Artememoria is a magazine that has the goal of representing writing, music, and art that resists and remembers authoritarianism, with a focus on Brazil’s last dictatorship established through a military coup in 1964.
The title of this site, Artememoria, is the meeting of the Portuguese words arte and memória, meaning “art memory” and “art and memory”. Reminiscent of artistic initiatives in the Tropicália movement that similarly combined Portuguese words, Artememoria captures the intersections between two seemingly separate categories. Cultural production is not something that merely represents the past; it is inextricably linked to the way a society – and the world – remembers. The terms arte and memória are mutually intelligible between Portuguese, Spanish, and English. This site will hopefully find similar relevance across the Americas. Brazilians either experienced this dictatorship firsthand or inherited its legacy, and Spanish-speaking Latin America carries the heavy history of many authoritarian regimes, some of which were organized along the same repressive principles as Brazil’s. English-speakers from the United States, meanwhile, can become aware of the violence that their own country endorsed and enabled. The aim is that all readers will gain valuable frameworks for resistance in art that can be leveraged to in struggles against state violence globally.
Over the course of two years, our editorial team has produced three issues of Artememoria, each focused on a theme related to art, memory, and state violence. There is no straightforward way to capture the radical, experimental, and foundational art produced in the two decades of Brazil’s dictatorship, nor is there a simple method for representing the reality of extrajudicial imprisonment, torture, censorship, or exile. For these reasons, the content of this site approaches memory of Brazil’s last dictatorship through a variety of methods, ranging from literary criticism to profiles of Brazilian artists who lived under dictatorship to multimedia explorations of current efforts to remember or represent state oppression. Artememoria also publishes regularly on the Artememoria Blog, tying the themes surrounding this dictatorship to art events, book releases, and current events in Brazil and beyond.
In November 2019, Artememoria moved its domain to the site História da Ditadura, another leading publication in Brazilian public history. Because Artememoria‘s funding and editorial structure was designed for a two-year initiative, the magazine will no longer publish new content, and História da Ditadura is not involved in the creation or curation of Artememoria. However, by hosting Artememoria‘s three editions, História da Ditadura allows the magazine’s content to remain freely available online, on a platform where new readers might find their way to Artememoria content.
Artememoria is an arts and culture magazine, and its content lies in the realms of literary criticism and translation, journalistic interview, personal essay, and photography. Artememoria will not lay out a history of the dictatorship, as that very important work should be left to historians. For in-depth, rigorous, and free-access historical information on the period of 1964- 1985 in Brazil, please take a look at the Related Reading section of this site.
Though political statements may arise in specific articles, Artememoria as an organization is not associated with any political party in the US or Brazil. Please, debate and discuss content in the comment boxes on our blog! Or, contact Artememoria about other ways to get involved.
All content is published in English, with the original Portuguese available when possible. By publishing in English, Artememoria seeks to expand the information available in English about Brazil’s dictatorial regime, very little of which is about the arts, and in that way challenges the bounds of nation-state that too often circumscribe collective memory.