Jaime Lauriano

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liberdade! liberdade! (freedom! freedom!), 2018
silkscreen and excerpt from the anthem of the republic engraving in laser and pyrography on naval plywood
80 x 60 x 1,5 cm
photo Daniel Cabrel

In this work, Jaime Lauriano reproduces part of the drawing of the book "The Penitential Tyrant; or, slave trader reformed”, written by Thomas Branagan, a former capitão do mato (person in charge of capturing fugitive slaves) converted into an abolitionist, published in 1807 in the USA. In the book, the "collars", instruments of torture that were tied to the neck of the slaves by white lords, are accompanied by a descriptive text about the operation of each object. Here, in a critical and ironic manner, Lauriano replaced the original text for two passages of the National Anthem of the Republic of Brazil. This composition had won the contest to choose the new National Anthem launched by the government of Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca, two months after the coup of 1889, which overthrew the Monarchy. But it ended up being disregarded by the previous one, becoming only our "Anthem of the Republic". Its lyrics states, after only a year and a half of the abolition of slavery in Brazil, not to believe that in "such a noble country" there had been slaves once”. Reverberating, that way, the first Republic's policy of erasing the marks of slavery of our history, through a discourse that sought to propagate an orderly and pacific image of the new regime and to blame the imperial "past" for the whole account of this forced system of labor.