Pictures by: João Pedro de Goes Novochadlo
On Thursday, September 15th, ISC students from 11th and 12th grade attended the 2nd Democracy Week, organized by Instituto Atuação, which took place at the Oscar Niemeyer Museum. The conference included lectures with Brazilian and international renowned professionals, such as Marlon Reis, who articulated the popular project that resulted in the creation of the Ficha Limpa law in Brazil; Deltan Dallagnol, coordinator of the Lava Jato federal police operation; Lucy Bernholz, Ph.D. from Stanford University; Michael Coppedge, Ph.D. and professor at Notre Dame University; and Nara Pavão, Ed.D from Vanderbilt University.
The lectures and debates revolved around corruption, democracy and popular initiatives. These subjects relate to the content Mr. Fabio Cruz presents in BHG and BSS classes. “In our classes, the students studied these topics, wrote several papers about them, read books and, finally, travelled to Brasilia in the Classroom Without Walls project. Therefore, the lectures consolidated the content seen in class in a very positive way,” says the teacher.
Having participated in the lectures on the Week of Democracy had a great impact on my perspective about the change that we citizens can make in society and reinforced the content learned in 10th, in the trip to Brasília and with the reading of “Política” by Miriam Moraes.
The video presented to introduce the Atuação project made me realize the difficult path we have been through to in order to establish democracy and how many lives were taken for it to become true. Also, it made me reflect upon how we take it for granted and we judge it without happen proper knowledge of its history and the rights it provides us with. In the discussion panels, I thought it was interesting how the taboo of political parties was broke, above all the people reunited there were making use of their democratic liberty and causing a change in society, especially the Brazilian society which is has been going through turbulent times.
Personally, the lecture that made me think the most was the one made by Nara Pavão who commented about the vicious cycle of corruption and the tolerance it generates in the population. This idea that all politicians are corrupt and that it is better having someone corrupt who does something than having someone with morals that does nothing is a communal thought in Brazilian society. The media helps to spread this concept since it, it portrays a bad image surrounding all politicians and influencing in people’s mentality. Previously I had analyzed the impact of the media in the project done in 10th grade, an article regarding the partiality of media and its influence on the daily lives of the citizens. Therefore the lecture reinforced my conclusion that we blindly accept what we hear and we don’t question its truthfulness.
I could also connect our experience in the Week of Democracy with our CWW trip to Brasília. With the trip, I saw that national politics is accessible and it depends on us whether to make use or not of our political rights as citizens. In Brasília we had the opportunity to visit the Congress Palace, to watch a session in the Senate and we told that anyone who wished could also do so. Thus as it mentioned in the lecture we can participate and change this reality that we much dislike. “Virada Política” is an organization that brings politics to the people, making it accessible to all publics. Another way that the people can directly participate in politics is through the national councils.
I believe that taking part in the Week of Democracy stimulated us to make use of our political role in society and to discuss the importance of democracy , which many times is not valued. Democracy is the liberty conquered with a lot of fight and hundreds of loss.
The talks in the “Semana da Democracia” were really interesting especially for being related to the actual political situation in Brazil. The brazilians are getting interested to change the problems that the country has especially related to the politics. We could see graphs about different situations of the brazilian states about the inequality that exists and professionals talked about the importance of trying to change our country. Our CWW trip to Brasilia is also related to it as we could see and understand better everything that we learned last year and read in the book Política written by Miriam Moraes.
Our visit to Oscar Niemeyer Museum to watch the Semana da Democracia lectures was an incredible opportunity to raise awareness about what is really the concept of Democracy. I felt inspired to start participating more actively in political matters in my city and my country. I could notice the variety of different options to make society better each day and how many people are starting to fight against what is wrong in Brazil and make it a better place. I learned about the Brazilian identity and how corruption is seen as a different crime as the other electoral crimes.
During the last lectures, the “Magnas”, with Márlon Reis and Deltan Dallagnol, I was entertained by their stories about current Brazilian politics. And how the “Ficha Limpa” law, a popular initiative so criticized and polemic passed in the Congress, even though many congressmen making everything they could to make it not to pass. Little by little we are changing our country, and according to Dallagnol, a good way of doing that is stop victimizing ourselves and become the heros of our own story. Because that is how democracy is practiced, through the participation of the population in government affairs.