28 images to reconstitute the history of the creation of a city. The current capital of Brazil, Brasilia, was inaugurated on 21 April 1960. The construction site, which started in 1956, lasted 1,000 days. 1,000 days reconstituted in an original exhibition which, from 13 to 27 July, retraced the outlines of the giant construction site.
With 15 totems lit up by solar energy, the initiative located in front of the Brazilian capital’s Museum of the Republic aimed to disseminate the federal district’s collection of public archives on the construction of Brasilia and immerse the public in this piece of history. From the first expedition to demarcate the territory of the federal district and the start of the construction of its monuments, to the occupation of the city by its residents, the exhibition reconstitutes each stage of the birth of the Brazilian capital.
Brasilia was designed by the architect Oscar Niemeyer and the urban planner Lucio Costa and built to attract economic activity towards the interior of the country and replace Rio as the capital. It has since become the symbol of modern Brazilian architecture.
This project, which was organized on the initiative of the French Embassy, the Federal District Public Archives, the Alliance Française in Brasilia and AFD, also aimed to celebrate the partnership between France and Brazil. The exhibition was curated by AFD’s teams and the captions were written in partnership with the federal district Public Archives and with the professor Dr. Maribel Aliaga from the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning of the University of Brasilia (UnB).
The exhibition was a resounding success: between 700 and 1,000 visitors thronged every day to discover or rediscover the history of this capital which was built in just a few years and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.
During his visit to Brazil from 29 to 31 July 2019, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, also went to the exhibition site, sixty years after the visit to Brasilia by another French minister, André Malraux. At the time, Malraux had declared: “During their development, great nations have often found their symbol, and Brasilia is undoubtedly this kind of symbol”.