It is a real relief, considering the national culture, when a family decides to treat the estate of a great artist or intellectual with the respect he deserves. It is not surprising, however, that the heirs of Antonio Candido (1918-2017) e Gilda de Mello e Souza (1919-2005) be exemplary in this sense, given the immense erudition of the two teachers. The work process of cataloging and disseminating the collection of the couple is the subject of a series of podcasts no channel Podcast do IEB, from the Institute of Brazilian Studies at the University of São Paulo.
The process was coordinated by the art history master and researcher Laura Escorel, also a granddaughter of Candido and Gilda, in partnership with the IEB team (for whom Candido left the collection in testament) and with Itaú Cultural. In July 2017, the digitization and cataloging project was presented to Itaú Cultural. According to the first episode of the podcast, there was complete harmony between the family, the IEB and the private institution.
The process was relatively quick: with access allowed to Candido and Gilda’s house, and with the financial contribution from Itaú Cultural, the family and IEB project has now come to a conclusion, and the podcast is a powerful way to spread the collection, another objective considered central to the project.
In the podcast, we know that the collection was organized following the guidance of Antonio Candido, a methodical intellectual, known for organizing the documents themselves.
In this first episode, Laura Escorel herself explains a little about the process that started in 2017, and also talks about how the pandemic naturally delayed possible access to the collection in person – which will be available when the University resumes activities.
The podcast records that the material in the collection goes beyond the life span of the two teachers, with documents and records of ancestors dating back to the 19th century, also serving as a valuable source of research for investigating family customs and other aspects of Brazilian history.
“The partnership between the private sector and the public university promoted access to a relevant archive in a relatively short time”, says Laura, in the first episode. “The performance of the interdisciplinary team showed the strength that collaboration between the different areas of knowledge generates”.
The series then begins with an episode about the notebooks of Gilda de Mello and Souza by Juliana Franco (all presenters are part of the project team); Antonio Candido’s performance as a teacher (by Lucas Marcondes de Moura) and as a politician (by Max Luiz Gimenes and Marco A. Teixeira Junior) – it is always very interesting to reflect on how Candido had a powerful social understanding of political power, and in how he took this to his intellectual activity closely related to culture and letters. Other episodes talk about the correspondence of intellectuals, iconographic documentation and other research.
The academic tone of the program – transmitted as brief communications – opens space for researchers to reflect on this rich material – and on what can be done for the memory of our culture.