Quantcast
Connect with us

Brazil’s ‘queer museum’ reopens in Rio after forced closure

Published

on

The exhibition originally opened last year in the southern city of Porto Alegre but was forced to close by critics who accused it of attacking Christianity AFP / Mauro Pimentel

Brazil’s “queer museum,” forced to close last year after conservatives attacked it for allegedly promoting pedophilia, blasphemy and bestiality, is reopening in the shadow of Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Christ the Redeemer statue.

The Queermuseu, which features 200 works by 82 Brazilian artists, originally opened last year in the southern city of Porto Alegre but was forced to close by critics who accused it of attacking Christianity.

ADVERTISEMENT

The enforced closure sent shockwaves through the artistic community and triggered debate about freedom of expression and a return of censorship, three decades after the end of the military dictatorship that ran the Latin American country from 1964-85.

A crowdfunding campaign raised more than a million reais ($275,000) allowing it to reopen for a month, with free admission, at the School for Visual Arts in Rio de Janeiro’s Parque Lage — a wooded parkland at the foot of the mountain topped by the renowned statue of Christ.

The series of fundraising events included a concert by the legendary musician Caetano Veloso. The curators picked the venue in the park after the city’s Evangelical mayor, Marcelo Crivella, banned the use of Rio’s Arts Museum for the show.

“It is a very important moment for Brazilian democracy, a convincing demonstration that the most progressive sectors of society will not accept censorship,” said curator Gaudencio Fidelis.

“We haven’t seen an act of censorship of this size and severity since the dictatorship,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

In addition artwork, the exhibition features talks on sexual diversity and LGBT rights as well as musical shows by “queer” performers.

AFP / Mauro PimentelA crowdfunding campaign raised more than a million reais ($275,000) allowing the exhibition to reopen for a month

The exhibition is almost identical to the one forced to close in Porto Alegre, featuring the same provocative works that scandalized Brazilian conservatives.

They include a portrayal of Jesus as a monkey in the arms of the Virgin Mary, works illustrating sexual practices in the style of traditional Japanese erotic prints and paintings of clothed kids entitled “Gay Children.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The images, including one of a multi-armed Jesus called “Crossing Jesus Christ Goddess Shiva,” infuriated the right-wing Free Brazil Movement, which lobbied for the show to be shuttered.

The revived exhibition, which opens to the public on Saturday, only admits visitors aged 14 years and over, and carries a warning at the entrance that it contains images of nudity.

ADVERTISEMENT

– Security precautions –

AFP / Mauro PimentelOrganizers say they are not afraid of new demonstrations by right-wing groups, but just in case, they have employed 20 security guards and installed surveillance cameras

“We hope for an enormous number of visitors, but not because of all the controversy. People will see that it was a false premise, a fabricated polemic. Society will be able to see the true nature of the exhibition,” said Fidelis.

The organizers say they are not afraid of new demonstrations by right-wing groups, but just in case, they have employed 20 security guards and installed surveillance cameras.

School of Visual Arts director Fabio Szwarcwald said that so far he has only received a few dozen emails opposing the opening of the exhibition, unlike his colleagues at the Arts Museum, who received hundreds of protests, including death threats.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We are not worried about possible attacks on the show,” he said. “It’s been very different to what happened at the Arts Museum.”

The Free Brazil Movement, known in Brazil as the MBL and which spearheaded the boycott in Porto Alegre, has said it will remain quiet, since this time the exhibition is privately funded and not using public money to “sexualize children.”

“They’ll be praying for the MBL to do something because if it hadn’t been all the attention we drew to it, no one would have gone to see this garbage,” said Renan Santos, one of the founders of the movement, which came to prominence in street marches calling for the impeachment of former leftist president Dilma Rousseff in 2016.

“The whole world can go see it naked, if they want,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s decision to block coronavirus aid to hard-hit states will cost 4 million jobs: analysis

Published

on

President Donald Trump's refusal to provide federal aid to states hit hard by the economic crisis sparked by the coronavirus pandemic would cost the country 4 million jobs, according to an analysis by Moody's Analytics.

Negotiations over the next phase of coronavirus relief have stalled as Trump attempts to circumvent Congress with unworkable and legally dubious executive orders that fall far short of the aid that would be included in any Congressional proposal. Though House Democrats already approved a $3 trillion relief bill including an extension on federal unemployment benefits and $1 trillion in aid to states and cities whose tax revenues evaporated amid coronavirus lockdowns, Trump and Senate Republicans have balked at both provisions.

Continue Reading

CNN

GOP’s use of Kanye West to help Trump has been a spectacular flop: CNN host

Published

on

On CNN Saturday, Michael Smerconish examined rapper Kanye West's presidential campaign — and how the GOP efforts to boost it to siphon voters from former Vice President Joe Biden don't appear to be working.

"Is Kanye West serious about running for president or is it all part of a dark twisted fantasy?" said Smerconish. "NPR has documented how several operatives, some with Trump ties, are actively helping the superstar get on general election ballots in various states. Kanye West officially on the ballot in Vermont, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, and has filed recently in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Jared Kushner met privately with West in Colorado, where the two par took in a friendly conversation ... the RNC and Trump has denied involvement in West's campaign. but the president isn't exactly discouraging the competition."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Greenland’s ice sheet has melted past the point of no return

Published

on

Greenland's ice sheet may have shrunk past the point of return, with the ice likely to melt away no matter how quickly the world reduces climate-warming emissions, new research suggests.

Scientists studied data on 234 glaciers across the Arctic territory spanning 34 years through 2018 and found that annual snowfall was no longer enough to replenish glaciers of the snow and ice being lost to summertime melting.

That melting is already causing global seas to rise about a millimeter on average per year. If all of Greenland's ice goes, the water released would push sea levels up by an average of 6 meters -- enough to swamp many coastal cities around the world. This process, however, would take decades.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image