Summary - TST 21


TST 21

Martin Cooper
Re-presenting the railways of São Paulo state, Brazil, throughmedia texts 1865-2003

[Download the complete article in pdf format]

Key Words: Technological change, Railways, Social impact, Cultural Heritage.

[ Abstract ]

This paper examines a selection of Brazilian cultural texts by artists and writers which feature the railway. The intention is to build an understanding of the manner in which the railway was received, interpreted and re-presented in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, from the 1860s onwards. A reading of these media texts is used to present an alternative history of the development of the railway in São Paulo. The art, music, fiction, film and television, and written histories reveal a sustained questioning of this form of transport. This is regarded as a process, after Fernando Ortiz, of transculturation – a Brazilianisation – of the imported technology of the railway ensemble. This paper observes that, for these writers, artists, poets and film makers, this consistent examination and evaluation of the railway in São Paulo, Brazil, has centred on the dualities of both modernity/tradition and urban/rural.