On January 8th, Brazil stood still in the face of terrible scenes brought on by right-wing extremists who stormed the Planalto Palace. These abusive actions not only put the rule of law and democracy in jeopardy, they also disrespected the people of Brazil, damaging public property and coffers. Self-proclaimed “patriots” and defenders of the country, these extremists destroyed architectural structures, furniture, electronic equipment, government documents and pieces of art that decorated the buildings. Not even objects that might be seen as nationalist were spared. Examples include the painting Bandeira do Brasil (Flag of Brazil), by Jorge Eduardo, the bronze sculpture of the Republic’s coat of arms, and the original version of the Brazilian Constitution of 1988.
The unbelievable episode went on for approximately three hours, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake, but it also extended to the lives of Brazilians, who are still looking for ways to deal with the impacts it created. In an attempt to foster pathways for reflection on the moment, and to seek to understand this chapter within Brazil’s political clash of ideologies, we’ll present a few lines and references.