justiça e barbárie (justice and barbarity), 2017
direction Jaime Lauriano
original soundtrack Pedro Santiago
edit Cesar Gananian
Texts and images of people, mostly black men, tied to public poles populate the headlines of major Brazilian newspapers. In their digital versions, such news gains repercussion in the comments left by the readers who, excited by such events, elevate the "vigilantes" to national heroes.
In the 1910s and 1920s, in the United States of America, photographs were common showing bodies of African-Americans hanged by a white population. Shown as trophies, these bodies were real monuments that exalted white supremacy. Nevertheless, they were displayed in postcards with the naturalness of a landscape worthy of exaltation. In Brazil, cases such as these were not commonly publicized, because during this period the image that was intended to be built of the country was that of a mestizo society that lived the fullness of a racial democracy.
Separated temporarily for more than 100 years, and after several revolts and demonstrations, the two situations show how contemporary violence against African-American bodies is directly linked to the practices of colonial violence: public lynching, imprisonment on public poles and plazas, and so on.
Such practices can also be found in torture sessions during the Brazilian civil-military dictatorship. Some of these sessions had an audience of people from the most diverse sectors of civil society who, through the purchase of a ticket, attended sessions of rape, shocks, beatings and other various human rights attacks perpetrated by agents of the dictatorship civil-military Brazilian.
In Justice and Barbarity are presented images of lynchings that occurred in Brazil. Along with the images, dialogues taken from comments from readers of the largest Brazilian digital newspapers are added. In common, images and commentaries naturalize the violence perpetrated by civil society, transforming murderers into vigilantes. Such practice actualizes, in a perverse way, the Brazilian colonial and dictatorial past.