Political victory, military defeat
The 1934 Constitution was the announcement of a political victory, according to Paulistas. Through the so-called Revolution of 1932, the people of São Paulo started a movement in an attempt to recover the power and political autonomy lost with the beginning of the Vargas Era, in 1930, under the pretext of demanding a new constitution for the country.
Its defeat in the battle was drastically and positively re-signified with the promulgation of the Constitution in 1934. Paulistas started claiming that, if it hadn’t been for the Revolution, the Constitution would not have been promulgated. It was, therefore, a political victory despite the military defeat. Through this logic of exaltation, its victims were easily transformed into martyrs.
Also in 1934, a ‘Pro-Monument to the Heroes of 32’ Campaign was launched to raise funds throughout the state. Three years later, the winning project was chosen: The Obelisk Mausoleum to the Heroes of 32, by the Italian-Brazilian sculptor Galileo Emendabili. A long period went by without the funds and support necessary for building the sculpture. It was expected that the monument would be erected in the current Praça Santos Dumont, on Avenida 9 de Julho, but with the proximity of the city’s IV Centenary celebrations, the installation site was transferred to Ibirapuera Park, which was just beginning to be implemented. The construction of the obelisk began in 1945 and was completed in the 1970s, with several interruptions due to lack of resources. Starting in 1954, with the inauguration of Ibirapuera Park, the mausoleum began to receive the bodies of combatants brought from various cemeteries in the city. Currently, there are more than 800 bodies.
With so many difficulties and delays in its construction, the obelisk’s grandeur is a clear contradiction to the current status of the 1932 narrative which, despite the numerous toponyms named in its reference, tries to remain in São Paulo’s memory.
- Rodrigo Gutenberg, Pesquisas de História. Sociedade Veteranos de 1932, sem data.
- Paulo César Garcez Marins, O parque do Ibirapuera e a construção da identidade paulista. Anais do Museu Paulista, 2003
- Walter Arruda de Menezes, Obras de arte em logradouros públicos de São Paulo: Regional Sé. PMSP/SMC/DPH, 1987.
- Matheus Moreira. Artista responsável pelo Obelisco do Ibirapuera completaria 120 anos hoje. Arte!Brasileiros, 8 de mai de 2018.
- Prefeitura de São Paulo. Monumento-Mausoléu ao Soldado Constitucionalista de 1932. Seção Técnica de Levantamentos e Pesquisa, Divisão de Preservação – DPH, 27 de mai de 2008.
- Helena Ayoub Silva. Restauro do Monumento ao Soldado Constitucionalista de 1932 – Obelisco do Ibirapuera. 13 Seminário docomomo, 2019.
- Edison Veiga. 9 de julho: as marcas em São Paulo da revolução por trás do feriado. BBC Brasil, 9 de jul de 2018.