POSTPONED: Marielle Franco and the Struggle for Brazilian Democracy


Thursday, March 12, 2020, 12:00pm to 2:00pm


CGIS South, S020 (Belfer)

Graffiti of Marielle Franco in São Paulo, Brazil
Photo by Elias Rovielo,


Speaker: Ana Flávia Magalhães Pinto, Professor of History, Universidade de Brasília
Moderator: Martine Jean, 2019-2020 Mark Claster Mamolen Fellow, ALARI

Rio de Janeiro´s City Council member Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes were assassinated on the night of March 14, 2018. The following day, protestors in Rio de Janeiro tagged the words “Marielle Presente!”, which in English means Marielle is present. The message was erased a few days later. Since Marielle´s death, many attempts have been made to erase her memory as well as to defraud her legacy and omit the values she committed her life to. Journalist and writer Mario Magalhães will discuss the importance of the preservation of memory in contemporary Brazil as an action of civic importance. In his words, “Forgetfulness is a friend of barbarism.”

From a more historic vantage point, the execution of Marielle Franco appears as an echo of Brazil´s racist legacy. After all, the country that exploited the largest contingent of enslaved Africans and their descendants for the longest period in the Americas did not become a racial paradise after abolition in 1888. The formation of the Brazilian nation had a structural dependence on racism as an organizational element, engendering the normalization of profound inequalities and hostilities. Brazilian historian Ana Flávia Magalhães Pinto will engage Marielle´s assassination – and everyday constraints on freedom and citizenship in Brazil – by focusing on the experiences of free, literate black men who were active in the political and cultural struggles of the 19th century.

Ana Flávia Magalhães Pinto is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of History at the University of Brasilia (UnB). She has a PhD and Postdoctorate in History by the State University of Campinas (Unicamp); a Masters degree in History by UnB; and a Bachelors degree in Journalism, from UniCEUB, as well as History, from Unip. Since her first degree, she has dedicated her research to the areas of History, Communication, Literature, and Education, with an emphasis on: political-cultural performance of black thinkers, black press, abolitionism and the experiences of black freedom and citizenship in the period of slavery and post-abolition in Brazil and elsewhere in the African Diaspora.

Presented in collaboration with Afro-Latin American Research Institute (ALARI)