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Olavo Setubal Chair of Art, Culture, and Science

by Richard Meckien - published Feb 18, 2016 03:15 PM - - last modified Apr 11, 2024 10:11 AM

The 2012-2016 direction of the IEA strove to lead the University of São Paulo to a new and deeper involvement with culture and the arts. The main result of this endeavor has been the Olavo Setubal Chair of Art, Culture, and Science, offered in 2015 but officially launched in 2016.

A project of the IEA in partnership with Itaú Cultural Institute, the Olavo Setubal Chair is a space to discuss and promote activities related to the world of arts, with special focus on cultural management. Its goal is to foster interdisciplinary reflections on academic, artistic, cultural, and social issues of regional and global scope.

To give due weight and importance to this initiative, the first person to hold the Chair has been diplomat and essayist Sérgio Paulo Rouanet, former National Secretary of Culture and author of the cultural incentive law that bears his name.

The official launch took place on February 17, 2016, at a meeting in the President's Office building, with the participation of Rouanet, the director of the Itaú Cultural Institute, Eduardo Saron Nunes, the President of USP, Marco Antonio Zago, Vice-President Vahan Agopyan, the Director of the IEA, Martin Grossmann, and other representatives of the University and the cultural institution.

Marco Antônio Zago e Sérgio Paulo Rouanet
President Marco Antonio Zago (left) hosting diplomat Sérgio Paulo Rouanet for the official launch of the Chair

"We are honored to have Sérgio Paulo Rouanet inaugurating the Olavo Setubal Chair. The support of Itaú represents the strengthening of the University's relations with the productive sector, which is very important by allowing the USP to benefit from the presence of personalities as the ambassador," said Zago.

After the meeting, part of the group visited the Itaú Cultural Institute. According to Marcos Cuzziol, manager of the Innovation Center / Observatory of the institution, the partnership recognizes the special attention of Itaú Cultural towards management and formation of a cultural policy, integrating the 10 years of the Itaú Cultural Observatory, to be celebrated this year.

The Itaú Cultural Observatory was created in 2006 with a focus on management, economics and cultural policies. Since then, it promotes studies and discussion of these issues, stimulating reflection on culture in its various aspects and analyzing national indicators. Its performance and range are extended with seminars, meetings and lectures; an editorial line of books and the journal Revista Observatório, available for free on the web; and the promotion of research on the cultural field. In addition, since 2009, it holds a free course on cultural management in partnership with the UNESCO Chair on Cultural Policies, with the cooperation of the University of Girona and the support of the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI). The course has one year of duration and takes place in classrooms and through virtual classes.

With information from USP's press office

The Chair

With a minimum duration of five years, the chair comprises two programs: Global Networks of Young Researchers, and Leaders in Art, Culture, and Science, with a forecast joint endowment of R$ 1,500,000.00, sponsored by the Itaú Cultural Institute. Each program (described below) is granted R$ 150,000.00 annually.

Even before the official inauguration of the Chair, part of its activities had already begun. The Intercontinental Academia, the São Paulo stage of which was launched in April 2015, is part of the Global Network of Young Researchers Program, aimed at developing new leaders. The programs seek to encourage and promote the interdisciplinary research of young (under 40) scholars.

The Leaders in Art, Culture, and Science Program follows the template adopted by USP’s José Bonifácio Chair, inaugurated in 2013.

Each year, the Chair is held by an exponent from the world of art, culture, politics, society, economics or academia, Rouanet being the first among them. In addition to the chairperson, professors, researchers, and national and international personalities participate in the activities, with special attention given to public policies for culture and the arts.

"I hope to follow the example of Nélida Piñon, my colleague at the Brazilian Academy of Letters and holder of the José Bonifacio Chair [in 2015], and to help developing this new chair by placing a stone in this new building," said Rouanet.

The Olavo Setubal Chair extends the central role of the IEA in creating and managing professorships within the University. Over the course of its almost 30 years, the Institute lays claim to 11 chairs (eight elapsed and two active).

In 2020, with the choice of Nestor García Canclini as chair holder, the renewal for another five years of the agreement between the IEA and Itaú Cultural was also celebrated.

