News from Brazil

Brazil Weekly’s Brazil Culture & Regional news

In Brazil on November 18, 2011 at 10:31 am

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the Mega Torre residential and commercial complex for the famous market city of Caruaru, Pernambuco (source).

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CULTURE

A towering bronze sculpture by Fernando Botero and works by several Brazilian artists set auction records during Christie’s Latin American sale Post-war Brazilian art drew the evening’s most fervent and fast-paced bidding, driven by the paucity of work for sale on the international market by key Brazilian artists (Reuters).

The entire inventive world of twin brothers Gustavo and Otávio Pandolfo, known worldwide as OSGEMEOS (literally meaning “the twins” in Portuguese), will soon pass through 51 communities every day on board the passenger trains of the Vitória-Minas Railroad (EFVM). As of next week, the trains will carry a mobile version of Fermata, a unique exhibition of the duo’s work that is running at the Vale Museum in Espírito Santo until February 2012 (Vale).

The Design Vlaanderen Center in Brussels dedicates until February 2012 an exhibition to trace the evolution of Brazilian Design. The exhibition is part of Europalia 2011, an European festival that will celebrate the Brazilian culture in Belgium and four other countries. Brazilian design started to be recognised in the 1950s. Since the creation of the Graduate School of Industrial Design in Rio de Janeiro (ESDI) in 1963, the discipline has developed rapidly and there are numerous Brazilian top designers known nationally and internationally, such as Sérgio Rodrigues and the Campana brothers. For more information visit the Europalia site.

WORLD CUP & SOCCER

For years, Brazil exported most of its best young players, especially to European clubs. But as the country’s economic power catches up with its time-honored soccer talent, celebrated players like Neymar are shunning big European teams and enjoying the comforts of home for similarly fat salaries (Reuters).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

AMAZON

The 8th Annual Amazonas Film Festival took place in Manaus. This city of 2 million in the heart of the Amazon was the venue for hundreds of feature films and shorts from countries as diverse as Iran, Kenya, France, Argentina and of course, Brazil (Reuters).

Thousands of flesh-eating piranhas have infested a Brazilian river beach popular with tourists, biting at least 15 unwary swimmers. One of the bathers lost the tip of their toe during a frenzied attack (MercoPress).

ITATAIA

Between the states of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Minas Gerais, lies the Itatiaia region. If a hike in breathtaking scenery and challenging climbs are your idea of a good time, then take heart that it is a reachable weekend destination from both Rio and SP (The Rio Times).

RIO

Three thousand troops backed by helicopters and armored vehicles occupied Rio de Janeiro’s largest slum without firing a shot, the biggest step in the Brazilian city’s bid to improve security and end the reign of drug gangs (Reuters).

“Flags of Brazil and Rio are hoisted in Rocinha and Vidigal,” read the triumphant headline on the Brazilian news site G1. Generally, a nation’s flag flying in the middle of one of its biggest cities wouldn’t be cause for celebration. But both Rocinha and Vidigal were neighborhoods that had been essentially beyond government control until this week (Bloomberg).

A contingent of nearly 170 government workers and street sweepers are poised to spend the next week providing public services to the Rocinha and Vidigal favelas.  Government officials claim the communities will see improvements in water services, sewerage and lighting.  A thorough cleaning is also planned as authorities hope to improve the image of the hillside streets and alleys (The Rio Times).

If the peace achieved with the takeover of Rocinha is a lasting one, it could provide an opportunity for better services, access to jobs and education for people living in the steep hillside slum straddling some of Rio’s wealthiest neighborhoods, leading economist Marcelo Neri said (San Francisco Gate).

Tijuca in Zona Norte (North Zone) may mostly attract tourists for its Floresta da Tijuca (Tijuca National Park), but this bustling bairro has a charm that has drawn a slew of new developments, including a new metro station. Already home to three stops on the subway’s orange line (line 1), soon it will have a fourth, the Estação Uruguai (The Rio Times).

A Dutch-Brazilian social activist has been announced as one of  the winners of the 2011 Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowships by Melbourne-based organisation Global Reconciliation. Nanko Van Buuren has worked for more than 20 years in some of Rio de Janeiro’s most violent favelas (shantytowns) to develop long-term, community-engaged responses to social conflict, organised crime, poverty and the loss of hope. His ongoing struggle to establish relationships between the favela communities and the broader society, and between communities divided by conflict, has profoundly improved the lives of many Brazilians (BW).

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