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Colonizing Amazonia From Above: Aeronautical Technology in the Brazilian Frontiers
March 7, 2013 - March 8, 2013
Felipe Cruz, Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Texas at Austin and a 2013 Resident Fellow at the Linda Hall Library.
Brazil’s rulers have always been concerned that while the country has a very extensive territory, most of it is sparsely populated – Brazilians have always lived along the coast rather than in the vast hinterlands. The advent of aviation, however, seemed like a panacea for the Brazilian government in its mission to conquer its extensive frontiers. In this lecture, Felipe Cruz explores how the Brazilian government promoted and utilized aviation in novel ways in order to achieve its goal of colonizing the Amazon – from teaching children how to build model airplanes to deploying paratroopers to coerce Indians into building Amazonian airports.