Here’s a Frevo school in Pernambuco which won 2nd place at an international dance contest in New York. Excellent stuff!
Tag Archives: Brazilian culture site
No way to know if this figure is right, but the blog that linked to where I found this picture (in PT), said Bruno Maranhão makes R$6,000/month. The house is apparently in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods of Recife, called Casa Forte. While being ironic, some commentators have said it doesn’t necessarily make it wrong as long as he fights for people who don’t have a home although I’ll leave it there since I’m not too knowledgable on the MST (Landless Movement).
I was looking at a tourism magazine from Recife called Recife Te Quer, from January of 2008 that a good friend sent me via mail a few years back and I found a really cool building with suggestive sculptures called Oficina Brennand. What follows is a bit on the location and the Pernambucan artist behind it, which I borrowed and translated from the official site. First, a few words on the artist Francisco Brennard, by acclaimed novelist Jorge Amado.
“Today he is unique – him and only him – a Brazilian artist with an assured place in the club of the principal (artists) of contemporary art. Of such importance, that alone he proclaims the universality of Brazilian art.”
The Oficina Brennand came about in 1971 in the ruins of the ceramic factory dating back to the beginning of the 20th century, as a materialization of recalcitrant project of the artist Francisco Brennard. An old brick and roofing factory inherited by his father, installed on a piece of property called Santos Cosme and Damião, it lies in the historic neighborhood of Várzea, surrounded by what remains of the Atlantic Forest and on the waters of the Capibaribe river. The ceramics of São João (the former sugar plantation where the current property lies) became the inspiring source and depository of the story of the Pernambucan artist.
A unique place in the world, the Oficina Brennand can be found in a monumental architectural conjunct of originality, in a constant process of mutation, where the works associate themselves with the architecture to give form to subterranean, dark, sexual, religious, wild and abyssal universe.
The presence of the artist in his continuous work of creation gives the Oficina a daring character, identifying it as an intrinsically alive institution and with a dynamic that leaves the future of the project a mystery, even to the one who is creating it.
Visitation hours are from 8AM to 5PM, from Monday to Thursday and 8AM to 4PM on Friday. The admission fee is R$4.
An inventive portrait of middle class life in Recife, Brazil in the 90s, set at 220 volts. Eletrodoméstica is a short-film by Kleber Mendonça from 2005 which won several int’l awards.
Best Short Film, Huesca Festival, Spain
Jury Special Award, Hamburg Festival, Germany
Best Short Film Critics Award, Recife Film Festival Cine PE, Brazil.
The other day, I saw a good post on The Good Blood about Cordel Literature and today when I was browsing the online version of the Brazilian magazine Bravo, I came across a section called “Our Bet” (in PT) in which they bet on who or what will be successful in the near future. For April of 2009, they put their bet on William Paiva, a Recifense (from Recife) who is an animator that has used cordel in his work.
His first full animation (below, in PT) has won awards all over Brazil and is titled “O Jumento Santo e a cidade que se acabou antes de começar” (The Donkey Saint and the city that ended before it began). It’s basically a Brazilian version of the creation story, but here’s a short description from Bravo.
“O (jumento) santo nasce (de uma vaca maculada pelo anjo Gabriel) como uma solução para contornar a desobediência de homem e mulher, que comeram do fruto proibido (o caju) e transformaram o mundo em uma grande bagunça, para alegria de um demônio (lagartixa) e rebuliço entre anjos (de asas borboleteantes).”
“The (donkey) saint is born (from a spotted cow from the angel Gabriel) as a solution to bypass the disobedience of man and woman, who ate the forbidden fruit (the cashew fruit) and transformed the world into a big mess, all to the pleasure of the demon (lizard) and to the uproar of the angels (with butterfly wings).”
At Street Smart Brazil, there was a post on desserts from Pernambuco and one caught my eye. It’s the cartola and although I don’t add chocolate, it’s something I’ve been doing for years without knowing it had a name. My invention just followed a grilled cheese, banana and cinnamon sandwich I used to get at the lanchonetes in Rio, only I wouldn’t use bread in the recreation.
“One of my favorite desserts is Cartola: sliced fried banana with queijo mateiga or coalho (two types of very delicious Brazilian cheese), topped with with cinnamon and chocolate. Oh it is so good! It is one of those things that you have to try; the list of ingredients may not sound that exciting, but the dish is fantastic. In fact, the state of Pernambuco has been discussing the idea of officially recognizing Cartola as cultural heritage.”
