Brazil Is Still the Country of the Future

Tyler Cowen – Bloomberg, 08/11/2016

Brazil, it is often and not quite fairly said, is the country of the future and always will be. As the Olympics focuses global attention on the country, it’s worth exploring the various ways in which this maxim is — and may not be — true.

The puzzle with Brazil is neither its successes nor its failures, but rather the combination of the two. The country has such a dynamic feel, and in the postwar era it saw many years of double-digit economic growth. The Economist featured the country on its cover in 2009 as the next miracle take-off, and in 2012 Germany’s Der Spiegel published a long article titled “How Good Governance Made Brazil a Model Nation.”

Yet Brazil never caught up to the developed world: Its gross domestic product per capita falls about 4 to 7 times short of the U.S. — about where it was more than a century ago. It is now experiencing one of the most severe depressions of any country in modern times. The president, Dilma Rousseff, is in the midst of an impeachment process. The combination of corrupt and violent police, muggings of athletes, polluted water and inadequate facilities have led many to wonder whether Brazil can pull of the Olympics without major embarrassment.

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The vigor of Brazilian literature

Boston Book Festival – October 24th, 2015 @ 4:00PM

in BOSTON COMMON CARVER, 40 TRINITY PLACE

The session marks the world premiere of the English version of an anthology bringing together more than twenty of the best representatives of Brazil’s diverse literature. Three of them will be on stage.

A diplomat and Harvard-trained lawyer, Alexandre Vidal Porto is a representative of Brazil’s new urban school of fiction. He wrote Sergio Y., recipient of the Paraná Literary Prize, to be published in the United States in 2016. In 2009, Nuno Ramos received Brazil’s most prestigious literary prize, the Portugal Telecom Literature Award, with the book Ó. Luisa Geisler was awarded the 2010 Sesc Prize for Literature for her debut book Contos de Mentira and was featured in Granta’s special issue on Best Young Brazilian Writers.

Nilma Dominique, the coordinator of MIT’s Portuguese Language Program, will host the session. During the event there will be a pocket show by Brazilian musician Flavio Lira. Anthology and session (held in English) sponsored by Pessoa magazine, with support from MIT and Boston University.

Click here for more information directly from the BBF website

Exile, arrest and torture: why Brazil’s pop artists risked everything

Jason Farago – The Guardian, 9/14/2015

The banner is stark – a silkscreen of a corpse, and beneath it just four words. Seja marginal, seja herói, it reads in Portuguese: “Be an outlaw, be a hero.” Hélio Oiticica’s 1967 work of a bank robber who committed suicide before the police could apprehend him became, in the first years of Brazil’s dictatorship, a national symbol. You would see it evereyywhere, from art galleries to spontaneous street demonstrations, and at concerts by dissident Tropicália stars, where it fluttered over the stage. In Brazil in the 1960s, being an outlaw was not a delinquency but a mark of bravery.

This week Tate Modern opens The World Goes Pop, the second of two major exhibitions this year to look at pop art from a global perspective. (The first, International Pop, recently closed at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and tours to the Dallas Museum of Art in October.) The Tate show demolishes the misconception that pop was an entirely American affair – it started in Britain, after all, and arose in Germany, Japan, Hungary, Argentina. Pop was an ethos more than a movement, and it morphed as it migrated across borders and oceans.

But nowhere was it more engaged than in Brazil, where artists opposed both American hegemony and their own country’s military regime.

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Baila Brazil, Balé de Rua, Royal Festival Hall, London — review

Louise Levene – Financial Times, 8/11/2015 

After 90 minutes of relentless dancing, drumming and tumbling, the 14 performers of Balé de Rua might have been forgiven for a quick bow and a dash for the showers but instead they exploded into a series of encores, breakdancing and somersaulting with a free-form spontaneity that had been missing for much of this long, poorly focused show.

Balé de Rua was founded in 1992 by Fernando Narduchi, Marco Antônio Garcia and José Marciel Silva in the central Brazilian city of Uberlândia. Their aim was to recruit dancers without formal training and use their street skills — samba, capoeira, hip-hop and acrobatics — to celebrate Brazil’s multi-ethnic cultural heritage.

The staging is uncomplicated: some scaffolding, a few giant decorative dahlias and a lot of jammy red light. A backing track is supplemented by keyboard, guitar, trumpet and a variety of percussion — not so much drumming as CPR — and live singing by 16-year-old Alexia Falcão Lopes.

