FRONT PAGE / POSTS
Brazil Mash-Up: Colombia
by Lucia Neva| London, UK
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
tags: americas, art & design, culture, global/local, making sense, socioeconomics, technology
Although, perceptions of a place change with the speed of news, events and economy, there are some elements of Brazilian culture that remain embedded in the Colombian social imaginaries of Brazil.
Colombia and Brazil are very close, very similar and very different. Colombians have a great affinity with the positive aspects of Brazilian-ness – freedom, enjoyment, desire, gambling and, of course, football.
Hyper-hyper tropical, hyper urban and hyper green. Brazil as a synonym of excess – excess of freedom, happiness, sex, forests, and cities.
Screen fantasies, stories and dreams that connected to the Colombian reality. Brazilian soap operas (Telenovelas) are still embedded in the minds of older Colombians.
Brazil seen as a geography of desire, where sexual licentiousness and the erotic have been consciously embraced. An extreme cult to the body.
Modernism connected to urban development – Neimeyer & Brasilia, Capanema & modernist curves, extremes of wealth and poverty.
Brazil perceived as feminine. Warm, desirable and beautiful women.
The land of green indexes, vast green forests, pure green colours, and oxygen (green). All this contrasted with media about deforestation, and questionable commitment where green issues are concerned.
Brazil is moving away from the female stereotypes. Masculine expressions are becoming popular in the collective Colombian imaginaries. Cult and deep connection to the body through exercise – especially capoeira. Brazil is more masculine, younger, and more connected to future generations.
“City of God” brought a perception of Brazil as a geography of violence and fear. Favelas and mafias as icons for internal violence, extreme social deprivation, exclusion, and violent death. Very different to Colombian violence.
Land of paradoxes, high industrial and technological development contrasted with poverty and social inequality.
Big contrast between local /global, urban /rural. A cosmopolitan country full of festive cities, big metropolises with an outstanding human quality. Modernity in relation to migration from Europe and Japan. Urban settings, graffiti culture, hip-hop, and fusion to the extreme.
Localness in relation to the native and aboriginal – connected to indigenous communities in the Amazon, mulattos and Afro descendent populations.
Colombians tend to relate to the animosity, freedom and enjoyment of Brazilian football, although not so much to technical aspects of it.
Land of sound and carnival culture. Samba, brega, forró, axe and paoge, garotos & garotas, batucadas – all pursuing happiness.
Saudade and its intrinsic connections with sound and relationships. The voices of Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, and Rita Ribeiro are still played in Colombian “Brazilian” bars.
A culture of enjoyment, good people and uncomplicated manners. Pleasure also connotes beach, caipirinhas and sugar cane.
A religious geography, ranging across Santeria, priests and Corcovado.
Culture and education as part of government agendas, Gilberto Gil, the bossa-nova precursor, was during Lula’s government Minister of Culture, supporting workshops for children and teenagers, creating a new space for social & cultural involvement and economic development. (Similar discourse was used during last Colombian elections). It seems that in Brazil politics and culture work in synergy. Brazil is seen as a paradise in which to cultivate political and cultural dreams.
Brazil seen as the South American paradise for production and consumption of fakes. It is sometimes called the South American “China” butbetter quality.
Research and Innovation niche. Major government commitment to education. Colombians’ main source of scholarships and economic support, especially in the technical field. Florianopolis as a land of innovation and education.
Aesthetic freedom related to arts, carnival, music, and folklore. Cannibalising western cultures helped Brazil to produce more and more in music, cinema, and arts.
Brazil image will evolve to an urban+ concept. Urban+ as it will retain the richness of its locality. Emergence of local/urban typographies used in global contexts.
Recent political and economic changes helped Brazilian creative Industries to be recognised, especially in the areas of film and design. Big influence in other South American countries.
Artistic fusion – Portuguese, Spanish & English. Collaboration among local & foreign artists and musicians.
Spiritual connection to the land, the Amazon, and earthy Brazilian elements. Development of new products (non-esoteric).
A haven for higher education, for both native and foreign populations.
Rapid progress of technological advance, especially in the areas of bioengineering and thermoplastic production.
Colombians seem to regard Brazil as the main player in the region. A big player in democracy, economic and social change in the world.
2014 World Cup – connecting Brazil and South America with the rest of the world.
Some key points in conclusion:
Brazil was and still is regarded as the land of big contrasts.
Brazil is moving away from the female stereotypes and bringing elements that are more masculine and younger. Design and street art will play a bigger role in culture and will influence other South American countries.
Brazil is the mirror in which all Latin America’s desires are projected with maximum intensity and to their limit.
© Lucia Neva 2011