Maira Salazar

Patrícia Rehder Galvão – Pagu

Patrícia Rehder Galvão, also known by the nickname Pagu, was an author, political activist, illustrator, journalist, translator, dramatist and the first woman arrested for political reasons in Brazil.

Born in 1910, she early on became involved with the Brazilian Modernist movement. At the age of 18, she met the writer Oswald de Andrade, and they began a complicated relationship. He was already married to a famous Brazilian artist, Tarsila de Amaral. Pagu and Oswald had a son in 1930.

Around that time, Pagu starts collaborating with the Brazilian Communist Party. With Oswald, she starts a politically active newspaper. In 1931, she is arrested for the first time, when speaking at a strike. Still on the same decade, she published two books, got divorced, travelled to China and Europe as a correspondent, went to Russia and became disenchanted with communism. She was arrested again and severely tortured.

In 1940, she met and married the art critic Geraldo Ferraz. Professionally, she continued to write and translate. She severed ties with the Communist Party, but became affiliated with the Socialist Party. She published another book and became more involved with the theatrical world in Brazil. She spent the decade of 1950 working as a culture animator, nurturing young theatrical talents in the region, and still writing for newspapers.

She died of cancer in 1962. 

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