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FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 Starts Today Amid Protests

12 Jun olho-do-brasil

Today the FIFA World Cup 2014 starts in Brazil. I am so excited because Brasil is my mother land and soccer is so important in our culture. There is a saying that goes something like ” Politics, religion and soccer are topics that should never be discussed.” Meaning they are too controversial and heated, with way too many different opinions, so it is not worth risking your friendship over this discussion. Because you might lose a friend.

Believe me, people argue and even fight over soccer, or futebol, as we call it.

Yes, we love futebol. In fact,to bring the World Cup to Brazil is a great way to show our country and culture to the World. We are not only Carnaval and Churrasco. And no, we don’t have monkeys jumping in trees on the streets (You would be surprised how many people asked me this before). Specially now that the country is doing so well and economy is better.

But not everyone is happy about having the World Cup in Brazil.People are upset because the money that could have been used to improve Health Care (Health Care is paid by the Government) and education, was used to remodel old stadiums, build roads, and to “get the country ready” for the World Cup. Some say that a large portion of the protesters are not real protesters. They are hired by politicians for ulterior motives just to cause raucous and chaos (as supposedly happened in the case of the journalist that suffered a deadly injury in a protest earlier this year).

The protest is called “Nao vai ter Copa”, or “There will be no World Cup”. So far, manifestations have been small and controlled, but two CNN journalist were injured while covering a protest in Sao Paulo.

And they should remain controlled. The Brazilian Army is everywhere, roaming the streets in the cities where the games will occur. My grandmother lives two blocks from the stadium where Spain will play their first game (my home team Atletico Paranaense’s stadium) in Curitiba. And she told me there are check points and barricades in the neighborhood. On the day of the game, only people with credentials, who registered with the city and live in the area will be able to be in the neighborhood. Those who drive, must get home 4 hours before the game or they will have to park their cars somewhere else and walk home.

That shouldn’t be a problem since nothing works in the country when Brazil is playing. Everything closes, stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, medical offices, offices, EVERYTHING! You can lay down on the pavement of the busiest street of the city, because there will be no cars on the street. It looks like a ghost town. People get together with friends and families mostly in their homes, to watch the game and eat some pao de queijo, pastel and brigadeiro. When the game is over they go celebrate the victory on the streets with a lot of music and dancing.

We are a happy nation. And while I believe in protesting for your rights, now is the time to put all this anger aside and enjoy the biggest show on Earth, or as we say it ” o maior show da Terra”. Vai que e tua Brasilllllllllllll!!

 

Frida Kahlo: Her Photos

4 Jun Fridafeaturedimage

When Frida died, her husband Diego Rivera kept her personal belongings locked in trunks and secret. He had ordered them to stay locked for 15 years. Diego passed away four years later, and at his request,the trunks were kept locked by their friend and manager of their houses (turned into Museums) Dolores Olmedo. When Dolores passed in 2004, Frida’s trunks were unlocked. Among dresses, skirts, corsets, shoes, and artwork, there were photographs never seen before.

FridaMolaa

Now the public can see photos that belonged to Frida’s personal archives. There are over 200 photos of her family, friends, lovers, pets,travels, and hard times painting in her bed and at the hospital.Photos taken for her, of her, and by her. The exhibition Frida Kahlo, Her Photos is at the MOLAA (Museum of Latin American Art), in Long Beach , California until June 8th.

Molaahours

The exhibition was divided into six different sections:

  • Photos of Frida’s parents, many taken by her father xxx who was an historic photographer; and Frida with friends, pets, and specially her monkey Fulang Chang.
  • La Casa Azul (The Blue House): Photos taken at La Casa Azul, in Coyoacan, Mexico. This is where she was born, spent her childhood,her final years and passed away. Now the Casa Azul is a Museum dedicated to Frida, her art and life.
  • Amores (Her loves): Numerous photos of Frida’s friends and lovers. It is no secret that she had many lovers, men and women. In this section there are also photos of her travels to different countries. There are a few photos of indigenous people. I specially liked one from an anonymous author, called Indigenas Enumerados (Numbered Indigenous People).
  • The Broken Body: This part of the exhibition shows photos of Frida taken by her lover Nicholas Murray. Frida is painting in her bed with a traction device attached to the bed and pulling her chin to straighten her spine. There are also photos of her in the hospital in NY. There are several mutilated pictures, where she cut herself and others from it, making noticeable not who was in the picture, but who is absent.
  • Diego’s Gaze: Photos showing Diego’s view of the world. His relationship with politics can be seen in photos of the dictator Porfirio Dias,the Revolutionary Movement and Diego and Trotsky in Berlin. Technology intrigued him, and it was present in his life as shown in the photos of Diego’s trip to the Ford plant in Detroit. There is also a photo of Diego’s eye captured by Frida.
  • Photography: This last section gathers photos from Frida’s personal collection that where purchased or given to her as gifts by friends and famous photographers, such as Tina Modotti and Edward Weston. Some of these pictures influenced her work, like Martin Muncaksis’ black cat.

At the end of the exhibition there is an exploring station on a computer where the visitor can see Frida’s art work in a slide show. There are also two interactive stations where the visitor can either paint Frida’s cast, or write her a Get Well Soon card and hang them on the wall for visitor to see.

If you are in Los Angeles make sure you stop by the MOLAA, the exhibition is only available until June 8th.

 

 

FridaDiego

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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