Four decades ago, the 17th century mansion located in the Madalena neighborhood, in Recife, opened its doors as the Abolition Museum. The museum got its name due to a vacation stay that counselor João Alfredo, who was an abolitionist, made in Recife.
According to Daiane Carvalho, museologist at MAB, in the first twenty years of its existence, the museum guided abolition based on the history told by non-black people, but this perspective is now being questioned.
The museologist explains the change in the questions that the museum raises: “And then in 2005 it (the museum) rethinks: what am I doing? I’m representing a community to talk about a process that concerns… to what extent does it concern this community that I’m representing based on the official history that is official abolition? And then he begins to work on the black issue, to identify himself as black, protagonist of his own history, as responsible for the abolition process and begins to rethink the issue of slavery itself”.
Since then, the Abolition Museum has been a cultural space that seeks to preserve, value, disseminate and expose Afro-Brazilian memory and culture. By promoting training activities, actions related to human rights and public policies and courses aimed at public school teachers, MAB reinforces its commitment to education and social transformation.
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In addition to exhibitions, MAB also creates educational spaces as a way of using space as a tool for social awareness. “The Museum is at the service of the black and indigenous population and this was a demand that we received within a participatory construction process. Giving voice, belonging, space for these groups to occupy the Museum is the agenda of the day. And we have done this through educational and exhibition activities”, explains Fabiana Sales, director of the Abolition Museum.
After the ideological reform, the museum underwent structural reform that lasted three years. With the Canteiro Aberto project, artists performed in the space while the change was happening.
The initiative, according to Fabiana, encouraged the artists who had the opportunity to show their production to the public, through the museum. “People who never imagined they could have one of their works, one of their pieces in a museum, let alone in a 19th century mansion. XVII, which tends to be an extremely uninviting space for these segments of the population”, says the director.
The Abolition Museum is open from Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm, and on Saturdays from 1 pm to 5 pm. To learn more about the museum and schedule a visit, visit Museudaabolicao.museus.gov.br
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Source: BdF Pernambuco
Editing: Vanessa Gonzaga