The Leila Míccolis Brazilian Alternative Press Collection, housed in Special Collections at University of Miami Libraries, consists primarily of political and countercultural pamphlets and periodicals, concrete and neo-concrete poetry, as well as other vanguard/avant-garde artistic experimentation, fanzines, film reviews, university publications, theater, and musical pieces.
As opposed to the commercial and widely-circulated press of "official" Brazilian governmental venues, the publications contained in the Collection especially treat stigmatized and/or marginalized groups, such as Afro-Brazilians, women, and sexual minorities. It accomplishes this goal by utilizing various mediums, including literary pieces, editorial cartoons, political comics, sociopolitical critiques of "Brazilianness," humor, and the promotion of ecological and environmental awareness. The Collection also holds a large variety of materials from the 1970s Marginália movement, a term used to describe a series of underground publications distributed during the military dictatorship. The archive was painstakingly accumulated over the course of 45 years by Míccolis, who decided to place it in a North American university to assure its preservation, as well as to prevent its censorship.
In the beginning, we faced a fierce military dictatorship with periodicals performing their role of resistance and exchange. At that time, the literary press was of vital importance to maintain and continue the circulation of ideas, as well as keeping our minds fresh, active and focused on democratic ideals. Thus, the written word gave us the voice to make us feel alive. All over Brazil, every single day, cultural "nanicos" were born - tiny, small-scale newspapers of limited circulation without consistent production or a specified timeline, challenging and agile – functioning as "lightning rallies," difficult to be spotted on time by the police and consequently difficult to repress or silence. This was the strategy: though most of them were not explicitly against the political regime, their mere existence was enough to trouble the exceptional State. "You cut out a verse, I write another (...) Suddenly, there I am again ... (...) No wonder you are fearful of us!" (excerpt from Nightmare, a song composed by Paulo Cesar Pinheiro).
I am very proud of my active and intense participation in this movement and of Urhacy Fautino and I having kept in our home for thirty years from commercial newspapers – due to their large-scale circulation and for being sold at newsstands, such as Pasquim, Movimento, Lampião da Esquina, Flor do Mal – to courageously mimeographed sheets, whose authors could have been seized by the "Law of National Security" if their publications had been deemed as subversive pamphlets. Within the great majority of these alternative journals and texts, I had/have many friends and colleagues united in our search for new spaces, transformations of behavior and practices, questioning of stereotypical norms and raising social consciousness in both social and individual universes.
Thanks to this careful cultural preservation, you can now search this unique collection, a multidimensional project also of great emotional value to those involved, constitutive of a wide variety of news and proposals of a multidisciplinary nature (ranging from psychology, literature, music, environmental studies, stigmatized groups, countercultural zines, etc.). Welcome to Sociology, History, Historiography, Literature and to the study of Brazilian uses and customs.
Attorney, Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy with a post-doctoral degree in Literary Sciences and Literary Theory from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), author of books, television soap operas, and screenwriter.
For Steven Butterman, 11/25/2019