Exhibition leporello

Wolfgang Kaleck

Of flag bearing andother crimes
The Global Left – whoever that might include –and the human rights movement are too quick to forget. Situations are often seen in isolation, too many fights are fought alone. What is needed is a historic consciousness – a remembering of the links between power and oppression on the one hand and of resistance and protest on the other. As a legal human rights organization, working on emblematic cases, we at ECCHR feel this dilemma every day. This is why encounters with artists like Rafael Pagatini are so important for us. Through his work he is capable of linking Brazil’s colonial history, the military dictatorship of the 1960 s and 70 s and the current situation, or rather revealing a connection that was made by the repressive military dictatorship itself: the OPERAÇÃO BANDEIRANTES, a commando of the military dictatorship that im prisoned, tortured and murdered trade unionists and other opponents. It deliberately used the name of the militant troops that massacred and enslaved indigenous peoples and forcibly took land from the 17th century onwards. The dictatorship was supported by national and transnational corporations, hoping to increase their profits through the elimination of the workers’ movement – and this is the very same tradition that Brazil’s current president Jair Bolsonaro wants to build on today. Rafael Pagatini emphasizes these connections through his artwork. Our task is to not only make these connections known but also to intervene when European companies work with authoritarian regimes today – in Brazil and beyond.