Queer Culture Under Dictatorship


My research project addresses the cultural history of the LGBT+ movement in Brazil during the late 1970s and through the last decade of the military dictatorship. It broadly focuses on Lampião da Esquina, an ephemeral journal published between 1978 and 1981, which is now understood to be a key point of reference to the rise and consolidation of homosexual and trans activism in post-dictatorship Brazil. Lampião published work from different plastic artists and literary writers, turning into the first journal created entirely by homosexual men and addressed to a homosexual public. My fieldwork brought me closer to the group of writers and artists who initially participated in this project. It also gave me the opportunity to acquire some of the recent publications centered on this topic in Brazil. I visited, among many, three places that contributed to my understanding of the history of the LGBT+ movement. I attended a particularly useful art exhibition at the MAR (Museo de Arte do Rio) entitled “Crônicas Cariocas”, which had an excellent overview of queer culture under the military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1964 to 1985. I also visited the Fundacão Casa de Rui Barbosa, a literature-focused archive where I could consult some of the illustrations made by the artist and writer Darcy Penteado, one of the founders of the journal, including some of the catalogues of his exhibitions and a hand-written letter sent by him to a colleague from abroad. Looking for a deeper insight into Penteado’s works, I traveled to a small population one hour away from São Paulo called São Roque, where I was able to partially access an archive of paintings and writings by Darcy Penteado. I learned how important it is to schedule in advance to visit archives and libraries: some of the collaborators in charge were sick when I visited or simply could not give me complete access to the resources due to bureaucratic impediments that require more time. My new findings about the queer movement in Brazil and specifically about Darcy Penteado will be incorporated into the first chapter of my dissertation, where I analyze different journalistic efforts to create a queer readership in Latin America at the end of the twentieth century.

Alejandro Múnera
Publication date: 
October 24, 2022
Publication type: 
Student Research