The politics of Rio
Wasteland takes place in the Jardim Gramacho, located right outside the city of Rio de Janeiro. Being that I spent sometime in Rio over the last several years, I feel a strong connection to it’s history, culture, language, and politics. Over the next few weeks, I will be posting about some of the issue effecting Brazil right now. Let’s start with one of the latest!
Last week, there were a series of heavy rains in Rio that flooded the city. This has been an ongoing issue during spring and summer months where poorly built houses collapse, streets flood causing travel to become impossible, and mud slides tear apart whole communities in the most impoverished areas of the city.
Below is a blog a Brazilian friend of mine posted (created by a Brazilian) that pokes fun at this ongoing problem. Brazilians have become immune to this ongoing issue. The caption at the top of the blog sarcastically states, This is our wonderful city that turns into a fantastic water park every rain!
Beyond this issue, there are many that exist within Rio with ongoing protests and debates happening in the country over a number of these issues. This summer, Brazil saw the largest gathering of protests in the country since the 1980s. As the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics arrive in Rio, the city has been under a lot of pressure to meet the demands of international spectators. Brazilians comment on this all the time!
There is a cliché saying in Brazil called Imagina na Copa. (Imagine during the World Cup) Many ofТ my friends post on facebook about this when they are complaining about the transit, lines at the airport, beaches being crowded, inflation in housing, food, goods. Some have decided to throw out the negativity and turn it into a positive.Т A group of activist from São Paulo started a new organization called Imagina na Copa a focus in three main areas. First, it launches a story each week describing an organization or social entrepreneur in Brazil, complete with a video, photos, and a blog post. Their goal is to end the organization with the start of the 2014 World Cup this coming June.
No matter where the focus is (positive or negative), it is clearly more on Brazil than it has ever been!