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Natural energy, artistic development, harmony, and the future of Brazil

Watch EmeraldPlanet’s video here, 7/12/2015

Guests:

Denise Milan, Creator, “Language of the Stones”; Co-Founder/Brazilian Team and Director, “Engage Earth” Art Education Project; Multimedia Artist, Public and Performance Art; Photographer; & Author; Denise Milan Studio, San Paulo, Brazil. (In-Studio)*

Dr. Jerome I. Friedman, Physics Professor Emeritus, and Nobel Laureate 1990 in Physics, Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Member, Board of Sponsors, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, (By Skype)*,

Dr. Jeffreen M. Hayes, Principal, bridge/arts of Chicago, Curator, Scholar, and Educator, (By Skype)*,

Dr. Naomi H. Moniz, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Brazilian Studies, & Comparative Literature, Georgetown University (Ret.), (By Skype)*.

For reference, also watch Brazil Institute’s Mist of the Earth: Art and Sustainability event here.

27 Reminders Why Brazil Is On Everyone’s Bucket List

Gabriela Kruschewsky – The Huffington Post, 7/15/2015

It has crossed your mind at least once … You, Brazil, a beach, sipping on some fresh coconut water that an endearing elderly man probably just chopped open for you with a machete — sun, relaxation, beauty.

Whether you’ve been dreaming of experiencing Carnaval in the South American paradise for years, or you’re just really thirsty for an ice-cold caipirinha, let’s face it. This country has most likely crept its way onto your travel bucket list.

Yes, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are both beautiful, but which other places should you visit when in Brazil? Voila — here are some gems that you’ll want on your radar for your next trip. Ready. Set. Brazil.

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Death of Brazilian singer shines spotlight on mainstream’s cultural disconnect

Bruce Douglas – The Guardian, 7/10/2015

With his chiselled jawline, immaculately groomed stubble and smile that could shift toothpaste by the ton, João Gabriel is immediately mobbed as he descends the stage into the crowd halfway through his set at Rio de Janeiro’s Lapa 40° club.

Unruffled, Gabriel’s grin never flickers or dims. The 29-year old singer has been doing this since he was nine, traipsing from bar to bar with his father.

It’s not samba, bossa-nova or baile funk that’s driving the crowd wild, however: Gabriel is a star of sertanejo, a kind of accordion-infused country pop, that is phenomenally successful in Brazil, if rather less so outside.

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Brazil’s tough laws on violence against women stymied by social norms

Melanie Hargreaves – The Guardian, 5/12/2015

As the negotiations continue towards agreeing a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) to come into effect next year, tackling gender inequality remains high on the agenda.

The current draft of the SDGs contains a standalone goal on the issue, which includes a specific target to “eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation”.

It’s a welcome move – and certainly more hard-hitting than the gender equality requirements of the millennium development goals, which saw donor countries target aid at education and health in developing countries, while ignoring other areas crucial to women’s rights, such as countering gender-based violence.

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Amazonian tribes unite to demand Brazil stop hydroelectric dams

Jonathan Watts – The Guardian, 4/30/2015

Four Amazonian tribes have joined forces to oppose the construction of hydroelectric dams in their territory as the Brazilian government ramps up efforts to exploit the power of rivers in the world’s biggest forest.

The Munduruku, Apiaká, Kayabi and Rikbaktsa released a joint statement on Thursday demanding the halt of construction on a cascade of four dams on the Teles Pires – a tributary of the Tapajós.

They say the work at the main area of concern – the São Manoel dam – threatens water quality and fish stocks. The site has already reportedly expanded almost to the edge of a nearby village, although the local communities say they have not been consulted as they obliged to be under national laws and international standards.

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Why Brazilians are really going to miss supermodel Gisele

Dom Phillips – The Washington Post, 4/27/2015

At first glance, the glittering career of Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen is not very Brazilian. The supermodel, who retired from the catwalks at age 34 on April 15 in a blizzard of publicity, has pursued her profession with a Teutonic single-mindedness and efficiency, as befits her family’s German roots.

Friends, industry professionals and colleagues used terms such as “punctual,” “secure investment” and “well educated” to describe her — terms rarely associated with models, fashion or, indeed, tropical, impulsive Brazil, where she is often described as an über-model, rather than a supermodel.

Nonetheless, Brazilians can claim her as their own. “Gisele is what most represents Brazil abroad. It is Pelé, carnival and Gisele,” said Fernanda Tavares, a New York-based Brazilian model who has been her friend since they started their careers together 20 years ago, at age 14. Tavares was among those who suggested that Bündchen will still do select catwalk shows, as well as her advertising contracts.

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