Monthly Archives: September 2010

Like Art at Home

When creativity meets attitude the world is almost always certain to change. Three years ago, artist friends Angelina Camelo and Clara Valente were looking for a place to work in Belo Horizonte.

They were able to find a nice little shop close to the cultural center of the city in the lovely Savassi area but when they saw it they soon felt like the room was meant for a different purpose: housing an art gallery.

So Minigaleria was born. A small gallery showing one artist at a time, this wonderfully refreshing art space has been home to several international and local artist exhibitions.

Focusing on one artist at time, works by the likes of Fefe Talavera and Stephan Doitschinoff have been shown on Minigaleria’s walls.

Having just reopened, the gallery has had a major impact in the city’s cultural life. Fostering and nurturing young artists from all over, it has become a space where you can enjoy an art piece almost as if you were at home.

Friend and artist Patrícia Caetano works at Mini

Good ideas deserve to be shared.

Teen Beauty from B or Diversity and Politics

I was actually going to write about my disgust for French politicians and their racistic, demagogic and economically-driven anti-immigrant policies but it just sickens me too much. I want to remain optimistic today.

In order to brighten up the day, I then chose to post here another pretty Brazilian guy who’s got a lot to show (pardon the pun).

Jonathan Dalcin is not 18 yet but his manly teen looks have gotten him quite a lot of attention in the last São Paulo Fashion Week, which was when I first saw him.

Jonathan’s foreign last name is a reminder of how important it is to keep doors open to diversity and natural integration.

Openness towards foreigners strengthens a land and not the opposite. Xenophobic laws which seek to create a single and thus illusory notion of citizenship do not contribute to any country’s identity.

To be governed by narrow-mindedness is to deny different people the chance to help build an innovative and more beautiful future. Let us not remain static.

As for Jonathan Dalcin, thank goodness his family came.

Pictures by Vitor Shalom via MadeinBrazil.

Wandering

At this point I’m so tired mentally I can only think of travel destinations that will serve for my total and utter relaxation.

Away from city life, away from music, away from the arts – this is how I intend to get my mind off my current worries.

Beach-wise, here’s my Top dream destination: Lençóis Maranhenses in the Brazilian Northeast.

Lençóis is an area of flat, low and rarely flooded land overlaid with immense shiny white sand dunes. Located close to the Equator, it is a natural park of stunning landscapes and mind-freeing reputation.

Having been born in the mountains, I must say that I am usually a bit more drawn towards the wonders of cliffs, slopes and hills than I am to sandy beaches. If I were to choose a destination right this second, it would be Chapada Diamantina National Park.

Waterfalls, gorges, caves and crystalline lakes are an option for the more adventurous. More and more I find that intense physical exercise keeps the mind from wandering and thus focus a bit more. Very surprisingly, I’ve been quite keen on them this past year.

Ok, enough with the dreaming. Gotta get back to work.

Two weeks from now

This could be me:

Or I could be here very soon:

Which destination should I choose, sea or mountain?

Inspirational pictures by Ryan Kenny.

Beauty from B

I’ve got my concentration back, so I cannot let it escape me again.

To help us get through the day:

21-year-old Marco Bette.

Via MadeinBrazil

Remembrance

Writing daily reports in a diary-like style (notice that I don’t want to restrain the way to do it) has two major advantages:

  1. it helps clear one’s mind;
  2. it is a great material for endless laughing years later.

When I first found my teenage diaries, I was really afraid they would make me feel sad given the fact that I went through a lot at the time. Loneliness, friendlessness and lack of chances to be with a guy were some of my main concerns back then.

But then, to my surprise, I was greatly amused by my own thoughts. I was astonishingly mature for my own age. An excerpt from my 15-year-old self:

I see no fun in going to straight places anymore. There is nothing for me there and they won’t solve my biggest problem: finally kissing a guy. What I need to do is find the address of a gay club and go there. I’d be much better off there than trying to fit in where I obviously do not belong.

My decisiveness was unmistakable even back in those days.

But I am mostly glad to see that throughout the years I was able to make incredibly loyal and loving friends. I cherish my friends so much there are no words to describe my love for them.

Instead, I choose to post a song by Antony and the Johnsons from their upcoming new album, Swanlights, to be released in mid October.

What I like most about it is that it was made using images shot by Antony Hegarty himself upon his arrival in NYC in the early 90’s.

Thank you for your love, my friends.

A little on Lula

The ends justify the means.

This aphorism, shrewdly turned into political treatise in Machiavelli’s famous book The Prince, is the line that perhaps most accurately describes the Brazilian president’s take on power.

Yes, his personal history is inspirational as it is surprising, given the fact that Brazil has always been ruled by people issued from the much self-centered and selfish economic elite. And the foreign press loves him for it.

What a disappointment did we, critical and observing people, have when his government and an alarming number of people in power were repeatedly connected to countless and outrageous corruption scandals.

Mr Lula was at first able to convince the population (rather successfully) that he was not personally connected to those criminals. But as the scandals became to emerge, one after the other, the circle began to close down on him and it soon seemed odd that he was the only person still morally innocent.

By that time, most of the smart voters and democratically friendly press started doing the math: many of the corrupt individuals in high government posts had been selected by the president himself. How naïve can one actually be?

But the economy is doing well; the world crisis hardly hit Brazil and poor and uneducated people finally have some hope for a better life and living. Things, in general, are improving. Wouldn’t it be best to put that all aside?

No, never. Besides the fact that this is not how a democracy should work, rotten by filthy schemes which some might choose to ignore as long as things are going well, corruption is very likely the most important problem Brazil as a country has to face.

Let us consider some key aspects. Brazil is one of the richest countries in the world, both in production standards and in natural resources. Basically everything the country needs is produced here (including self-sufficiency in oil supply) and there is an increasing trend for technology to be local as well. Why is there still so much poverty and low living standards in so many areas around the country?

The solution, my friends, is plain and simple corruption. Tax-payer money never reaches the areas it is mostly needed.

Mr Lula is leaving power soon and although it doesn’t seem that his overall intentions are bad, he keeps on taking the morally reproachable path.

His political party’s candidate, aka his successor, was literally manufactured by him. A former sullen minister turned into smiling candidate who is suddenly personally responsible for all the government successes – including those fostered by the previous oppositional administration. Moreover, public money is spent on her campaign regardless of the fines she is forced to pay.

Lula and his protegée, Dilma Rousseff

And what does the outspoken and brilliant rhetorician President Lula say about this? Please hold your laughter when you read this, but his answer frequently goes:

“the press only focuses on the negative”.

As long as the power is in his or his friends hands, everything is justifiable.

Well, not really.