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[RTBF (Belgian radio)] Josef Schovanec speaks about the National Museum of Brazil, the Emperor Peter II, the first physical Embassy of Autistan in Rio de Janeiro, and our modest project "Museum of Autistics"

Background: Fire at the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro on September 2, 2018 (Wikipedia article) (see our Remarks on this drama, at the end of the article.)

Following this tragic and very sad event, our autistic friend Josef Schovanec, creator of the name “Autistan” and godfather of our Organization, exposed the fascinating and unsung history of Emperor Peter II of Brazil (whose autistic traits seem obvious).
He concluded his speech by talking about our efforts here in Rio de Janeiro, with the first physical Embassy of Autistan (i.e. the first Embassy of autistics), and our modest project “Musée de l’Autistan” (which will eventually be named “Autismuseum” (“Autismusée”/”Autismuseu” etc.)).

You can:

  • and/or read the transcript (approximate) (or, for languages other than French, automatic translation) of what Josef said, under this image:

(transcript or approximate translation)

Hello, this week has been marked by the tragic fire of the National Museum of Brazil. The
media talked about it, and then they went, no surprises, to anything else. Of course, I too
have been shocked when I see so many treasures disappear, but not only: The
National Museum of Brazil hides in truth a singular story that has given me
to think for several years now.
Here: The National Museum was in fact located in the former imperial Palace of Brazil. For Yes,
Brazil was an Empire in the nineteenth century. And it is one of those emperors that I
would like to speak of: Peter II of Brazil. Often it is said, not without reason, that autist
ic people can exercise all trades in the world or almost – with the exception of politics, be
cause, as we know, autistic people refuse to lie. However, in some rare cases, by some
whim of fate, an autistic seems to have access to political power.
Peter II of Brazil, ascended to the throne when he was only a child, could be one o
f the most intriguing examples. Let us say that his profile was, and it is little to say,
more than peculiar, to the antipodes of his father, Peter I, who had multiplied the escapades
of all order before he left, leaving his country on the verge of civil war.
Everyone had noticed that the new emperor, Peter II, was weird. Fro
m childhood, he seemed to be interested only in books, which he devoured according to a rigorous
schedule that he would, in the meantime, respect his whole life. The real question was h
ow to explain these strangeities: Usually, biographers say that it is refuge
in books to flee the political intrigues of the court. I am not so sure: how
can we explain, for example, his speech defects? For Yes
, Peter II may have been a hyperpolyglot mastering an endless list of languages,
his diction was deficient: often he spoke only of an isolated word; Moreover, h
e was unable to articulate certain simple words in appearance, such as “Da
ma”, Madame, which he pronounced “Dadama”. Such a child, now in Europe, would h
ave been considered deficient and would have been excluded from school; The same bearing t
he imperial crown passed as Majestic in the face of the quarrels and the high verb of th
e courtiers. Everything is relative.
The problems began for Peter II at the beginning of adulthood: The counselors of
the court had a seemingly brilliant idea: to make him normal, he had to get married.
Luckily, at the time there was still a form I was going to say autistic marria
ge, namely remote marriage. What was done. Alas, when, much later, the Emperor’s wi
fe eventually arrived in Brazil, Peter II had a shock, began to cry and said “They deceived
me, Dadama”: it did not resemble in any way, of course, the portrait that was presented
to her before the wedding.
The rest of his life was devoted, as was his childhood, to scientific investigations.
His erudition in molluscs, shells and other strange animals was such that the
greatest scholars of his time, including Darwin himself, were dazzled by
his knowledge. The National Museum that Mankind has just lost owed many to t
hese decades of patient work collecting and autistic.
On the political level, Peter II has entered history because, in particular, the abolitio
n of slavery. To this day, for the Brazilians, Peter II is the most popular politician
in the history of the country, because of its simplicity, its particularly
thrifty lifestyle, far from the corruption that gangrene the Brazilian polit
ical class, its straightness Moral.
Peter II died as he had lived: alone and poor, in exile in Paris, having abandoned a th
rone to which he did not hold.
End of story? Not quite. It turns out that the history of autism in Rio c
ould soon bounce back. It is indeed there, not far from the former imperial Palace which beca
me a museum, that an autistic friend, Eric Lucas, established the first Embassy of Autistan. And soon a Auti-museum. “

Our remarks on this drama:

Members of the Autistan diplomatic organization and many autistic people around the world are very shocked and saddened by the fire that destroyed the National Museum of Brazil.
Autistic people are very attached to the notions of “conservation” and “collections”.
We do not understand how such an incredible (and absurd) thing could have happened, whereas, precisely, museums are made to preserve and protect.

Such a concentration of unique pieces should require exemplary security efforts.
Otherwise, it is much safer not to collect these pieces in unique (and fragile) places.
This is a terrible disaster for the heritage of mankind, but it is, alas, a weak example of what the “ordinary” man can do or let do.
Disasters due only to “ordinary” man are repeated and multiply, but we (autistic) We are judged “deficient” by these same people, supposedly “responsible”…

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