12.04.2011 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

BH hosts debates and film display in the launching of the General History of Africa Collection

How the education of different ethnical-racial groups that make up the black territories in Brazil - like the quilombola communities and the outskirts - has been developed? Which perspectives does the Brazilian education offer to incorporate the African and Afro-Brazilian history and culture into the school curricula? How has the tradition of the Banto people been mainstreamed into the Brazilian culture in general, and specifically in Minas Gerais?


These and other issues will be approached during the events of launching the Portuguese edition of the UNESCO General History of Africa Collection in Belo Horizonte, on 12 April, from 7:30 pm onwards, and on 13 April, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Portuguese edition of the General History of Africa Collection, edited by UNESCO in partnership with the Brazilian Ministry of Education and the Federal University of Sao Carlos, contributes toward disseminating a new look on the African culture and history within the society and the Brazilian education. Moreover, it supports the required changes to the ethnical-racial relations in Brazil. The Portuguese version is part of a strategy to implement and institutionalize the Curricular Guidelines and the Law 10639/2003 that provides for teaching the history of Africa and the African and Afro-Brazilian culture in basic education.

Diagnostic studies carried out by UNESCO Representation in Brazil, the Ministry of Education and its partners from the Academia and the civil society disclosed this implementation is still incipient in the country, notably due to the lack of qualified material to subsidize the pedagogical training and practice of education-related professionals.    

By unveiling a history unknown to most of the Brazilian population and rebutting preconceived ideas about Africa, the UNESCO General History of Africa Collection promotes the recognition of the important links between the African and the Brazilian histories, as well as with the history of other parts of the world, thus contributing to build national identities.  The Collection is serving as input to the production of teaching-aid materials to assist teachers’ training on this topic.  

Debate on education

On 13 April, the launching ceremony of the General History of Africa starts on 8:30 a.m., at the Neidson Rodrigues auditorium of the Federal University of Minas Gerais’ Education College. Experts should meet all day long to discuss issues related to education on ethnical-racial relations.
                                                  
The experts Nilma Lino Gomes, councilor to the National Education Council, general coordinator of the Affirmative Actions Program of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Doctor’s degree in Social Anthropology; Kabengele Munanga, technical editor of the General History of Africa Collection, Portuguese version, Doctor’s Degree in Social Anthropology, Professor at the Anthropology College of the University of São Paulo; Valter Roberto Silvério, technical coordinator of the Portuguese version of the General History of Africa Collection and coordinator of the Center of Afro-Brazilian Studies of the Federal University of São Carlos; and Luiz Alberto Oliveira Gonçalves, Professor of the FAE and member of the Affirmative Actions Program at the UFMG, Doctor’s Degree in Sociology from the École des Hautes Études em Sciences Sociales, will attend the meeting.

The event is held by the UNESCO Representation in Brazil, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, the UFMG’s Affirmative Actions Program, and the Center of Studies and Research on Education and Ethnical-Racial Relations of the State University of Minas Gerais.

Check the schedule (in Portuguese)

Influence of the African culture in Minas Gerais
 
Prior to the official launching, the film “Terra Deu Terra Come” will be displayed on 12 April, at 7:30 p.m., at the Palácio das Artes, followed by a debate with the director Rodrigo Siqueira and the Professor Sônia Queiroz (FALE/UFMG).  

Awarded in many festivals in Brazil and abroad, ‘Terra Deu, Terra Come’ was praised by the critics as a milestone of the Brazilian documentary films in the last few years. Employing an innovative language, it approaches relevant topics to the Afro-Brazilian culture like the presence of the Banto people’s tradition in the culture of Minas Gerais, and aspects related to the history of mining in the region of Diamantina, using the Quartel do Indaiá – a quilombola community - as the set.

Information about the film (in portuguese)

Both events are admission-free. No subscription required.

About the Collection

The Collection is comprised by almost 10 thousand pages, elaborated by 350 researchers in 30 years, coordinated by a scientific committee composed by 39 experts, two thirds of them Africans.

The work tells the history of Africa under the view of the continent’s, using an interdisciplinary methodology that engages experts from fields like history, anthropology, archeology, linguistic, botanic, physics, journalism, among others. The content allows for new perspectives to studies and research on Africa, as well as to the dissemination of ethnical-racial relationships in the Brazilian educational system.

The eight volumes making up the collection approach the continent from Prehistory to the 1980’s, passing by the Ancient Egypt, different civilizations and dynasties, slaves trade, European settlement and the independence of many countries. Africa is prominent as the cradle of humanity, and for its crucial contribution to culture and the scientific knowledge production in the world.  

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Information

Aline Falco, Ana Lúcia Guimarães and Isabel de Paula.
Press Office - UNESCO Brazil
Phones (55 61) 2106-3544/8142-3742, 2106-3536, 2106-3538
E-mails: aline.falco@unesco.org.br, ana.guimaraes@unesco.org.br, isabel.paula@unesco.org.br




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