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Yes, Someone Created An Actual Honest To God 108-Foot Vulva Statue In Brazil

There’s no denying the fact that the female form, and it’s bits, in particular, have inspired artwork the world over. Tarsila do Amaral was inspired by it. Frida Kahlo and artists like Zilia Sánchez and Marta Minujín too. Women’s bodies are inspired and so they inspire. Still, a recent unveiling of vulva artwork has become so controversial and made people so besides themselves that it seems many have forgotten these truths about our bodies.

Over the weekend, Brazilian visual artist Juliana Notari revealed her latest sculptureDiva, on a hillside at Usina del Arte. The art park is located in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco and is described by Notari as “a massive vulva / wound excavation.”

The massive sculpture created on the hillside located in northeastern Brazil features a bright pink vulva and has fueled what is being described as a cultural war.

Notari created Diva, a colorful 108-foot concrete and resin sculpture on the site of a former sugar mill. The mill was converted into an open-air museum in Pernambuco state. Last week, when Notari debuted the installation she revealed it was meant to depict both a vulva and a wound while questioning the relationship between nature and culture in a “phallocentric and anthropocentric society.”

“These issues have become increasingly urgent today,” Notari wrote in a post shared to her Facebook page which was shared alongside a series of photos of the sculpture. According to NBC, it took a team of 20 artisans 11 months to build the entire concept.

No surprise, the piece of art sparked a wave of controversy on social media, with critics and supports debating its message and significance.

Over 25,000 users have commented on Notari’s Facebook post so far including leftists and conservatives. On the far-right, supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro have also been vocal about their views of the product.

“With all due respect, I did not like it. Imagine me walking with my young daughters in this park and them asking … Daddy, what is this? What will I answer?” one user wrote in the Facebook section of the post.

“With all due respect, you can teach your daughters not to be ashamed of their own genitals,” a woman replied.

Olavo de Carvalho, an advisor to Bolsonaro, vulgarly criticized the piece on Twitter.

Notari, whose previous work has been displayed at various galleries explained on her Facebook page that she created the piece to comment on gender issues in general.

“In Diva, I use art to dialogue with…gender issues from a female perspective combined with a cosmopocentric and anthropocentric western society,” Notari shared on her post to Facebook. “Currently these issues have become increasingly urgent. After all, it is by changing perspective of our relationship between humans and nonhuman, that will allow us to live longer on that planet and in a less unequal and catastrophic society.”

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Brazil Just Passed a Bill That Will Allow Rich Corporations to ‘Skip the Line’ for COVID-19 Vaccines

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Brazil Just Passed a Bill That Will Allow Rich Corporations to ‘Skip the Line’ for COVID-19 Vaccines

Photo via Getty Images

Currently, Brazil is one of the world’s epicenters of the coronavirus. In March 2021, Brazil saw 66,573 COVID-19-related deaths. That means 1 in every 3 COVID-related deaths worldwide are occuring in Brazil.

And it doesn’t appear that the numbers will be slowing down anytime soon. While the United States is making strides in their COVID-19 vaccine distribution, Brazil is lagging far behind. And things are about to get a lot more complicated.

On Tuesday, Brazil passed a bill that would allow corporations to buy up as many vaccines as they can get their hands on, and privately distribute them to their employees first.

Elected officials in Brazil are arguing that the country has become so desperate to vaccinate its citizens, that it doesn’t matter who gets the vaccines first at this point.

The country, once renowned for having one of the most robust and efficient public vaccine-distribution programs in the world, has failed to make strides towards getting their citizens vaccinated.

“We are at war,” said the leader of the chamber, Arthur Lira. “And in war, anything goes to save lives.” We don’t know about you, but usually when it comes to war, we’ve heard that soldiers prioritize the health and safety of young, the weak, and the elderly before their own? We digress…

Brazil’s plan to privatize the vaccine rollout has brought up moral and ethical questions.

From the beginning, the World Health Organization has asked countries to first prioritize essential health workers and then high-risk populations when distributing the vaccine.

Anything other than that would promote a pay-to-play schemes in which the rich could protect their lives before poor people could. And poor people are more likely to die from COVID-19 in the first place.

As Alison Buttenheim, behavioral scientist and expert on the equitable allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine said, vaccine distribution should not “exacerbate disparities and inequities in health care,” but instead address them. Brazil’s vaccine rollout plan would fail to do any of the above.

If countries begin to allow the rich to prioritize their own interests during the vaccine rollout, the consequences could be disastrous.

In a time when the world is stoked by fear and uncertainty, the worst thing that can happen is for rich companies to exacerbate inequalities by effectively choosing who lives or dies.

As the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization said at the beginning of the global vaccine rollout: “any distribution of vaccines should advance human well-being and honor global equity, national equity, reciprocity, and legitimacy.”

Poor Brazilians should not be left to fend for themselves against COVID-19 simply because they are poor.

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Family Finds Peace After Body Of Pregnant Latina Teenager Missing Since 1976 Is Identified

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Family Finds Peace After Body Of Pregnant Latina Teenager Missing Since 1976 Is Identified

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

In 2017, Congressional Black Caucus lawmakers approached then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey with a letter asking them to “devote the resources necessary to determine whether these developments are an anomaly, or whether they are indicative of an underlying trend that must be addressed.” Their letter noted that often times when children of color go missing, authorities often jump to the conclusion that they are runaways instead of potential victims of abduction.

Fortunately, despite the lack of attention towards finding and recovering victims of color, namely black and Latina girls, the family of Evelyn Colon is finding some peace.

Evelyn Colon was living in Jersey City, New Jersey when she went missing in 1976 at the age of fifteen.

At the time of her disappearance, Colon was living with her family of five and had become pregnant by her 19-year-old boyfriend, Luis Sierra.

“Back then, things were a little different,” Miriam Colon-Veltman, Evelyn’s niece explained in a recent interview with CNN. “It was a different culture, a different time, in the 70s. You get your girlfriend pregnant, you move out, and that’s how it is.”

According to Colon-Veltman Evelyn and her boyfriend moved into an apartment together. Colon’s mother would stay in touch with the two, checking in to make sure that they were okay until one day when she went to the apartment to visit. After knocking on the door she quickly realized no one was going to answer the door.

“She just left,” Colon-Veltman explained. “People around the neighborhood, they said, ‘Oh, they moved away.’ So that’s the story that we grew up learning.”

According to family members of Evelyn, they eventually received a letter from Sierra later. He explained that while things were fine, Evelyn didn’t want to be in contact with her family.

“They always felt she left with him to start her new life with him and she just wanted to stay away,” Evelyn’s nephew, Luis Colon Jr. explained before revealing that the family never heard from her again.

The family didn’t know that Evelyn was dead. Pennsylvania State Police found her body in 1976 but had not identified it until 45 years later.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), the circumstanes of her death were brutal. Her dismembered body was discovered in three separate suitcases on the banks of the Lehigh River tossed beneath a bridge of Interstate 80 in Carbon County, Pennsylvania. The discovery happened on December 20, 1976.

At the time, Evelyn was in her third trimester of pregnancy. Her fetus, a girl, was removed from her body and discovered in one of the suitcases.

Colon was given the name “Beth Doe.” They did not know her name until this week.

In a statement to CNN, “Pennsylvania State Police said that it had both confirmed the identity of the remains as Evelyn Colon and her fetus, and arrested a suspect: Luis Sierra, Colon’s boyfriend.” According to CNN, Sierra, now 63, was arrested and “charged with one count of criminal homicide in Ozone Park, New York on March 31, where he is awaiting extradition, the statement said. No other details were released.”

Colon Jr. and Colon-Veltman, who are brother and sister, told CNN that Evelyn’s family never considered something terrible could have happened to their aunt.

The Colon’s been under the belief that Evelyn was taking care of her family throughout the years. Still, they worked hard to find her. Colon Jr. said that his father searched for her often. With the rise of Facebook, he hoped to find her. “I would see my grandmother, she would walk around Jersey City and look for her,” he explained. “‘Hey, did you see Evelyn?’ She would think she saw her and tell my other grandmother, ‘Hey, I think I saw Evelyn!’ She would say, ‘I don’t know why, I can’t find her.'”

“I was looking up these people on Facebook, and I went and messaged all these people,” Colon-Veltman told CNN. “I feel like an idiot now, doing that and (I might have been) scared I could’ve tipped somebody off, but even I was looking for her.”

Colon Jr.’s decision to submit his DNA to several genealogy sites and track down his aunt is what ultimately worked.

“About four years ago, I heard about the DNA stuff and I wanted to see hey, this would be an awesome tool if I could connect with family and specifically, connect with my cousin, because I knew she had a kid, or cousins, multiple children, or her,” he explained. “So I got the kits, purchased one for me, for my wife, ordered another one from another website because I felt the more sites I’m on, the more chance that something would come about from that.”

In March Colon Jr. got a match that put the entire puzzle together.

“I get notified that ‘Hey, your DNA was matched to a victim of a homicide,'” Colon Jr. explained. “So we got in touch and they asked me, ‘Do you know anyone in your family?’ and I immediately, once they reached out to me, I knew it was her.”

After 45 years, Pennsylvania State Police identified Beth Doe as Evelyn Colon.

“It was obvious, there was no other person in my family who was missing,” Colon Jr. said. “And that’s when the ball started rolling.”

Colon’s body was buried in White Haven, Pennsylvania, and the community has been tending to her grave ever since.

“We’re so thankful for that community, that Carbon County community, that they loved her, that they cared for her,” Colon-Veltman said. “They treated her like their own, these random people for all these years.”

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