Tag Archives: human rights

Marginal, central

Kuduro is a type of music and dance from Angola.

Titica is a transexual kuduro performer who’s won support through her career.

M.I.A. has defined the modest origins and therein the strength of kuduro:

“It initially came from kids not having anything to make music on other than cellphones, using samples they’d get from their PCs and mobiles’ sound buttons. It’s a rave-y, beat oriented sound. Now that it’s growing, they’ve got proper PCs to make music on.”

Music always makes one stronger.

Rejoice!

A new era has begun for homossexuals in Brazil.

The Supreme Court approved an extension of the legal rights to gay couples by a uninamous decision yesterday evening.

The excitement is almost much too large to be shared and I am almost speechless… A historic day.

More about it here.

#EuSouGay Project

A series of degrading events to the gay and black communities have been raising Brazilian people’s awareness on homophobia and hate crimes.

It is not that it didn’t exist before, but once gay people started becoming more visible in society, homophobia and all the related problems finally turned into a matter of discussion.

Two guys I know were recently attacked during a celebration on the University Campus. Although the aggression was not so physically damaging, its impact on the psyche of minorities is enormous. What’s most shocking is the fact that the attack took place inside the most liberal of all faculties, up until then a haven for individual freedom of expression.

People who’ve been fighting for years to feel comfortable being who they are and dating whoever they want began to feel threatened again. This is a major drawback.

However, in one way or another, the sectors of society who believe in equal human rights are fighting back.

I’m supporting an artistic initiative called Projeto #EuSouGay (IAmGay) which targets homophobia and intolerance through showing the world that we have a voice.

If you wish to participate in it, no matter your sexual orientation, you can send a picture of you holding a card with the inscription #EuSouGay to projetoeusougay@gmail.com. The pictures will ultimately be turned into a short film directed by award-winning director Daniel Ribeiro.

The ongoing project

Let us all unite in fighting hatred and prejudice.

The political power of Beauty

Ever since I was a teenager I have the habit of following the news, avidly.

Having lived abroad on multiple occasions, it is part of my routine to read news regarding those countries directly in the local media.

Reading the French news today I was greatly disappointed to see that the extreme-right candidate for the presidency, Marie Le Pen (daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen) would win the elections if they were held today.

The Front National has a much derogatory view on immigration, which is considered, I quotethe source of most of the bad things that make France suffer“.

Europe’s chronic inability to cope with diversity is beginning to take a scary turn, and not only in France.

With a friendly looking Marie Le Pen, the party has gotten a lot of strength feeding on people’s prejudice and racism, also fueled by the economic crisis that has swept the Old Continent.

Since people respond in an undeniably positive way to beauty, here are some male models whose undisputable beauty would not be available had immigration been controlled as parties like the Front National would like it to be:

And an Arab-looking Beauty from B, Micky Ayoub:

Naive are those who ignore the power of Beauty.

Even for politics.

Interpret

The lyrics for this song speak for myself.

Placebo was my favorite band some years ago.

It was so refreshing, so freeing and so relieving to know that one could be gay and still do rock.

 

Easily confused

Can (homo)sexuality and religion ever be combined?

A Beauty from Brazil meets a great artist from Argentina.

Daniel Wollmer and León Ferrari.

Conclusions can be drawn freely.

But let us not be narrow-minded.

Query.

Multifaceted bridges

I have always believed that prejudice is caused by lack of knowledge.

Once one truly gets to know something that is different, it has a chance of becoming familiar and thus much less frightening.

I went to an exhibition on Islamic Art last weekend in Rio and it was very obvious how little people know about its multiple cultural aspects. We westerns tend to group Islam under a single mass of people – which couldn’t be farther from reality.

Not only does Islamic Art excel in its use of geometrical shapes and floral patterns, it also shows a delightful emphasis on calligraphy and the importance of handwriting in its presentation.

I love the way modern artists draw inspiration from these sources – scarcely known in western societies, I dare say.

Like Shezad Dawood:

This contemporary British artist cleverly uses elements commonly associated with the modern world with century-old artistic heritage to create art that questions general views on Islam and on religion.

Although religion may play an ambiguous role in the shaping of societies and even in the spreading of prejudices, it is undeniable that it is a reflection of culture as much as it is part of it.

Knowing its various sides can help us all build a world where people are more important than what their belief system might be.

As for the arts, as M.I.A. once said: trend-setters make things better.