Monumento às Bandeiras [Monument to the Bandeiras]

Let me push: from work of art to stage for protests!

Texto: Renata Latuf Sanchez. Modelagem 3D: Laura Sayuri de Haro, Luís Felipe Abbud, Rodrigo Simões Ferraz do Amaral, Rogério Alves Rosa Junior, João Generoso Gonzales. Pós-Produção: Luís Felipe Abbud, João Generoso Gonzale.

The Monumento às Bandeiras was first proposed by Victor Brecheret, in 1920, in response to a public competition to commemorate the centenary of Brazil’s Independence. Brecheret did not win the competition and the monument was not built at the time. In 1936, the project was resumed and Brecheret presented a new version to the state government, which decided to place it at the entrance to the then idealized Ibirapuera Park. In the years that followed, the monument underwent several alterations until it obtained its current form: a geometric version that referenced the Art Deco style marked by the volume of the monsoon canoe and the upward movement of the figures. In addition, the sculpture would point to the northwest, in the direction of the bandeirante march. The work was inaugurated in 1953 for the IV Centenary festivities, together with Ibirapuera Park and, for decades, it had a positive image among public opinion.

In recent years, however, the image of the bandeirante pioneering and unifying the territory has been replaced by the image of the bandeirante that seized and despoiled indigenous territory. In 2013, the work suffered two successive acts of protest against the proposed constitutional amendment (PEC) that would entrust the power to define the delimitation of indigenous lands from the Executive Branch to the National Congress. On the morning of October 2, the monument was tagged with the words ‘Bandeirante Assassins’ and ‘No to PEC 215.’ The work was cleaned and, the next day, mostly indigenous demonstrators gathered underneath MASP and marched all the way to the monument. They threw red paint on it, hung a red cloth, and spray-painted hate messages against the bandeirantes. The red represented the blood of the peoples decimated during the expeditions to which the monument is dedicated. In 2016, after a debate during the electoral campaign, the monument was again covered in paint, as was the sculpture of the pioneer Borba Gato. Recent disputes about the meaning of the monument brought up discussions around the memory it evokes, contrasting the pride and valorization of the work of art with the criticism and thematization of barbarism through radical acts.


  1. Maria Rossetti Batista (org.) Bandeiras de Brecheret: história de um monumento (1920-1953). São Paulo: PMSP/SMC/DPH, 1985.
  2. Tadeu Chiarelli, Bandeirantes em movimento: entre disputas e conciliação, Arte Brasileiros, 09/jul/2020.
  3. Daniela Mendes Cidade, 3Nós3: arte como crítica politia no quotidiano urbano, Revista Gama, 2017.
  4. Inventário de Obras de Arte em logradouros públicos da cidade de São Paulo/ Monumento às Bandeiras. SMC/DPH.
  5. Monumento às Bandeiras homenageia aqueles que nos massacraram diz liderança indígena, Revista Fórum, 2013.
  6. Paulo César Garcez Marins, o parque do Ibirapuera e a construção da identidade paulista, Anais do Museu Paulista, v.6-7, 2003.
  7. Thais Chang Waldman, Entre batismos e degolas: (des) caminhos bandeirantes em São Paulo, tese de doutorado em antropologia (USP), São Paulo, 2018.


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