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Sorrow for José de Marques de Melo’s demise


With the words that Margarita Ledo gave in the homage to Professor José Marques de Melo during the AE-IC Congress held in Madrid in 2016, the Grupo de Estudos Audiovisuais expresses its deep sorrow for the death of teacher and research colleague.

Homage of the AE-IC to Prof. Dr. José Marques de Melo

Professor Emeritus of the University of Sao Paulo, Director of the UNESCO Chair in Communication, Honorary President of INTERCOM

Under the sign of words as Memory, as Challenge, using the key of time, we approach, on the tip of our feet, a diverse work and an immense personal and intellectual biography: that of Professor Emeritus of the University of Sao Paulo, Director of the UNESCO Chair of Communication, Honorary President of INTERCOM, Prof. José Marques de Melo.

We enter a universe that exhibits and warns of the need to relate and keeps active all the caryatids -and oral culture is one of them- that, in history and always from the precise coordinates of the space to be worked, They make emerge different ways of expression with which we build that rugged fabric that there is even little we call “social communication relationships” and that, now, we identify, in one of its variants, as “cooperation”.

Such if it were a realizative, this word, cooperation, does not avoid or should disguise the conflict. Even less mask interests, discourage taking positions, avoid contradictions that nourish the scientific field secomasí the different methodological schools. Because, from them, in a dialóxica way – another turn a term that identifies at a practical level and of thought Professor Marques de Melo -, we can turn cooperation into an experience of knowledge and a transforming process.

It is this one of the multiple senses that define the Congress of the AEIC and to whose object we recognize the northeasterner who says of himself even: I inherited from my clan feelings of independence, justice and tolerance. Marques is one of those academics and communicators who makes xenoenemia and, from his own “Circumstantial Event of an Andarilho da Utopia”, explain them the passage from the factual register to the thought, from the vestige to the contextualization and interpretation of empirical evidence, from the statement to critical reflection. From the topic to the problem.

In continuous movement, the wake that lead to Professor Marques de Melo from the profession of journalist to the Academy, from the partial investigations of the sixties to the location and configuration of those theoretical paradigms that base and define the field of studies of communication in Brazil; that stele, he told me, spreads in a wide scientific production, organizing capacity and creation of structures in a network, at the same time of a disclosing vocation and application of knowledge that, consistent with its ethical-political commitment, is reflected in the recent creation of the (permanent) Latin American communication research seminar “José Marques de Melo” within CIESPAL, a structure that had hosted it, as a UNESCO bolusiro, back in the difficult sixties.

Born in Palma de los Índios, Alagoas (Brazil), Marques de Melo studied at the University of Pernambuco and in 1959 began his journey as a local journalist. In 1966, at the hands of Luiz Beltrao, began his academic career and a long journey in dust building that we now identify as Latin American School of Communication Sciences. In 1967 Marques de Melo, already in Sao Paulo, founded the Center for Social Communication Research at the Jásalismo Cásper Libero School and will be a teacher-founder of the USP School of Communications and Wool Arts. Expelled from the public University by the military dictatorship, in 1970 he resumed his chair at the University of Sao Paulo where he will be director of the ECA between eighty-nine and ninety-three. From 1997 to 2000 he directs the Methodist University where, for 10 years, he will hold the UNESCO chair of “Communication for regional development”. The award of the Prêmio Jabuti, in 2013, for História del Jornalismo or the series of 4 volumes that in the collection “Fortuna Crítica” INTERCOM is dedicated to it and they analyze social, mediolóxicos, theoretical, pedagogic or vanguard and leadership aspects, are a small sample of the recognition of an experience “EntreNaçoes and Inter-Relacoes” paraphrasing the title of a work of 2013 in which authors and authors of a virtual map -which extends from Montreal to Puerto through all of Latin America- enter into dialogue with their legacy.

Discern, apply to projects, organize mediation structures, compile, disseminate, connect the people who initiate research with the teachers and teachers … Never fell in the arm to compare individual rights with collective rights, nor professional communication with the community. In his works, from Studies of Comparative Journalism (from 1972), to Political History of the Sciences of the Comunicaçao, the Mídia and Popular Culture, both in 2008, from Multicultural Communication in Ibero-America – Conceptual History and Comparative Theory, in 2010, the Theory and methodology of communication, in 2015, the observation of the changes, interculturality, the dialogue between formation, the construction of a community of thought and action as well as lexitimar, on an international level, the Latin-American space of communication, on the other side of the study of relations – visible and latent – between means, democracy and power, there is a fertile way of doing and knowing that in this Congress of the AE-IC we want to celebrate.

I had the good fortune to meet with Professor Marques de Melo in 1988, on the occasion of the IAMCR Congress in the city of Barcelona and in 1998 I was summoned in Compostela, with his presence, the II Colloquium Brazil-Spanish State of Communication Sciences. Like other colleagues of the AE-IC, I am now part of the “Colegio de los Brasilianistas de la Comunicaçao”, an initiative that, in his hand, started in 2015, just a year ago.

Placing diversity at the heart of the media system, taking distance and rethinking the knowledge society, building community, defeating political democracy with the role of the media, encouraging one, two, many places of debate and links between all and all of us, they are characteristics that define it and whose results we can touch with our hands.

Because his attitude and ability to incorporate new contributions and opinions, allow us to travel through the different landscapes he went through-from the local newspaper to the ECA, from the auroral presidency in INTERCOM, to LUSOCOM, CONFIBERCOM or SOCICOM to innumerous pedagogic or editorial initiatives, are the awards and accolades that, like this act, want to express once again: Professor Marques, for everything, thanks, and as we say inmy country, “cheers and let the bird sing”.

Margarita Ledo Andión
University of Santiago de Compostela, USC
1st Vice-President of the AE-IC
President of AGACOM e da LUSOCOM
Vice President of ASSIBERCOM

Madrid, 5th of July 2016

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