La Cecilia

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La Cecilia

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On February 20, 1890, Giovanni Rossi left Italy from Genoa with a group of 5 other anarchists. They sailed to Palmeiras, Paranà, in Brazil, where they established the anarchist “Cecilia Colony – Colônia Cecília”. In less than a year, its population, primarily male, had about 250 members. This experiment in anarchist communism and free love lasted for about five years, running up against not only material problems, but especially emotional and sexual difficulties (due particularly to the small number of women). In addition, there was hostility from the local community of Polish catholic immigrants and their priest, and from the local administration. Disease also took its toll as there were problems with sanitation and with getting healthy food.



These anarcho-communitarians were against what they saw as the authoritarian and totalitarian spirit which existed in many Utopian and religious projects, with their strict rules and little personal freedom. They wanted to create a community without hierarchic organisation, without bureaucracy and without coercive discipline.They promoted the idea of egalitarian collective social and economic forms and the idea and practice of free love rather than the primacy of the patriarchal nuclear family. As in other countries and other periods, the Italian communitarian anarchists were criticized by some main stream anarchists as detracting from the revolutionary struggle.(See Communitarian anarchism)


The commune was made up of a few dozen wooden buildings, which included store rooms, a kitchen building, a communal dining room, stalls and houses. As well as cultivating 80 acres of land, they set up a shoe makers’ workshop and a joinery and carpentry workshop, with a barrel makers department. The members of the Cecilia Colony also started a free school based on libertarian pedagogical principles, though Rossi admitted in 1890 that the school for the children was open irregularly. “Instruction, music, theatre, dances, have still not been possible. The productive job has absorbed to us entirely “.

Summary in Spanish

La Colonia Cecilia, comuna anarquista:
Fundada en 1890 en el municipio de Palmeira Paraná, Brasil, por un grupo de libertarios entre los que destacó Giovanni Rossi, llegó a alojar más de 250 colonos que se repartían el trabajo agrícola y las tareas de mantenimiento.
Ocupó 80 acres de tierra de un área cedida por el emperador Pedro II poco antes de la proclamación de la República. Se construyeron un barracón colectivo y veinte individuales, la escuela, molino, estanques, pabellón colectivo que incluía un consultorio médio y almacén. Se vivía según los principios anarquistas de no coerción y cooperación. Duró cuatro años entre otros motivos por la escasez de recursos, la hostilidad de comunidades vecinas profundamente católicas y de las autoridades así como problemas de la convivencia en especial en lo referente al amor libre.

Summary in Portuguese

A Colônia Cecília foi uma comuna experimental baseada em premissas anarquistas. A Colônia foi fundada em 1890, no município de Palmeira, no estado do Paraná, por um grupo de libertários mobilizados pelo jornalista e agrônomo italiano Giovanni Rossi(1859-1943).
A fundação da Colônia Cecília foi a primeira tentativa efetiva de implantação do ideário anarquista no Brasil (1889). Rossi, ideólogo e escritor anarquista, adepto da “acracia”, foi instigado pelo músico brasileiro Carlos Gomes a procurar D. Pedro II com o propósito de instaurar uma comunidade capaz de propulsionar um “novo tempo”, uma utopia baseada no trabalho, na vida e no amor libertário. (Wikipedia)

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