Danny Dubner introduces a sound essay, Pindorama, named after for the Tupi-Guarani tribe designated to the area we now call Brazil and how a the ‘discovery of a country’ narrative masks the invasion of a thriving culture

On February 2018, Brazilian president Michel Temer declared a federal military intervention in the city of Rio De Janeiro. The adoption of the intervention played different roles depending on the positionality of Rio citizens in terms of race, social class, and neighborhood. The already drastic number of homicides committed by police and military officers rose dramatically in the communities, and disproportionately targeted the black population, including children. On March 14th of 2018, Marielle Franco, an activist, politician and leader of the Human Rights Commission of Rio, was murdered alongside her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes. Marielle was black, LGBT, and a woman from the Maré favela. Her still unresolved political assassination has become a symbol of state violence against the black population and of the deafening silence that is a part of the institutionalisation of Brazilian racism. The question lingers: who killed Marielle and Anderson?

“Pindorama” aims to critically engage with this political execution as symptomatic of Brazilian racism and state violence, exploring the Brazilian founding myth and its initial construction of the Other. The sounds featured in the essay fluctuate between traditional and religious songs from Imperial Portugal, to ritual music by the indigenous Caiapó tribe, to songs of resistance from the military dictatorship in Brazil. Through the colonial and anti-colonial looking glass, the sound essay explores grieving, voice, and body in their relations to the power of narratives. It aims to tell a story, but is also an untellable story. The clashing of discourses provides no clear conclusion, but is a constant struggle for less silence – or less not hearing.

Pindorama is the name the Tupi-Guarani tribe designated to the area we now call Brazil. What is known to many as the discovery of the country, was an invasion and massacre of a thriving culture. In the process, came the fabrication of a ghost library with all the voices that have been silenced.

This sound essay is both personal and political; a means of deconstructing a neatly compartmentalised history that keeps being told to Brazilians about our nationhood and citizenship. In dealing with silence and voice, I had to confront my own: what is my place of speaking, particularly when it carries the narration for this project? What stories are (not) mine to tell? I still don’t know, but this exploration has brought me closer – even if by error – to finding out.


Butler, Judith. Mourning, Politics, Studies in Gender and Sexuality.

Solnit, Rebecca. The Mother of All Questions, Haymarket Books

Marlui Miranda. “Kworo Kango.” Ihu: Todos Os Sons.

Chico Buarque. “Apesar de Você.” Apesar de Você

Joaquim Osório Duque Estrada. “Brazilian Anthem”

Folk Music from Alentejo, “A Canção do Marinheiro”

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Danny is a HAST (Humanities, the Arts, and Social Thought) student at Bard College Berlin, concentrating in Ethics and Politics. Born and raised in Brazil, which inextricable from his own identity, has been a guiding force of this piece. This sound essay came to fruition for Agata Lisiak’s ‘Migration, Gender, and Nationalism’ class at Bard College Berlin.

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One thought on “‘Time exists only in white’: deconstructing the history of Brazilian nationhood

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