Carolina Maria de Jesus A Brazil for Brazilians

25 Sep 2021 30 Jan 2022 IMS Paulista Solo exhibition
© Arquivo Nacional / Correio da Manhã
© Arquivo Nacional / Correio da Manhã

Starting on September 25 (Saturday), the São Paulo headquarters (Paulista Avenue, 2424) of Instituto Moreira Salles will be hosting the exhibition Carolina Maria de Jesus: Brazil for Brazilians. Intertwining different languages, the exhibition presents the writer’s trajectory and output, highlighting little-known aspects of her life and work.

The selection rounds up nearly 300 items, among photographs, press pieces, videos, and other documents. It also includes pieces by 60 artists, some of which commissioned, in conversation with the themes investigated by Carolina. The exhibition was curated by anthropologistHélio Menezes and historian Raquel Barreto, assisted by art historian Luciara Ribeiro. It has also been made possible by the research work of literary critic and literature scholar Dr. Fernanda Miranda.

Divided into 15 thematic areas, the exhibition takes up the 8th and 9th floors of the IMS Paulista building, plus some pieces on the 5th floor, on the ground floor and on Paulista Avenue. The exhibition presents the reflections of Carolina de Jesus (1914-1977) during her lifetime, from her childhood in the town of Sacramento (MG), in the wake of the abolition of human enslavement in Brazil, through her arrival at the capital of São Paulo, the publication and repercussion of her books, down to the end of her life in Parelheiros (SP). The selection invites the public to observe Carolina’s interpretation of the contradictions, the politics, and inequality in Brazil over her lifetime. The exhibition also highlights the author’s historical importance in the fight against racism, the fights for literacy and housing for all, among others.

The title of the exhibition – Brazil for Brazilians – calls back to two of Carolina’s original notebooks, which have been under the guardianship of IMS since 2006. In 1975, the manuscripts were handed by the author to researcher Clélia Pisa, who interviewed her, alongside Maryvonne Lapouge, for the book Brasileiras(“Brazilian women”), published only in France. After Carolina’s passing, the notebooks were edited in France and published in book form in 1982 with the title Journal de Bitita. In 1986, the work was translated directly from the French and published in Portuguese as Diário de Bitita.

Open until January 2022, the exhibition will include a wide-ranging program of tie-in activities. There will be, for instance, a film festival idealized by curator and researcher Bruno Galindo, among other events. An exhibition catalog with critical essays will also be published. Know more about the exhibition at IMS Paulista website

The exhibition is also part of the expanded program of the 34th Bienal de São Paulo.

Curatorship: Hélio Menezes, Raquel Barreto and Luciara Ribeiro (curatorial assistant)



Carolina Maria de Jesus: um Brasil para os brasileiros
September 25, 2021 until January 30, 2022
Visiting hours: Tue-Sun and holidays (except Mondays), from 12pm to 6pm
Free admittance
Visitation must be booked in advance here!

  1. Caroline A. Jones, Eyesight Alone: Clement Greenberg’s Modernism and the Bureaucratization of the Senses (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005).
  2. Greenberg’s Modernism and the Bureaucratization of the Senses (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005).
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