A group of agribusiness entrepreneurs from Passo Fundo, a city of 204,000 inhabitants, in Rio Grande do Sul, decided to honor President Jair Bolsonaro with a statue measuring six meters in height. The initiative mobilized the community, most of which are against the project.
City Hall and City Council did not authorize the placement of the monument built with scrap iron from agricultural machinery used in the region. Due to the lack of authorization, the organizers are choosing a private plot of land on Avenida Brasil, the main avenue in the city.
The information is from the lawyer and member of the Committee for Life and Freedom, Jabs Paim Bandeira.
As he informed the newspaper the national, the idea of building a statue of the president came from rural producer José Volnei Dal’Maso. The next step was to look for the plastic artist Jorge Luiz Grigolo. Work started 60 days ago. Project expenses are being covered by the Committee.
The Rural Union is also one of the supporters. According to Bandeira, there is still no survey of the amounts already invested, as it is in the development phase.
“Our intention was to surprise the president when he came to Passo Fundo. The committee has already delivered an invitation to Bolsonaro’s advisors for him to visit Passo Fundo on September 20, a holiday in Rio Grande do Sul, allusive to the Farroupilha Revolution. We still haven’t had an answer confirming his coming, but there is a great possibility that it will happen”, he said.
On Facebook, Jabs made the following post: “This statue that the mechanic Jorge (visual artist) is putting together with the image of President Bolsonaro, will be inaugurated when the president comes to Passo Fundo, for the motorcycle, horseback and tractor that is being organized by the Rural Union and the Committee for Life and Freedom”.
Most fear for the image
An economic and educational hub in the region, Passo Fundo was once famous as “Chicago dos Pampas”, thanks to the lyrics of the song “Gaúcho de Passo Fundo” immortalized by Vitor Mateus Teixeira, known as Teixeirinha. An excerpt of the song threatens: “If someone steps on me, my gun speaks”. Who remembers this is the professor and philosopher Paulo César Carbonari.
He says that since the 1980s the city’s community has been fighting against this image, organizing cultural activities such as folklore festivals, the Journey of Literature, and they had already overcome the negative view.
“This is a narcissistic work, in the sense of people who like to see themselves in the mirror. It’s not for any special feat”, he says.
“All monuments are always controversial. There is a kind of desperation to highlight the memory of the worst president of the post-redemocratization republic”, considers Carbonari, mentioning the government scandals mentioned in the CPI of the Pandemic. He emphasizes that Passo Fundo “is able to produce an image that is no longer a of the best”.
Former state deputy Juliano Roso, who is also a historian and state president of the PCdoB, joins the chorus against the monument.
“At a time when the city is still crying 663 killed by covid-19, for lack of care and delay in vaccination, it is absurd to pay tribute to this genocide, a president who is making the people suffer in the pandemic, in which they have already died. about 600 thousand people.”
He also recalled that Bolsonaro transformed Brazil into a country where the price of a gas canister exceeds one hundred reais, the price of a liter of fuel exceeds six reais, with a gigantic unemployed population, where hunger has returned to frequent homes.
“Wanting to honor a president of this nature, only if it is a tribute to imbecility, stupidity, denial, because the president is against education, against science, against life”, he justifies.
According to Roso, the city has the Teixeirinha statue, which is an icon of the city, the mother statue, which represents the strength of the Passo-fundense woman, the monument in honor of railway workers and other historical monuments.
He stresses that “it is important to make it clear that these people are the same people who supported the coup against President Dilma, the same people who supported the coup of 64. They are the same people who prevented President Lula from visiting the city, so it’s not a tribute from the population, it is a tribute from a minority”.
Roso said he is studying a way to prohibit the placement of the statue through legal action. “They talk about putting it on private land, but for any construction that may have an urban impact, authorization from the competent authorities is required.”
Professor Carbonari added that the use of images of people is a form of idolatry practiced in politics in totalitarian regimes. “All regimes of this type have created a cult of personality with the production of photos and images”, he says.
In Rio Grande do Sul, the cult of the ‘myth’ image is not new. Since Bolsonaro’s election they have produced and put up for sale small-size (12 cm) busts of the president. A company from Santa Cruz do Sul offers via internet a bust of the president produced on a 3D printer.
Source: BdF Rio Grande do Sul
Edition: Marcelo Ferreira