My Land has Palms / Minha terra tem Palmeiras

 A video by Charles Bernstein on Régis Bonvicino,   June 2006

… Well, how old am I now! Or how old do I look now! I could be the new Greta Garbo: no pictures! My team’s name is  Palmeiras (Palms), founded in 1914 by Italian immigrants (known as  “oriundi” by traditional white Brazilian families) with the goal of  keeping alive Italian traditions in São Paulo. That’s the one of the  two connections that I have to my Italian Bonvicino roots, I suppose.  The same group that founded the team, that same year, created a  newspaper called Fanfulla, where the avant-garde writer  António de Alcantâra Machado (1901-1935) used to write and publish his  prose. His best-known book is entitled Brás, Bexiga and Barra Funda,  the names of the three Italian districts of São Paulo. Italian  immigrants were heavily discriminated against in São Paulo, and so both  the team, called Palestra Italia, and Fanfulla were part of  the Italian “oriundi” strategy of affirmative action in Brazil. The  team was forced to change its name during the Second War: Brazil was  fighting, along with US, UK, Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe,  against  the Germany/Italy/Japan axis. The novelist Alcantâra Machado was a  close friend of Oswald de Andrade’s, the founder of modernism in Brazil  along with Mário de Andrade. Oswald de Andrade also published in  Fanfulla. The etymology of “fanfulla” is: fango, fanga, fannannolo,  fannulone, fannulona, FANFULLA. The avant-garde: the second part of my  connection with Italian immigrants! Soccer in Brazil is part of the  life: every Brazilian has a team. It is the main way that social  relations are established! Régis