is driven by the increase in informality [almost 99% of employers who use bicycles as a work vehicle, according to Table 2 (sum of the percentage of those who work without a formal contract, self-employed and as an auxiliary family worker)] and temporary work through digital platforms that pay by delivery or by race, which replace wages with . to lower the cost of labor, which mobilize toyotism and the just in time as ways to increase capital accumulation for a tiny minority and starve an army of precarious people.

This is yet another episode in the ornitorhine tradition of combining modernization (digital platforms) and archaism (informality, odd jobs, long working hours, overexploitation of labor…); ideologically, justified as a supposed means of offering “autonomy” to those who are dedicated to making deliveries – unemployed and unemployable people forced to work on their own and without any protection to their work activity are ideologically called “entrepreneurs” (ESTEVES; PHINTENER, 2022) while they suffer from what Engels, Simmel, Elias, Agamben and Francisco de Oliveira once described, and from new forms of social murder.

For the gender issue, Roberta Raquel (2020) argues that mobility cannot be treated in a universalizing way and assuming the space as neutral, since this would make invisible the way in which women cyclists face spaces colonized by patriarchy and they become constrained and segregated from the experiences and appropriation of these spaces, which, therefore, seem to be reserved for the male gender.

Fear (which increases with motherhood) and insecurity inhibit women from frequenting times and spaces in which harassment, abuse and sexual harassment are most observed in cities; indeed, the links between road and gender violence are evident in the low number of female cyclists [not just among delivery men] (12%) compared to men, in São Paulo (RAQUEL, 2020, p. 95), in the fact that 77% of those who do not know how to ride, between 2012 and 2018, declared themselves to be female (RAQUEL, 2020, p. 114) and in the process of socialization of a patriarchal nature that circumscribes women to the private sphere and maintenance of the home, thus restricting them, from childhood, the habit of physical activities and games for which boys are released (RAQUEL, 2020, p. 96).

In the survey carried out in the Bom Retiro neighborhood, in São Paulo, of the 220 couriers who use pedal-operated vehicles, only 3% were women (ALIANÇA BIKE, 2023a). In the survey on the profile of app cyclist couriers, with 270 people, only 03 (1%) were women (ALIANÇA BIKE, 2023b). Among the employed people who use a bicycle as a work tool, according to PNADC/IBGE, the percentage of men exceeds 90%, confirming the arguments above (Graph 6). Women are socially marginalized and excluded even in activities where precariousness prevails.

Another individual characteristic observed is the average age of this contingent of workers. She is 29 years old, as shown in Table 3, which shows that it is a type of work that attracts a portion of young people of working age, in particular, for the Transport, storage and mail and Accommodation and food sectors. In the research by Aliança Bike with delivery cyclists who worked in 6 centralities in the city of São Paulo, the average age was 24 years (ALIANÇA BIKE, 2023b). In addition to being an occupation in which there is a majority of men, black and brown, with an income of less than R$ 1, it appears that delivery cyclists are also mostly young people.

Observing the four issues mentioned above, the road, the stratification, the gender and the age, it is noted the “decivilizing effect” (ELIAS, 1998, p. 21) to which workers who use the bicycle for commuting are subjected. delivery activity through digital platforms and/or busy in establishments: in terms of road violence, the fragility of the cyclist who shares the roads with motor vehicles and the scarcity/non-existence of cycling infrastructure put into effect the aggressiveness that results in the deaths expressed by the data researched in (SIM)DATASUS and INFOSIGA/SP; regarding social stratification, the low income acquired with the precariousness of the activity carried out without the due protection of the labor legislation, declines the quality of life and lowers the professional in question in relation to other professionals and to higher social strata, increasing inequalities between workers. corporate groupings; on the issue of gender, there is no decrease in the power gradient between genders in order to achieve equality between them, on the contrary, women are almost completely excluded from the activity as they are a group of only 2,9% of the group couriers, as shown in Graph 6; in terms of age, young people are the most exposed to all sorts of problems constituting the occupation in question – deaths, precariousness, low income and the lack of a reduction in the difference between the power gradient in generational terms.

As a common denominator and in accordance with Eliasian terms, there seems to be a sociogenesis that contributes not to the inhibition, but to the externalization of the forms of violence portrayed above: the competition of all against all, the increase in precariousness and exploitation of work, the imposition of the objectivity of the monetary economy and the commodity form among human relations, the disregard for life, the indifference and non-observance of traffic laws that would protect the cyclist (re)transmit the barbarism of deaths and mutilations, of social inequalities and of not reducing the power gradient between genders and generations.

The insistence on externalizing these forms of violence competes with the long “socialization process” (ELIAS, 2011, p. 69) that originated compulsive self-control in the West – in other words, there is a psychogenesis correlated to sociogenesis and a “concomitance” ( ESTEVES, 2019, p. 31) between civilizing process and decivilizing effect, between leaps and returns, between civilization and barbarism.

Regarding the ethnic-racial issue, also contemplated in the decivilizing effect, Graph 7 shows that 73,5% of the couriers who use pedal-operated vehicles are black, brown or indigenous; while 26,5% white or yellow. Number close to what the research by Aliança Bike found for the municipality of São Paulo. Therefore, there is a greater subjection of blacks, browns and indigenous people to road violence constitutive of those who share the roads, for work purposes, with motor vehicles, as well as the greater exposure of the same group to the meager income and the precariousness of the peculiar work to the field of activity in question. This is yet another phenomenon denoting blacks, browns and indigenous peoples as the priority victims on the streets of large cities and replicating the slavery heritage that, for centuries, has assigned occupations of lower status in the social hierarchy to certain ethnic-racial groups. Social murder has color.

*Anderson Alves Esteves He is a professor at the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of São Paulo (IFSP).

*Marcelo Phintener is a doctoral candidate in political philosophy at PUC-SP.


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[ii] DATASUS. Available in: IINFOSIGA. Available in: Accessed on: 05-01-2023. Regarding traffic violence, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) listed traffic “accidents” among the main health problems in the world to be observed in 2023. Available at:

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  • 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
  • Introduction to “Capital” by Karl Marxred triangular culture 02/06/2024 By ELEUTÉRIO FS PRADO: Commentary on the book by Michael Heinrich
  • 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 melancholic end of Estadãoabandoned cars 17/06/2024 By JULIAN RODRIGUES: Bad news: the almost sesquicentennial daily newspaper in São Paulo (and the best Brazilian newspaper) is rapidly declining