Machado's Valongo in Rio de Janeiro's cartography: urban slavery in motion

Rogério Pacheco Jordão About the author


Drawing from selected writings by Machado de Assis, this article discusses the contemporary relevance of the word Valongo which was the name given to the largest slave market in colonial and imperial Brazil, located in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Buried and erased from the map and urban landscape of Rio for nearly two centuries, Valongo was "rediscovered" in 2011 during an archeological excavation within the context of an expansive city-planning reform of the docks area: the Marvelous Port Project. This article reflects upon the power of Machado´s prose for (re) reading the history of Brazilian slavery and its legacy.

Machado de Assis; slavery; Rio de Janeiro; representations; social memory

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