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A slave trader forward the theatre: José Bernardino de Sá in the direction of the Imperial Theatre São Pedro de Alcantara (1845-1851)

Grant number: 21/03693-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2022
Effective date (End): March 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of Brazil
Principal Investigator:Iris Kantor
Grantee:Mariana França Soutto Mayor
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

This work aims to investigate the relations between theater practices and slavery in the first half of the 19th century, focusing on the social condition of freed and enslaved artists. For this purpose, the research starts from the trajectory of José Bernardino de Sá, considered one of the biggest Brazilian slave-traders, as director of the São Pedro de Alcântara Theatre, in Rio de Janeiro, between the years 1845 to 1851. The research will test the hypothesis that there was a structural change in the theatrical job market, between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, in Rio de Janeiro: if during the colonial period and in the first decade of the 19th century, the majority of the artists were black and mestizo, freed and enslaved, with the arrival of the royal family and the inauguration of S. Pedro Theatre, in 1813, there was a reorganization of theatrical work, with the hiring of European actors and actresses.Such a transformation in the working relations of the performing art, thought over the forms of theatricality - on the stage of the São Pedro Theatre as well as outside it, on the edge of the city. In other words, the research starts from the conjecture that the change in theatrical forms can also reveal a transit between which was represented in the Imperial Theater and popular practices organized in public spaces. In view of the ongoing mutation process, the research will investigate to what extent the trajectory of the slave-trader can be related to this new scenario, and how it affected the theatrical forms during the period of his administration, connecting it with the history of the theater itself, its artists and work relations, as well as with the legal process of abolishing the slave trade, which culminates in the Law "Eusébio de Queirós", from 1850. (AU)

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