Friday, 26 August 2011

Brazilian cartoonist gets political via Twitter

I've been commissioned by The Bulletin, a business and lifestyle magazine, to write a feature about what I think will be an amazing arts festival in Brussels in October dedicated to Brazil. It’s called Europalia Brasil and will span four months (FOUR months!) with events across Europe.
This, combined with a host of recent posts I've written on Brazilian art (Estela Sokol, Daniella Bonachella, Os Gemeos, etc), has meant that I've been preoccupied with the arts in Brazil over the last few days. In particular, with modern approaches to art. Yesterday, I came across a cartoonist called Carlos Latuff who has been using Twitter (@CarlosLatuff) to support political campaigns by sharing his cartoons with his followers. His most recent drawings focus on the situation in Libya.

He told The Guardian newspaper: “I’m not producing art works to illustrate news articles. My cartoons are directly geared towards activists who can share them and use them for free. They have a message, they support a cause, and they’re designed to be spread widely.”
In the same way that I admire Os Gemeos' work for their modern execution of Brazilian culture and values, I think Latuff’s approach is indicative of what's (in part at least) an important driving force of Brazilian culture: social media.
My friends and colleagues in Brazil are even more obsessed about Facebook and the like than my friends in the UK. It could have something to do with the fact that a staggering 60% of the population is below the age of 29, a fact I found out last week from Planet Retail, as part of a feature I’m writing for WGSN.
If you come across any interesting, weird or inspiring Brazilian artists – be them traditional artists, novelists, painters, dancers, film makers, etc – let me know.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Brazilian volleyball team reigns supreme in London

The things corporate sponsors will do for attention. This will come as no surprise to anyone; the focus of today’s London Olympics beach volleyball test event at the Horse Guards Parade in London was, not the volleyball itself, but the scantily-and-Visa-logo-clad women “entertaining” the crowd. Isn’t that what the match is for?

One spectator told me: “the volleyball is a bit of a side show to the Visa girls in bikinis”, while another said: “no-one is watching the match, not when these ‘cheerleaders’ are in the aisles”. The funny thing is, that women’s beach volleyball is probably the last sport on earth where you need to add any extra flesh.

Anyway, for those who might be interested in the match itself, it was between Brazil and the USA, with the latter dominating the first set. But Brazil came back in the second set to win it, and take the match into a tight final set, which Liliane Maestrini and Angela Vieira managed to pull out of the bag with some pretty stylish moves. Vamos.