Walter Miranda
Plastic Artist

Title: Social Symmetry - Volta Redonda 09/Nov/1989


Technique: colored pencils on wood + objects*

Dimensions: 150 x 100 cm Year: 1989

* Computer board, grass and dead bird.


In November 1988, the invasion of the Steelworks Company of Volta Redonda by the Brazilian army caused the death of three metallurgists who were on strike and occupied the premises of the steelworks. The extreme use of force by the army caused not only deaths and injuries, but also conceptual grievances among workers, as they were treated as enemies of the country just for claiming better living conditions and respect for professional activities.

Unfortunately, even today, the attempt to remove various workers' rights remains strong and successful in many plans, given the precariousness of various professional activities.

In addition, lately, police and military forces have been used as an instrument of social pressure, sometimes even of physical violence, which is why I associate this work with the concept of struggle.

It presents in the foreground the profile of three workers as opposed to the profile of three soldiers, the latter being represented as mirrored images of the workers, but robotized.

In the background is the silhouette of part of the plant and the intermediate plans  show several workers leaving the factory with their arms raised and wearing protective masks to make identification difficult. They were ordered out in single file with the soldiers lined up menacingly and wielding rifles with bayonets. The silhouette of a war tank reinforces the idea of threat.

In the center and bottom part of the painting is a computer board that represents the architectural logic of a factory. However, objects similar to bullets from military weapons were incorporated into it, representing the violence used during the military occupation. On both sides of the work, silhouettes of weapons were drawn, also in opposition to silhouettes of industrial schemes.

From it run parallel electrical cables that support the enclosure that protects the body of a dead and mummified bird. This represents life put at risk by disrespect for human beings, as material production has greater value than human life itself.

In the center of the painting is the image of the body of one of the workers killed by the invading forces.


Walter Miranda
Ateliê Oficina FWM de Artes
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