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90-year anniversary of ‘Semana de 22’

In February of 1922 the Semana de Arte Moderna de 1922 officially launched Brazil’s Modern movement in a multi-discplinary week-long event at the Teatro Municipal in São Paulo. Establishing a new cultural critical approach, the event united Brazil’s intelligentsia in the arts to articulate new concepts and strategies for national cultural production. The Semana de 22 included luminaries like painters Tarsila do Amaral, Anita Malfatti and DiCavalcanti, writers Mario de Andrade and Manuel Bandeira, and musical composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. A Semana de 22, as it is commonly known, gave way to Oswald de Andrade’s seminal  Manifesto Antropofágico (1928), the Movimento Pau-Brasil (1924) and the Grupo Anta (1930).  These figures and movements reclaimed historical instances in Brazil’s early colonial history to identify Brazilian cultural identity as an autonomous force in reaction to the concurrent European paradigms.  As one of the most important markers in Brazilian cultural history of the 20th century, the Semana de 22 later informed various fundamental cultural movements in Brazil, such as Tropicália in the 1960’s, and Lírio Paulistano in the 1970’s.  The legacy of the Semana de 22 remains  relevant, fresh and an inspirational reference both  in Brazil and abroad.

Image credits: Catalogue for Semana 22 cover art by Emiliano DiCavalcanti; Modernists Mário de Andrade, Rubens Borba de Moraes, Tácito, Baby, Mário de Almeida, Guilherme de Almeida e Yan de Almeida Prado; Tarsila do Amaral, Aboporu, 1928.

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