Racism in Latin America is deep and complicated by the way in which colonialism is internalised in national narratives. In Brazil, the official discourse is one of perfect multicultural, multiracial togetherness, however, the fact is that race is intertwined with class inequality. Black and Indigenous Brazilians are treated like second class citizens and their cultures are appropriated and fetishised by the majority groups and elites. Continue reading Race and the Head Wrap in Brazil
Sociology student Katherine Jensen talks about her research on the race relations underlying the Brazil protests in 2013, ahead of the World Cup. The catalyst for the protests was the increase in public transport fees at a time when the government was spending “an obscene amount of money” on the Olympics. Using the concept of “moral shock,” she finds that the media only paid attention to police brutality during the protests when White women were involved. In some cases, the media even focused on women who had been spectators to police violence and had not been direct victims. At the same time, the predominantly Black, poor people who were being violently removed from the favellas (poor housing areas) in brutal ways were largely ignored.
Instead, the media constructed Black people’s protest as deviant and disruptive, even though they were essentially protesting the same issues as White Brazilians: Government corruption, public spending and lack of social welfare and basic services.
Albinos in Brazil is a project highlighting the racism that people face. Photographer Gustavo Lacerda discusses how standards of beauty are narrow. This leads to misconceptions about this condition of skin pigmentation, and a feeling of alienation among albinos:
My intention was to highlight a type of beauty which is completely out of normal beauty standard… For these people it is completely new to be at the centre of attention. They’re not used to it.
In many countries, Albinos face persecution because of their light skin and fair hair. They are often seen as being different – outcasts from society – and are often not regarded as beautiful.
Many of these people often feel marginalised, rejected. They feel different from what [society offers] as a standard of normality… It’s much easier to accept what is similar or identical to what you know. The reality is, generally people are ill-equipped to deal with diversity.
Lacerda says he witnessed two emotions in the eyes of the people he photographed: “uneasiness and a pride to be here.”
Ramom Tupinamba, a leader of the Tubinamba’s tribe, takes photos during the “meeting of rural workers and people” in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. According to the official report of the meeting, their objective is to demand that the government resolve the agrarian reform issues in Brazil, the demarcation of Indigenous lands and offer financing for small family farms. From Aug. 20-22, more than 5000 representatives of rural social movements will gather in this meeting being held in the Brazilian capital city of Brasilia.. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)