The Collective Desvio Particular – which means Private Detour, an expression of the railway jargon that designates a railway line adjacent to the main one, which serves industrial or commercial companies located in the vicinity of the railways -, in partnership with the Brazilian Committee for the Conservation of Industrial Heritage (TICCIH / Brazil) and by institutional support from Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos (CPTM), has the honor of presenting the project “O êxodo Industrial e a Fotografia”.
The Collective, composed by André de Oliveira, Hugo Ribeiro, and Nayana Fernández, was formed to produce records of the deindustrialization process in the State of São Paulo.
Hugo Ribeiro’s photographs, which we now present, record the economic process’s signs along the old São Paulo Railway line. Also on this occasion, we offer to the virtual audience the texts “O Estado da Arte”, by the same photographer, and “A Indústria na orla da ferrovia Santos – Jundiaí na cidade de São Paulo”, by Fernando de Pádua Laurentino, author of master’s dissertation “Várzeas do Tamanduateí: industrialização e desindustrialização”.
Good exhibition to everyone.
We are doing a collective financing for the printing of the photographs of the exhibition “The Industrial Exodus and Photography” in the form of a photobook. Help us and get a copy. More information below.
Hugo Ribeiro de Paulo e Silva
By: Fernando de Pádua Laurentino – Author of the master’s dissertation “Várzeas do Tamanduateí: industrialização e desindustrialização.”
During university, I participated in fieldwork in the discipline of Geography of Industries taught at the time by Prof. Dr. Margarida Maria de Andrade. We came to know São Paulo’s neighborhoods from the first industrialization in São Paulo in that activity. On the way to São Caetano do Sul, we crossed the set of industries and warehouses that accompanies the shore of Santos-Jundiaí railroad tracks, which characterizes our object of study satisfactorily.
The bus that carried the students took Presidente Wilson Avenue from its beginning in the Mooca neighborhood. The avenue that stretches for more than 7 kilometers is an almost uninterrupted succession of industries and warehouses on both sides. The occupation pattern characterizes the first industrialization boom in the city. We see extensive walls flanking the sidewalks and the factory’s doors directly on the street on that avenue, so the factory space was separated by a few meters from the curb. Facades, walls and chimneys of exposed bricks, zigzag roofs and iron structures are present in this landscape. There are no parking lots at the factories since the car was still a novelty when they were built.
In addition to these fundamental considerations that characterized the fledgling São Paulo’s industry, other aspects caught my attention and provoked me. The avenue is straight across its entire route, made possible since the land on which it sits is absolutely flat.
Therefore, anyone who looks from the street level sees it extending to a distant vanishing point. The factories and warehouses’ facades were very similar, and in several sections, they were composed only of extensive and high white or gray walls with guardhouses and with massive iron gates. Many of the buildings were unoccupied because they did not indicate any activities in them and signs with “for rent” or “for sale” denounced the vacancy. Other industrial spaces were not only empty but also abandoned due to the deteriorating state of their equipment or rusting structures. There were scarcely any people on the avenue. There were also almost no trees on the sidewalks, creating a desert environment. That landscape evoked a feeling of loneliness, hostility, and strangeness in me. The strangeness led me to want a better understanding of that space’s production and the industry’s phenomenon leaving São Paulo’s city and that place in particular.
A history of the process of occupation of the place described until the exit of the industries was made from the research. With the study, we understand that the area’s industrial occupation was due to the proximity of the railway line and its stations, one of the main locational factors of the first industrialization of São Paulo. The Santos-Jundiaí railway, in turn, in the city of São Paulo, was established on the floodplains of the Tamanduateí River. That occurred regarding they were terrains that guaranteed a very favorable condition for their settlement: an extensive flat surface. Furthermore, those lands were cheap because they repelled human settlement due to floods in the rainy season. However, the floodplains as open and free spaces were appropriated by the city’s working and poorest population for the most different activities and, among them, leisure. A highlight for the soccer that here in Brazil was played for the first time in the floodplains of Tamanduateí, developed on the banks of many rivers in São Paulo and that became widely known as floodplain football.
The industry that would follow the tracks, looking for the proximity of the railway stations, also took advantage of the natural and price conditions offered by the floodplains lands and settled there, creating a linear industrial region on the flood surface of the Tamanduateí River.
If trails, with floodplains lands, were attractive to the industry at the beginning of the 20th century, they would cease to be in the last decades of the same century. The intense process of metropolization that São Paulo went through raised the cost of maintaining manufacturing activity within the city. The valorization of urban land, the organization of workers (which raised the average wage), and developments in urban agglomeration (traffic, little or no space for expansion, etc.) made the industry start looking for other places to settle down outside the city of São Paulo.
The strangeness mentioned earlier led me to understand the transformations of the floodplain spaces (still present) and the departure and abandonment of industrial areas. The search for the best location conditions for the industry helps to explain the location of the first outbreak of industrialization in São Paulo, as well as the exit of the industrial units along Presidente Wilson Avenue. The research made it possible to understand the reproduction of that space and thus develop an analysis of the socioeconomic processes and the interests of the agents involved in the occupation and appropriation of the Tamanduateí floodplains.
Many acknowledgments are due to the Coletivo Desvio Particular, given that we count on the collaboration of several people who, in the middle of a pandemic, in person or remotely, made this essay possible. Cooperations were diverse, from abstract and complex discussions about economics to stories of buildings or neighborhoods, from employees who allowed us to enter the parking lot to take pictures, passing by the actual owners of historic buildings who gave us access to their properties, to academics and intellectuals who helped us, establishing contacts, opening doors or discussing historical concepts and phenomena.
Initially and primarily, we are thankful to the Brazilian Committee for the Conservation of Industrial Heritage (TICCIH / Brazil), which so enthusiastically welcomed our project and supported us. We thank the person of Professor Dr. Eduardo Romero, to whom we are grateful for the attention you have given to the Collective and for the rich discussions you have had with us. Furthermore, I would like to thank Evandro Nogueira Santana Junior for his dedication to building the virtual exhibition page.
We want to acknowledge the Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos – CPTM for the prompt service and the authorization it gave us to photograph in the areas under its concession. Thanks to Rodrigo Pontes and Gerson Faria.
We show gratitude to the Faculdade das Américas for the authorization it gave us to photograph the interior of Campus Mooca, formerly Moinho Santo Antônio. We would also like to thank dear professor Lúcia Reisewitz, who helped us with the institution’s authorization request.
We would like to acknowledge the Centro de Memórias Queixadas, the Agência Queixadas and Quilombaque, for the stories told and the conversations, the directions, the explanation of the operation of the former Companhia Brasileira Cimento Portland Perús. Thanks to Camila Cardoso, Jéssica Moreira and Raul Costa. Long live the “permanent resistance”!
We thank the Abdalla Family for the authorization for photography and access to the former Companhia Brasileira Cimento Portland Perús.
As a use-value, a photograph hides, in the dimension of its exchange value, an infinite chain of economic and social relations, historically and politically determined, regionally and globally conformed, established between social beings.
Many of these social beings are hidden, in turn, in the confines of this country, in “favelas, hovels, malocas and floodplains”, where modern Brazil has never arrived, where the antediluvian wood stove has now returned to, where hunger was more present than the State.
Therefore, we dedicate this work to the “victims of hunger” and the “famines of the land”, to whom the union still hangs.
All rights reserved to Coletivo Desvio Particular.