Brazil’s history of authoritarianism and the politics of memory more broadly are widely
represented and studied. While Artememoria delves into some dimensions of these fields, there is
a wealth of other memory initiatives to explore and books to read. Here are links (organized
alphabetically) to free access online resources for readers interested in further research.
This Brazilian independent investigative journalism organization reports on the dictatorship (as
well as human rights, transparency, and the environment). Content ranges from a study of the
number of streets in Brazil named after torturers to an in-depth interview with José Paulo
Bonchristiano (a.k.a. “Mr. DOPS” or “Doctor Paulo”), the officer in charge of the clandestine
detention center the Department of Political and Social Order in São Paulo.
Cartografias da Ditadura
The civil society organization Instituto de Estudos da Religião (ISER) founded this free-access
mapping initiative that documents sites related to the military dictatorship and its memory in Rio
The map locates: meeting and storage areas used by resistance groups, sites of attacks by the
military government that aimed to create a sense of political turmoil or unrest, land conflicts in
rural areas, public denunciations about memory, public spaces that celebrate the military regime,
sites of protest, sites of deaths and disappearances, and prisons and torture facilities from the
Cartografias da Ditadura is open to contributions from researchers, activists, former political
prisoners, and others with information related to the topics at hand.
Clínicas do Testemunho
Clínicas do Testemunho is a civil society organization focused on psychiatric support and symbolic reparation for those who suffered directly or indirectly from state violence in Brazil between 1946-1988. The organization, founded in 2013 through the Amnesty Commission and Ministry of Justice, makes publicly available the important stories of political prisoners from the dictatorship period and their relatives on their website.
Coletivo Memória, Verdade, e Justiça (MVJ)
This collective formed by joining different organizations of former political prisoners and groups that take interest in the National Truth Commission. The Coletivo Memória, Verdade, e Justiça originally promoted human rights and democracy by monitoring the Comissão Nacional da Verdade (National Truth Commission), Brazil’s official, state investigation into the human rights abuses committed by the military dictatorship. Information, photos, and videos on the process of monitoring the truth commission can be found via the website. More recently, the collective organizes a calendar of activities related to the memory of the military regime, running events and launching media related to art, politics, and memory.
Comissão Nacional de Verdade
The Comissão Nacional de Verdade (National Truth Commission), founded in 2011, is the
Brazilian government’s official investigation into the human rights abuses that took place
between 1946-1988. The website has open access to the reports of the investigation.
História da Ditadura
Brazilian historians created this site with the goal of making accessible the historical research
that has been done on Brazil’s recent authoritarian past. The site hosts a free-access archive of
historical documents – that is, photographs, videos, and other primary sources from the
dictatorship period. The content includes essays grounded in rigorous historical research and
written for a general audience, as well as video interviews with artists from the dictatorship era.
The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience
(Portuguese, Spanish, French, Arabic, English)
This singular, global organization is an international network of museums and historical sites that
represent and investigate human rights violations. The organization connects with the sites of
memory in its network to provide training, resources, and mentorship so that countries around
the world can represent past atrocities with the goal of creating a more humane future. The
website explains in detail what sites of conscience consist of and also has resources for
dialogues, training and coaching, and other resources specific to certain memory topics. Search
on the Membership page of the site for information about sites of conscience in Brazil.
Memorial da Resistência de São Paulo
(Portuguese, Spanish, and English)
This is the website for a site of memory in São Paulo located in the former Departamento
Estadual de Ordem Política e Social de São Paulo, or DEOPS/SP. The Memorial da Resistência
is an institution that aims to remember repression and resistance in Brazil, especially when
connected to the Deops/SP. The physical site of memory in São Paulo hosts events and
exhibitions and hosts an archive of historical documents. Though the website itself does not
present the information in the site of memory digitally, it is a useful, multi-lingual reference on
the most prominent site of memory in Brazil.
Memórias da Ditadura
Memórias da Ditadura is a comprehensive resource for learning about the dictatorship. It is a site
with a wealth of information on the following topics: history of dictatorship, international
context, repression, resistance, education and dictatorship, art and culture, amnesty and the
relaxing of state control, the National Truth Commission, justice and transition, state violence
(including the violence that marks continuities between past and present), identity groups and
resistance, and support for educators.
Núcleo de Preservação da Memória Política
Former political prisoners founded this organization to promote public policy and education related to memory politics and human rights in Brazil. The website has information on past initiatives that the Núcleo has undertaken and a regularly updated schedule for events and news related to the memory of authoritarianism in Brazil.
OCUPA DOPS is an organization in Rio de Janeiro seeking to transform the building of the ex-
DOPS/RJ (the former Department of Political and Social Order of Rio de Janeiro) into a site of
memory and resistance. Their site makes available information about the movement and makes
publically available the details of an active campaign to create a site of memory in Brazil.
Opening the Archives
This initiative is an open-access archive of US State Department documents related to Brazil during the period of 1963-1973. Established through a partnership between Brown University and the State University of Maringá in Paraná, the project aims to host 100,000 indexed documents on their website.
The Latin American and Caribbean organizations named by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience come together through this network of sites of memory. Promoting the collective memory of dictatorships and human rights violations in Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haití, México, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and Uruguay, this network, through its website, gives context on authoritarianism throughout the region and the memory initiatives that each country has since taken to address those histories.
This is not a memory initiative, but English-language readers have free digital access to US
historical documents because of the Freedom of Information Act. By narrowing search terms on
the forum, readers and researches can access documents that show the United State’s open
support for the Brazilian military dictatorship.
Are we missing a free-access memory initiative about the Brazilian dictatorship? Please contact us and we will update the links.