Whose Independence? 200 years of Brazil

Symposium organized by Weltmuseum Wien, Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Österreichisches Lateinamerika-Institut and Forschungsverbund Lateinamerika.

September 7, 2022 marks the 200th anniversary of Brazil’s declaration of independence from Portugal. The Austrian Archduchess Leopoldine, married to the Portuguese heir to the throne Dom Pedro since 1817, was a driving force in this process and was even the first to sign the Declaration of Independence in 1822. The Independence led to the founding of the Brazilian Empire and Leopoldine became the first Empress of Brazil.
Thus, although the independence movement was different from other South American states, it had in common that egalitarian democracy was not the goal or the outcome. Independence served to continue the status quo and a colonial society based on inequality. Slavery, which had already been condemned at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 on humanitarian and moral grounds, existed in Brazil until 1888. The situation of the indigenous population also did not change after independence. Therefore, the question arises how to celebrate this year’s anniversary and at the same time how to address the contradictions of Brazilian independence.
The symposium, which is organized in cooperation with the Natural History Museum Vienna, the Weltmuseum Wien, the Austrian Latin America Institute and the Research Network Latin America at the University of Vienna, explores the ambivalent questions in the context of independence up to the current politics in Brazil. Scholars from Brazil, Austria and Germany will discuss the emergence of the Empire of Brazil in the 19th century and the development of the political position of the indigenous and Afro-Brazilian population in the 20th and 21st centuries. In doing so, the question of independence versus dependence will also be extended to current environmental policies in Brazil.


8. June 2022, 19:00 h

Opening, Lecture Hall, Naturhistorisches Museum Wien (only on site)
Welcome: Katrin Vohland, Director General, Museum of Natural History
Keynote: Ursula Prutsch, Historikerin, MLU München: Der Weg zur Unabhängigkeit Brasiliens. Emanzipation, Freiheit und Sklaverei (in Deutsch)

Keine Anmeldung erforderlich, gratis Eintritt

9. June 2022, 09:30 – 18:30 h

Free special programme at the Naturhistorisches Museum Wien (only on site)

09:30 – 11:00 Guided Tours in the exhibition Brazil. 200 years of relations.
In English: Katrin Vohland, NHMW / In Deutsch: Martin Krenn, NHWM / Em português: Sabine Eggers, NHMW
Meeting point in entrance hall
11:00-11:45  Quiz Show in: Brasilien, Deck 50, in Deutsch

11:45  – 13:30 Lunch time

Symposium | Weltmuseum Wien | WMW-Forum (Hybrid via Zoom)
13:30 – 18:30

Anmeldung für Teilnahme vor Ort: https://mailworx.marketingsuite.info/Form?frm=5eaed27a-4c59-4108-860c-f59c0ab5f8b0 (gratis Eintritt, begrenzte Teilnehmer*innenanzahl)
Online-Teilnahme via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82927738173?pwd=6C1HCMG8SMk43RBpvqHL2tS2N_it8v.1 (Meeting-ID: 829 2773 8173, Kenncode: 523613)

13:30 – 14:30
Welcome: Christian Schicklgruber, Deputy Director, Weltmuseum Wien.
Panel 1: Independence: The End of Colonialism and the Rise of Empire
Moderation: Martin Krenn, NHMW
Lecture: Kurt Schmutzer (Historian, ORF): The Austrian Mission to Brazil.
In conversation with: Karen Lisboa (Historian, Uni São Paulo) and Ursula Prutsch (Historian, MLU Munich)

14:30 – 14:45 pm Coffee Break

14:45 – 16:15 pm
Panel 2: The Afterlives of Colonialism and the Question of Self-Determination
Moderation: Claudia Augustat, WMW
Lecture: Wolfgang Kapfhammer (Anthropologist, MLU Munich): Becoming citizens? The administration of indigenous people in Brazil through SPI and FUNAI
Lecture: Edson Krenak (Writer, Activist, University Vienna): Creating „independent “indigenous people under the regime of Bolsonaro
In conversation with: René Kuppe (Legal Anthropologist, University Vienna)

16:15 – 16:45 pm Coffee Break

16:45 – 18:30 pm
Panel 3: Brazil in the Anthropocene
Moderation: Sabine Eggers, NHMW
Lecture: Rita Scheel Ybert (Botanist, Museu Nacional and Federal University of Rio de Janeiro): Amazonia as
Cultural Landscape (via Zoom)
Lecture: Camila Moreno (Political Science, Humboldt University): Plantation economy: Yesterday and Today (via Zoom)
Lecture: Martin Coy (Applied Geography and Sustainability Research, University Innsbruck): From Forest to Savannah: The Political Ecology of Land-Use Changes in the Brazilian Amazon and Midwest
In conversation with: Marieta Kaufmann (Project Officer Brazil and Advocacy Officer, DKA Austria) and Manuel Caleiro (Environmental Law, Indigenous Rights, Universidade Estadual de Mato Grosso do Sul/UEMS, via Zoom)

Kategorie: Events
Datum: 8. June 2022 – 9. June 2022
Ort: Weltmuseum Wien, Naturhistorisches Museum Wien