The objective of the proposed work is to analyze the road thru the Negro and Branco rivers, how it was traversed and the way in which it was historically represented, having as a turning point the voyages of the geographer Francis Ruellan in the 1950s. From the eighteenth century, when the route was first traveled, until the second half of the twentieth century, this area is described in different ways by botanists, geologists, sanitarians and military: wild, rich, sick, distant... many are the adjectives used to understand it, however, what permeates all these discourses is the will of knowledge, of integration, of its "discovery". With each expedition a new approach was conceived to the "last frontier of Brazil", creating gradually an imaginary definition of what this place would be. My proposal is to launch here a questioning about the layers of subjectivity that separate these reality representations from the reality per se; to understand this process, the research proposes an investment in the work carried out by explorers who have dedicated themselves to travel through these rivers, facing them as a road, a way that would allow or not the exploration and occupation of the northwest of the country. My intention is to reconstruct how the idea of the discovery of the last frontier was historically mobilized by different actors through a cross-analysis, investigating the original material of Ruellan's work and the expeditions that preceded it.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: