Things That Matter

Brazil’s Supreme Court Votes To Make Homophobia And Transphobia Crimes Despite The Bolsonaro Administration Being Vehemently Anti-LGBTQ+

Brazil’s Supreme Court has voted in favor of the LGBTQ community making homophobia and transphobia a crime. Last week, a majority of judges in Brazil’s top court voted to criminalize this type of discrimination. The ruling is in many ways a rebuke to Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, who ran a platform filled with homophobic rhetoric.

The Brazilian Supreme Court’s ruling comes at a time in Brazil when citizens fear that the new president will roll back LGBTQ+ progress.

Six of the 11 justice judges of the Supreme Court voted to make it a crime to discriminate people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Two different laws, one with language targeting homophobia, another for transphobia, will be added to the law that criminalizes racism until Congress can approve a bill.

President Bolsonaro has been a force against LGBTQ+ progress in Brazil and has openly spoken of his dislike for the community. Shortly after taking office, Bolsonaro removed LGBT+ responsibilities from the human rights ministry and declared that the country can’t become a place for the LGBTQ+ community.

“If you want to come here and have sex with a woman, go for your life,” Bolsonaro told journalists in April. “But we can’t let this place become known as a gay tourism paradise. Brazil can’t be a country of the gay world, of gay tourism. We have families.”

While some may say it’s late, Brazil has made significant social progress in the last 30 years.

For almost 20 years, there have been attempts to make homophobia a crime in Brazil. But legislation on the issue has constantly faced resistance among conservative and religious groups in Congress.

It took until 1989 for racism to be made labeled a crime in Brazil, with prison sentences of up to five years. The court’s ruling says that homophobia should be framed within the racism law until specific language and legislation is adopted.

Brazil legalized same-sex marriage in 2013 and gave LGBTQ+ couples the right to adopt shortly after. It’s also home to São Paulo’s Pride Parade, the world’s largest pride demonstration and Rio de Janeiro’s famous gay beach attracts tourists worldwide.

But despite this, Brazil is still considered a dangerous country for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Grupo Gay da Bahia (GGB), Brazil’s oldest LGBTQ rights organization, 320 LGBTQ+ people were killed in Brazil last year, while at least 141 have been killed so far this year.

Many are celebrating this landmark moment for LGBTQ+ progress in Brazil.

LGBTQ+ advocates have said this sort of negative rhetoric from President Bolsonaro has only added to the dangerous climate. So the ruling has become a landmark moment in terms of social and LGBTQ+ progress in the country. Many celebrated the moment on social media sharing their happiness of the news that protects countless in Brazil.

One user said, “Finally, homophobia is a crime in Brazil. Every day is a day to respect the next.” Another echoed the same sentiment by saying, “A very important step forward in the rights of the LGBT in Brazil. The Supreme Court approved yesterday the criminalization of Homophobia!!”

The majority decision is a major victory for the LGBTQ community and is a testament to changing cultures in countries around the world. While homophobia won’t end altogether by this ruling, it’s a step in the right direction.

The ruling “comes at a very good moment, when we have a head of state who is LGBT-phobic,” Bruna Benevides, president of the Niteroi Diversity group, told the AP. “The Supreme Court assumed the responsibility to protect us.”

READ: Here’s How Brazil’s New President Went After LGBTQ People And Minorities His First Week In Office

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A Brazilian Photographer Is Documenting Indigenous Tribes In The Amazon

Culture

A Brazilian Photographer Is Documenting Indigenous Tribes In The Amazon

ricardostuckert / Instagram

Indigenous tribes are the most important connection between man and nature. These tribes have lived off the land before modern society and many have never interacted with modern society. Ricardo Stuckert is going through and documenting the indigenous Amazonian tribes in Brazil.

Ricardo Stuckert is photographing indigenous tribespeople in the Brazilian Amazon.

The indigenous community is something sacred that most people agrees should be protected. They are more connected to the land than we are. Their customs and traditions are more ingrained in this world than ours are and it is so important to protect them.

The indigenous community of Brazil has been subjected to horrible attacks and conditions from the Brazilian government.

One of the most widespread attacks against the indigenous Brazilians living in the Amazon has been for the land. President Jair Bolsonaro has tried to take land away from the indigenous communities to allow for logging and mining. A bill he sent to the congress sought to exploit the land for commercial purposes, even legalizing some of the attacks we have seen on indigenous people since President Bolsonaro took power.

Stuckert wants to preserve the indigenous culture and customs through photos.

“I think it is important to disseminate Brazilian culture and show the way that native peoples live today,” Stuckert told DailyMail. “In 1997, I started to photograph the Amazon and had my first contact with the native people of Brazil. Since then, I have tried to show the diversity and plurality of indigenous culture, as well as emphasize the importance of the Indians as guardians of the forest. There are young people who are being born who have never seen or will see an Indian in their lives.”

The photographer believes that using photography is the best way to share culture.

“I think that photography has this power to transpose a culture like this to thousands of people,” Stuckert told DailyMail. “The importance of documentary photojournalism is to undo stigmas and propagate a culture that is being lost. We need to show the importance of indigenous people to the world, for the protection of our forests.”

You can see all of Stuckert’s photos on his Instagram.

Stuckert’s work to documented the indigenous community is giving people an insight into a life many never see. Brazil is home to about 210 million people with around 1 million having indigenous heritage. The diverse indigenous community of Brazil is something important to showcase and that’s what Stuckert is doing.

READ: Indigenous Photographer Diego Huerta’s Photos Of Oaxaca’s Indigenous People Celebrates Their Beauty

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

Fierce

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

BUDA MENDES / GETTY IMAGES

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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