Carnival returns to Rio de Janeiro with the joy of having left Bolsonaro behind

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Carnival returns to Rio de Janeiro with the joy of having left Bolsonaro behind

The The Brazilian far-right was brooding over a double anger at the beginning of the week. On the one hand, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had successfully extended his hand to the governor of the state of Sao Paulo, Tarcísio de Freitas, until a few weeks ago an ally of Jair Bolsonaro< /strong>. “The election has ended, we are together,” the president told him, as they supervised together in the north of the richest region of the country the damage caused by a rain that, in addition, caused almost 40 deaths and forced the to cancel the carnival. The irritation of the followers of the retired captain increased even more. It was set to the beat of the great pagan festival in Rio de Janeiro. The carnaval carioca was also the celebration of the end of the years of obscurantism and the pandemic. In addition, criticism of racism and the censorship that dominated the country abounded. during the past ultra-right government.

The 2021 celebrations had been anomalous. The covid-19, which in Brazil killed to about 700,000 people, forced to hold the carnival in April, and without the revelry in the streets, packed with revelers who water the asphalt with beer and urine.

Carnival has not been immune to political dispute< /strong>. In fact, Lula himself promised to do so. throughout his electoral campaign to revitalize the culture, that he had lost his ministry, in all its expressions. In keeping with those words, Rosângela Lula da Silva, the first lady, was present on Sunday at the Bahia carnival, another of the great festive centers, and it was not ruled out that she would land in Rio de Janeiro. The mayor of her, Eduardo Paes, estranged for months from Bolsonaro, did not hesitate. in speaking of a “carnival of democracy” for Brazilians won their right to revelry after a coup attempt failed on January 8. But the authorities of the marvelous city are also exultant by the economic results of this edition: the hotels have an occupancy rate of 95%. The carnival will leave 800 million euros will go to Rio de Janeiro.

The city celebrates in two directions. On the one hand, in the streets, the space for improvisation and self-confidence. At the same time, the competition of the 'escolas' de samba (comparsas) that displayed in the “sambódromo” from Marques de Sapucai avenue with the participation of thousands of musicians, dancers and prominent figures. there Thus, the prestige of a group that, after rehearsing for a year, intends to offer the best of the 12 shows in competition is at stake. Each school has 70 minutes to demonstrate their aspirations.

The Salgueiro group, born in a favela (popular neighborhood) in Tijuca, called, between wags, for the end of “violence, oppressed it by women and girls.” n and intolerance”. He dedicated his parade to the defense of freedom of expression, which during the Bolsonaro years was in question. Part of the troupe made reference to hunger, one of the ballasts of the ultra-right. In turn, he denounced the inherited “epidemic of misery and malnutrition.” “What is forbidden is to prohibit”, was sung, in a clear allusion to the musical argument of Caetano Veloso in the 80s and the song that he himself recorded on that occasion. in 2019 with Daniela Mercury, a response to a Bolsonaro who, that year, believed he was capable of legislating on the moral scope of the party. In “Carnival Forbidden”, they mocked the homophobic president: “Open the door of this closet , there is no censorship to stop me/Open the door of that closet, which made her happy.” priest, come and kiss me”.

Carnival returns to Rio de Janeiro with the joy of having left Bolsonaro behind

Two participants from the Unidos da samba school Tijuca, at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro.


A minister in the comparsa

The 'escola' Mangueira, for its part, highlighted the in his “samba enredo”, as the kinetic and musical choreographies are called, the resistance of Afro-Brazilians from slavery to the present. “The Africas that (the state of) Bahía sings“, is the name of their parade, whose song was recorded by the black singer and current Minister of Culture, Margaret Menezes.“Resisting is art and joy”. She joined in. to the Monday morning parade. Debora Soares, a 25-year-old model from the Ciudad de Dios favela, a neighborhood known for a Fernando Meirelles film that reached international popularity. Notoriety 21 years ago, she said she had regained “a feeling of freedom and happiness like no other .”

< p>The Portela troupe has turned 100 years old. Bianca Monteiro, queen of drums, was one of her banners. The great singer Marisa Monte joined the group. to that “school” along with other artists. “This is a special year,” Monte said, and seemed to be happy. allude to the shadows of the past. Tuiutí, on the other hand, displayed his a show with a strong ecological content that mixed with see turtles, buffalo and Bengal tigers on a giant scale. “This is a very special carnival, the first one I've paraded in since covid,” said one of her dancers, Stefani Claudia da Concepçao.


The latent anti-Bolsonarism in the streets, both due to the daring of nudity or sometimes unbridled eroticism, is still a challenge in a city where the ultra-right has a significant force. To such an extent that agents of the military police decided to go out on patrol wearing socks with the face and name of the former president. The figure of Bolsonaro joined the in this way to the institutional uniform as if it were a carnival ornament.