Things That Matter

Rio’s Christ The Redeemer Lights Up To Honor Healthcare Workers Around The World

Healthcare workers need all the support they can get during this crisis. They’re literally on the front lines of a battle against an invisible enemy and in many places, they’re not being given the recognition they need and deserve.

However, some communities have come together to show their support. From giant mariachi bands in Mexico City to the Effie Tower’s message of hope – and now Rio’s Christ statue – we hope these brave healthcare workers are feeling all the love.

Rio’s archdioceses held Easter services at the base of the famed statue and paid tribute to healthcare workers.

SILVIA IZQUIERDO / GETTY

With churches and other houses of worship closed to maintain social distancing measures, Brazilian archbishop Orani Tempesta conducted an Easter service at the feet of the Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro—and projected a special message onto the 125-foot-tall statue.

For the second time since the coronavirus escalated to a global pandemic, the statue appeared illuminated with images of the flags of countries hardest hit by the virus, including the United States, China, Spain, Italy, and Brazil, and the words “hope,” “thanks,” and “stay home” written in various languages.

Projected images of doctors and nurses also intermittently appeared on the figure, putting individual faces to that vital workforce.

The statue, depicting Christ with outstretched arms, was also dressed up in a doctor’s scrubs, lab coat, and stethoscope as a tribute to the healthcare workers on the front line of the pandemic.

The images that lit up the sky on Easter Sunday provided a different message than the one that Brazilian president Jair Bolsanaro has been sharing.

Brazil has so far recorded more than 22,000 Covid-19 cases and 1,230 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. However, President Jair Bolsonaro remains one of the few world leaders playing down the threat of the disease.

The populist leader has continued to push back on social-distancing policies in recent weeks, dismissing the coronavirus as a “little flu” and saying Brazil will suffer more if the economy collapses.

In fact, over the weekend he scoffed at social distancing measures, telling local media outlets “No one will hinder my right to come and go.”

Rio’s famed statue has been closed by the pandemic since mid-March – along with much of the country’s top attractions.

The famed statue has withstood the worst of what the elements could throw its way for nearly nine decades. Now it, too, is succumbing to the outbreak of the new coronavirus. 

The 125-foot-tall statue, which last year saw almost 2 million visitors, closed on March 17 and won’t reopen for at least a month. To contain the virus’ spread, Brazil’s Chico Mendes Institute on Tuesday ordered the closure of all national parks it oversees, including the one that’s home to the Christ statue.

Rio seems less marvelous by the day with the creep of the new virus. Firemen began blaring recordings that urge beachgoers to stay home, one day before Rio’s Gov. Wilson Witzel decreed a state of emergency.

Among other things, Witzel’s decree recommended that restaurants and bars limit themselves to 30% capacity for 15 days, that boats and buses halve their passenger loads, that shopping malls close and people avoid beaches and public pools. The decree also suspended classes and all other activities and events that entail gatherings.

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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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