Cristina Pape (1953 - )


    In the year 2000, the passing of 500 years since the discovery of Brazil was commemorated.

    Curiously, it is always put like this, as a discovery: a way of speaking that lends the more advanced culture a position of domination over the other (as took place, in fact).

    Maps are the form used to know a place. Our ancient inhabitants however were capable of relocating themselves, of moving from point to point, without getting lost and without using maps. Their own maps were, we could say, natural. The curve of a river, the type of trees, fish or birds and the position of the mountains and the stars told them where they were.

    The maps of our advanced cultures, therefore, have a fascinating dimension: they actually occlude the certainty of our place in the world.

    They ask you: where are we?

    We have let go of the universe, that dust of time and stars which guided our ancient inhabitants (and that, who knows, perhaps they also guided).

    Cristina Pape, Rio de Janeiro

    Translated from the original Portuguese by Isobel Whitelegg


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