The life and work of Marxist Vânia Bambirra is the subject of the documentary series “Vânia: the story of a revolutionary”, published on YouTube at the beginning of this month by professors at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).
The work is the result of research carried out for approximately ten years by professors Carla Ferreira and Mathias Seibel, who conceived, directed and produced the documentary. Both are coordinators of the Vânia Bambirra Memorial-Archive.
“We like to think of this artisanal work that occupied ten years of our lives in the same way that fado singers refer to fado. They say that fado is a shared tradition. The new generations make the old songs their own. They pay tribute to their masters, reinventing new lyrics for already known arrangements. They do this through persistent practice, seeking perfection”, say the teachers.
“In this sharing of a common memory lies a true tradition. And its authenticity. Like the fado singers, all we want is to fulfill our mission and commitment to our tradition. I hope we were successful in this plan”, they say.
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Divided into 15 episodes, with a total running time of four hours, the series tells the story of the activist who was born in Belo Horizonte in 1940. Vânia was a revolutionary activist and theoretician founder of the Marxist Theory of Dependence along with Ruy Mauro Marini and Theotonio dos Santos, becoming one of the most brilliant Brazilian and Latin American intellectuals of the 20th and early 21st centuries.
Persecuted by the military dictatorship, she lived in two exiles: in Chile between 1966 and 1973 and in Mexico between 1974 and 1979. She was a professor and researcher at the University of Brasília (UnB), the University of Chile/Centro de Estudios Socioeconómicos (Ceso) and the Universidad National Autonomous Region of Mexico (Unam).
In addition to his academic life, he had an important participation as a militant and political leader in the Revolutionary Marxist Political Workers Organization (Polop) from 1961 to 1966, in the Peasant Leagues and in the Democratic Labor Party (PDT), in which he participated since its foundation in 1979, with Leonel Brizola and Darcy Ribeiro, until the year 2000.
In the series, the activist’s life is portrayed starting with her family origins and her encounter with Marxism. Going through exile in Mexico, her relationship with Cuba, her dedication to the issue of women’s emancipation, her return to the country after the amnesty. The last episode features testimonials from former companions, fellow researchers, friends.
Still in the episode, close to her 80th birthday, in one of her last images, she talks about the future of humanity. And she leaves a message to the new generations: although capitalism is ending the world, the world will not end up being capitalist. Because, with the accumulated knowledge and culture, it is in the hands of the new generations to show that reality is movement and change, unlike those who believe that history is over.
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According to professors Carla and Mathias, the series aims to offer the community, high school and higher education teachers, civil society movements and the general public the recovery of the protagonism of Vânia Bambirra, who is a reference in Brazilian critical thinking. and Latin American.
Likewise, they state that the series makes a scathing denunciation of the violence of state terror regimes implemented by business-military dictatorships. The documentary thus leaves a clear message in defense of a substantive democracy, in defense of life and structural social change.
The Vânia Bambirra Memorial-Archive was born from the donation made by Vânia Bambirra of her collection to historians and friends of the author, Carla Ferreira and Mathias Seibel, in 2013. From then on, the author’s work went through a process of cleaning, conservation, organization , categorization and digitization carried out and supervised directly by them.
The physical collection, initially organized with the support of the History Research Center (NPH) and the Latin American Institute of Advanced Studies, linked to the Institute of Philosophy and Human Sciences of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, is now in an exclusive room at the UFRJ Praia Vermelha Campus. The Vânia Bambirra Memorial-Archive Internet Portal is coordinated by professor Carla Ferreira through the Laboratory of Studies on Marx and Marxist Theory of Dependency (Lemarx-TMD/ESS-UFRJ), with institutional support from NPH/Ufrgs, which offers the server for your accommodation.
Direction, Conception and Research: Carla Ferreira and Mathias Seibel
Screenplay: Mathias Seibel
Executive production: Carla Ferreira
Musical direction: Mathias Seibel
Editing and editing: Temis Nicolaidis and Paola Mallmann
Select: Lucas Pitta Klein e Henrique Maffei
Camera: Henrique Maffei (Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro, Chile) | Airton Silva (Rio de Janeiro) | Carla Ferreira (Rio de Janeiro)| Mathias Seibel (Brasília, São Paulo, Mexico, Cuba and Panama) | Lucas Pitta Klein (Porto Alegre)
Narration: Nádia Bambirra dos Santos
Image and color finishing: Billy Valdez
Sound finishing: Gustavo Türck
Post-Production Coordination: Carla Ferreira
Support: Coletivo Catarse
Editing: Rodrigo Chagas