Olavo Setubal

Olavo Setúbal - Perfil
Olavo Setubal, a culture supportive

A renowned businessman, mayor of São Paulo (1975-1979), and foreign minister (1985-1986), Olavo Setubal left his mark on Brazilian culture by creating an important collection of more than 3,600 works of art. He conceived and founded the Itaú Cultural Institute in 1987, of which he was also the director until 2001. Among his many contributions to culture are the conception and construction of the São Paulo Cultural Center and of the Itaú Cultural Encyclopedia of Visual Arts, a computerized database of Brazilian art with scanned reproductions of works dating from the 19th century French mission during the Empire.


2019 - Arissana Pataxó, Francy Baniwa, and Sandra Benites

Sandra Benites - Perfil
Francy Baniwa - Perfil
Arissana Pataxó - Perfil
Visual artist, professor and researcher, Arissana Pataxó was born in Porto Seguro (State of Bahia) and is part of the Pataxó ethnic group. She holds a master's degree in ethnic and African studies from the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), where she is carrying out doctoral research in visual arts, the area of her graduation from the same University. In her artistic work, she addresses indigenous reality and its interaction with other contemporary realities, making use of various techniques and supports. Francy Baniwa is an anthropologist, writer, photographer, filmmaker, and doctoral candidate in social anthropology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), where she became a master in the same area after graduating in sociology from the Federal University of Amazonas (UFAM). She is part of the Wanaliana community, located in the Upper Negro River indigenous land in São Gabriel da Cachoeira (State of Amazonas), and has been active in the indigenous movement in the region for more than 10 years. A PhD candidate in anthropology at (UFRJ), Sandra Benites is the director of visual arts at the Brazilian Foundation for the Arts (FUNARTE) and works as an art curator, educator, and activist for the Guarani Nhandeva people. Born in the Porto Lindo indigenous land in Japorã (State of Mato Grosso do Sul), she became a master in social anthropology through the postgraduate program at the National Museum of UFRJ. She has been deputy curator of Brazilian art at the Assis Chateaubriand São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP).

2022/23 - Conceição Evaristo

Conceição Evaristo - PerfilAuthor of novels, poetry, short stories, and essays, Conceição Evaristo graduated in literature from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), obtained a master's degree in Brazilian literature from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-RJ), and a PhD in comparative literature from the Fluminense Federal University (UFF). She defines her work as escrevivência, that is, literary production derived from her life, and the memories and daily lives of people of African descent in Brazil. Her work is considered a reference in the fight against racism and sexismo in the country. Her first publication was at the age of 44, in 1990, in the Cadernos Negros series, by the group Quilombhoje. She is the author of seven books, including Olhos d'Água (2015), winner of the Jabuti Prize. Five of her books have been translated into English, French, Spanish, and Arabic. Evaristo has been awarded the Minas Gerais Government Award for her lifetime of work; the Nicolás Guillén Literature Prize, of the Caribbean Philosophical Association; and the Mestra das Periferias Award, of the Maria and João Aleixo Institute. In 2017, she was honored by the Itaú Cultural Institute with the Conceição Evaristo Occuation and, in 2019, as a literary personality by the Jabuti Prize.

2020/21 - Néstor García Canclini

Néstor Canclini - PerfilBorn in 1939, Néstor Garcia Canclini is a cultural anthropologist and the first international name to hold the Chair. His research project is entitled "The Institutionality of Culture in the Current Context of Sociocultural Changes, and it approaches the "de-institutionalization" of culture." Canclini is a professor at the Autonomous Metropolitan University of Mexico City and holds a doctorate in Philosophy from the University of La Plata, and the University of Paris Nanterre. He has taught at USP and at universities in the United States, Spain, and Argentina. In 2014, he received Mexico's National Prize for Sciences and Arts. Among his major works is Culturas Híbridas: Estrategias para Entrar y Salir de la Modernidad (1990), which has been awarded honors in the Iberoamerican Book Award from the Latin American Studies Association in 1992. Currently, his research projects are dedicated to the relationships between aesthetics, art, anthropology, creative strategies, and cultural networks of young people. The focus of his work is globalization and cultural changes in Latin America, with a view to the mixtures between cultures, ethnicities, and references of media and of what is popular and traditional. His studies also include themes that are of interest to both cultural policies and the relationship between technology and culture.

