Didem Doğan

An exhibition in Museu de Casa Brasileira, São Paulo: Massacre in Carandiru prison

This mansion, which was built in 1940’s and housed the ex-mayors of São Paulo and their wives is now a museum open to public that holds architecture and design exhibitions. Its restaurant and garden are the main reasons you may be inclined to spend extra hours here after seeing an exhibition. 

When I visited the museum I also had the chance to get familiar with an episode of the history of Brazil I did not previously know about: ‘Carandiru Prison, sobrevivencieas' (survival). In 1992 an insurrection broke out in Carandiru, Latin America’s biggest prison located in São Paulo and a tragedy called the ‘Carandiru Massacare’ took place that resulted in the deaths of 111 inmates by the gun fire of the policemen. The event which caused a great stir has received wide publicity after some intellectuals such as Levi Strauss and Stefan Zweig visited the prison, and the atrocity inspired the Oscar candidate movie released in 2003 and the book which narrates the first-hand experience of Doctor Drauzio Veralle who was then working at the prison. The exhibition at the museum is a depiction of a life in prison cells. Today ‘Parque de Juventude,’ Youth Park, stands in lieu of the prison which no longer exists.

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