If Brazil is such a macho, backwards country, how has it managed to put on the world’s first presidential race between two progressive women, with barely a sexist protest in the national media? It may take decades before something like that could happen in the United States.
By Anna Jean Kaiser
Marina Silva and Dilma Rousseff’s battle this year is the first presidential election I can find where the two principal candidates are women. This milestone for gender equality seems to comes from an unlikely place, as Brazil is infamously a “machista” and sexist country, But Dilma’s gender barely made ripples when she was first elected in 2010, and the topic has gone practically unmentioned as Marina and Dilma go at each other a month before the first round of this year’s elections.
If there is anyone who has benefited directly from the energy that exploded in Brazil last year, it is likely wildcard environmentalist candidate Marina Silva, who was seen as an outsider. But the complicated ‘protest movement’ changed much more than that, even as it remains to be seen whether any of its slogans can be transformed into concrete political outcomes.
How much did the protests of 2013 affect one of the most exciting presidential races of Brazil’s young democracy? It may take decades to really understand what happened last June.
A brutal desigualdade brasileira é tão onipresente que os que vivem aqui simplesmente param de notá-la. Uma mensagem inesperada do exterior serve como lembrete de um tema tão pouco discutido tanto na sociedade quanto na mídia e na eleição atual.
[to read the original post in English, click here]*
Moro no Brasil há mais de quatro anos, o que tem sido incrível em quase todos os aspectos, incluindo as formas que arrumei para me adaptar à cultura local. Por outro lado, há partes do país e do meu processo de adaptação que não gosto. Odeio sobretudo a forma como me tornei insensível a níveis chocantes, brutais e ridículos de desigualdade, que minam o avanço do país. Me acostumei a eles, passei a vê-los como algo de certo modo aceitável.
Brazil’s brutal inequality is so ubiquitous that those who live here simply stop noticing it. An unexpected message from abroad serves as a reminder of the topic that is so rarely discussed here, in society, the media, or the current election.
I’ve been living in Brazil for over four years now, which has been incredible in almost every way, including the ways in which I’ve adapted to the local culture. But there’s the bits I don’t like, too. More than anything else, I hate the way I’ve become desensitized to shocking, brutal, and stultifying levels of inequality. I’ve become accustomed to it, as if it were or ever should be normal.
[para ler o texto em Português, clique aqui]
This, most foreigners in Brazil learn quickly enough, is actually one of the required characteristics of being authentically “Brazilian.” True locals understand that extreme inequality is just a fact of life here, and it is bad taste to bring it up or transgress established class boundaries, so much so that an extreme preoccupation with the topic, or wanting to get to know Brazil outside elite circles, are sometimes considered “gringo” things to do. The more I find myself becoming “local” in this sense (and in this sense only), the more uncomfortable I become.
The very fun World Cup confounded expectations while exposing some deep truths. Was it all worth it? Above, dismantling the extra seats at São Paulo’s Itaquerão Stadium.
It is January. The foreign journalist sits at his desk in London (or New York or Berlin) and thinks about the World Cup. The foreign journalist is not happy. The foreign journalist is worried. The foreign journalist is angry. The stadiums are not ready, he hears, and even if they were, the traffic and the public transport network in Brazil is such a seething mess that he and his fellow foreign journalists would not be able to get from their expensive hotels to the matches anyway. People say the hundreds of thousands of protestors who took to the streets last June will back in five months’ time, and that there will be more of them, and that they will be more furious and more violent. “It’s the World Cup of chaos!” he writes, and leans back in his chair, pleased with his work.
The Cup went well enough that we finally got to focus on the soccer for a few weeks. Now, it’s back to the real problems.
Rio de Janeiro
Since early May, and really, since June 2013, we’ve seen the meaning of the World Cup shift radically, many times. Before it all started, the questions were “Is this going to happen?” and, “Will Brazil hate their own World Cup?” We thought it would probably be fine, but many thought otherwise.
Then it started, and the mood in the country was “Wow, this is going pretty well.” By week two, it was time for the World Cup optimists and government supporters to declare victory, as well as to say “I told you so.” But in the last two weeks of the tournament, another shift took place, to a theme which never should have been surprising.
Manaus – distant city
World Cup matches in Manaus are long over, but did the spotlight help the city transcend its reputation as a jungle outpost? Above, photos from Leco Jucá, part of a collective aiming to shine some light on the real city.
by Chris Feliciano Arnold
On the Sunday of the U.S.-Portugal match in Manaus, Isaura Vitória Fróes Ramos sunbathed on the top deck of a riverboat near the Lago do Iranduba. With a cold beer in hand and salted steaks on a nearby grill, she raved about the World Cup.
U.S.-Brazil relations are still strained due to allegations of high-level NSA spying and corporate espionage. In the unlikely event that the US team makes a strong showing at the World Cup this year, how would Brazilians respond? Any chances of success hinge on today’s game against Portugal.
Rio de Janeiro
I am always surprised when I ask Brazilians which team will win the World Cup, and the answer is not a quick and emphatic “Brazil, of course.” Most weigh the possible outcomes: the usual suspects Holland and Germany can’t be ruled out (just a few days ago Spain was also on the list); Belgium could do something amazing. I always find this strange because whenever anyone asks for my forecast I invariably say “The United States, of course.”
The response is usually greeted with laughter (sometime more than is really called for), and then a short explanation of why this is not possible.
We’ve had a week of the World Cup now, and here’s my first impressions. This is not a promise to do this every week.
Lots of dudes
I was in Berlin for the 2006 World Cup, and I spent a few years thinking about the arrival of the 2014 World Cup, so I really should have expected this. I admit to my stupidity. I admit I was surprised to see that the vast, vast majority of World Cup fans who have arrived are groups of men.