2019 - Paulo Herkenhoff and Helena Nader

Paulo Herkenhoff - Perfil
Helena Nader - Perfil

Paulo Herkenhoff is currently an independent curator. Former cultural director of the Rio de Janeiro Art Museum (MAR). He was also the director of the Rio de Janeiro Museum of Fine Arts (2003-2006), adjunct curator at the Department of Painting and Sculpture at New York's MoMA (1999-2002), curator general of the 24th São Paulo Art Biennial in 1998, curator of the Eva Klabin Rapaport Foundation, and chief curator of Rio de Janeiro's Museum of Modern Art (MAM) (1985-1999). Consultant of the Cisneros Collection (Caracas, Venezuela), and of the 9th Documenta in Kassel, Germany (1991). Helena B. Nader holds a BS in Biological Sciences (medical modality) from the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) (1970), a degree in Biology from the University of São Paulo (1971), a PhD in Molecular Biology from UNIFESP (1974) and a post doctorate from the University of Southern California (1977). She is a full professor at UNIFESP since 1989, the president of the Brazilian Society for the Progress of Science (SBPC), a full member of the São Paulo Academy of Sciences since 1989 and of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences since 1999. Nader was given the Commander Class of the National Order of Scientific Merit in 2002 and the Grand Cross Class in 2008. In 2005 she was nominated Professor Honoris Causa from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN). Nader has been Provost of Graduation (1999-2003) and Post-Graduate Studies and Research (2007-2008) of UNIFESP. Her experience in biochemistry emphasizes glycobiology, and cellular and molecular biology of proteoglycans, especially heparin and heparan sulfate. Her works are related to the involvement of these compounds in hemostasis in the control of cell division and transformation.

2018 - Eliana Sousa Silva

Eliana Sousa Silva - PerfilSilva holds a bachelor's degree in Letters from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ - 1987). She obtained a master's degree (1995) in Education and a PhD (2009) in Social Work, both from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-RJ). In 2007, she founded the Tide Development Network, an NGO that aims to develop the largest set of favelas in Rio de Janeiro: Maré. She is the author of a book that brings together testimonials of residents of the neighborhood. "Testemunhos da Maré" was published in 2012. With experience in the elaboration of social projects, Silva works mainly with social movements, favelas, community education, community work, social diagnosis and public safety. Silva was one of ten people and institutions that won the Itaú Cultural 30 Years Award in 2017, when she and archaeologist Niède Guidon were considered in the Inspiring category. She was also awarded the 2005 Women of the Year Award (Social Area) from Rio de Janeiro's Rotary Club, the 2004 Cláudia Award in the Social Work category, conferred by Editora Abril, and the Ashoka Social Entrepreneurs in 2000.

2017 - Ricardo Ohtake

Ricardo Ohtake - PerfilRicardo Ohtake graduated from the USP's Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism in 1968 and runs a graphic design office since then. He has been the director of the São Paulo Cultural Center, of the Museum of Image and Sound and of the Brazilian Cinematheque. He has been the Secretary of Green and Environment of the city of São Paulo, and Secretary of Culture of the State of São Paulo. He has participated in books and exhibitions by architects such as Oscar Niemeyer and Vilanova Artigas. Currently he heads the Tomie Ohtake Institute in São Paulo.

2016 - Sérgio Paulo Rouanet

Sérgio Paulo Rouanet - Perfil

A national secretary of culture (1991-1992) and career diplomat, Rouanet was Brazil’s ambassador to Denmark and to the Czech Republic. He is the eighth holder of Chair 13 of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, elected on April 23, 1992. He was a visiting professor in the Graduate School of Sociology at the University of Brasilia (UnB), professor of the Rio Branco Institute and visiting professor at the University of Oxford, UK. He graduated in Social and Legal Sciences from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, earning postgraduate degrees in Economics from George Washington University, in Political Sciences from Georgetown University and in Philosophy from the New York School for Social Research. He also holds a doctorate in Political Science from the University of São Paulo.



Photo on top: Erika Yamamoto