Inauguration of the Center for Milling Rice
By Mivan Gedeon
Whenever I can, I sit down with Daniel Serra -- nephew of Raimundo Irineu Serra -- to look at old photos of the time of Mestre with the intention that he remembers someone or some stories that are still stored in his active memory. These information ends up transporting us to moments in the life of Mestre, as this sequence of images (above), for example, that suggests that they were all taken in the same day during a socio-political event in his community, in Alto Santo.
According to Daniel, they were from the opening day of the Center for Milling Rice, which was implemented by the government of Acre in the colony of Mestre (unknown date). The work was carried out by the Department of Agriculture, which justifies the presence of the clerk of that body, João Lopes (Photo 1), talking with Mestre Irineu (as identified by Daniel). Right behind (the first after Mestre - Photo 1), which many think to be Francisco Grangeiro, in fact, according to Daniel, would be Luiz Prazeres – the mechanic of the newly installed machines. The remainders were not identified.
We note that in this same day was taken the most publicized photo of Mestre (Photo 4), in whose original he appears with two children of name Maria. The first, from left to right, is Maria da Paz, daughter of Tetéu, and the second is Maria do Carmo Serra, daughter of Daniel Serra. At the time, was mounted a small stage for the solemnity of the symbolic delivery of the center to mill rice to Mestre. There is a flag of Brazil and a wooden wall in the background of the stage (Photo 3 and Photo 4).
When I went to Acre, in 2005, I met the photographer Luis Américo, who claims to be the author of such photos, but also of all from the burial of Mestre. At first a reserved person, but deep down nice, after much persuasion he welcomed us (me and Daniel) at his residence, located on the rise to Alto Santo. I went there to see if he could grant me an interview for a documentary, but he was inflexible in saying that he did not give interviews. Despite the fact that he showed us some photos that validate his authorship, he complained in a kind way that the journalist Altino Machado (his relative, according to him) had taken all his negatives. But he assured me that he was the one who took the photos for the government at that time, and that often he took pictures of Mestre, through events held by the State.
* Mivan Gedeon is a journalist, documentary maker and current secretary of the Centro de Iluminação Cristã Estrela Brilhante Raimundo Irineu Serra (CICEBRIS - Maranhão).