(Cartola from the blog Cozinha Cani)
For more Pernambucan desserts, go here!
My friend from Rio sent me a clip of a Brazilian band I had never heard of (something that is hard to do, as I listen to *a lot* of music), and I’m ever so thankful she did!
Quinteto Armorial was an important group from Recife which formed in 1970. They played what can be called Brazilian instrumental music and during their 10 year career, recorded four LPs. The group was brought together by writer Ariano Suassuna in order to have a band that would play erudite chamber music with popular roots and that is exactly what they did when they fused traditional music from the Northeast with classical. The result is fantastic.
Chamada e Marcha Caminheira
“RECIFE, BRAZIL — Luca Sinesi, 36, came here for the first time in 2003, with no idea that this beach-fringed port city would become his permanent home.
“I left the city in 2005, but I missed it so much I was back within six months,” said Mr. Sinesi, an Italian who is now Brazil field director for the British charity International Service. “Recife has a way of life which sets it apart from cities in the south of Brazil.
“Neighbors know each other, help each other, and share living spaces,” he said. “It is common to see people playing music or singing together on a street corner or in a bar, or playing football long into the night in the local square.”
The city, the second-largest urban center in northeastern Brazil, after Salvador, has just over 1.5 million residents. About 2 million more call its sprawling suburbs home.” – NYT (more here)
Olinda is a historic city in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, located on the country’s northeasternAtlantic Ocean coast, just north of Recife and south of Paulista. It has a population of 376,800 people (2005) and is one of the best-preserved colonial cities in Brazil. The city’s name can be interpreted as an exclamation regarding the beauty of its setting (“Ó, linda!” is Portuguese for “Oh, beautiful!”), but a much more likely source is a literary character in the chivalry romance Amadis de Gaula.
Olinda features a number of major tourist attractions, such as a historic downtown area (World Heritage Site), churches, and the Carnival of Olinda, a popular street party, very similar to traditional Portuguese carnivals, with the addition of African influenced dances. Unlike in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, in Olinda, admission to Carnival is free. All the festivities are celebrated on the streets, and there are no bleachers or roping. There are hundreds of small musical groups (sometimes featuring a single performer) in many genres.
Several indigenous tribes occupied the coast of Northeastern Brazil for several thousand years, and the hills of the present day municipality of Olinda had settlements of Caetés and Tupinambá tribes, which were frequently at war. French mercenaries are thought to be the first Europeans to get to the region, but the Portuguese exploited intertribal rivalries and managed to build a stronghold on the former Caeté village in the higher hill. Recent studies by the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco have uncovered new evidence of the pre-colonial population of the area. The settlement of Olinda was founded in 1535 by Duarte Coelho Pereira; it was elevated to a town in March 12, 1537. It was made the seat of the Territorial Prelature of Pernambuco in 1614, becoming the Diocese of Olinda in 1676.
Olinda was the capital of the hereditary captaincy of Pernambuco, but was burned by Dutch invaders. The Portuguese built their town on the hill, for practical purposes (sewers) and to make it easier to defend. In the 17th century the Kingdom of Portugal was united with Spain (the 1580-1640 Iberian Unionperiod). Taking advantage of this period of Portuguese weakness, the area around Olinda and Recifewas occupied by the Dutch who gained access to the Portuguese sugarcane plantations. John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen was appointed as the governor of the Dutch possessions in Brazil in 1637 by the Dutch West India Company on recommendation of Frederick Henry. He landed at Recife, the port of Pernambuco and the chief stronghold of the Dutch, in January 1637. By a series of successful expeditions, he gradually extended the Dutch possessions from Sergipe on the south to São Luís de Maranhão in the north. He likewise conquered the Portuguese possessions of Saint George del Mina, Saint Thomas, and Luanda, Angola, on the west coast of Africa. After the dissolution of the Iberian Union in 1640, Portugal would reestablish its authority over the lost territories of the Portuguese Empire.
Besides its natural beauty, Olinda is also one of the most important of Brazil’s cultural centers. Declared in 1982 a Historical and Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by the UNESCO, Olinda relives the magnificence of the past every year during the Carnival, in the rhythm of frevo, maracatu and others rhythms.
The preceding text is a continuation of a series I’m doing on patrimonial heritage.