Bandeira do Brasil

Bandeira do Brasil

Saturday, February 21, 2015


Sebastião Salgado is the Brazilian photographer whose nightmarish pictures of teeming, dirt-swamped gold miners electrified the world's media in the mid-1980s. Now 70, Salgado has had his life story told by the joint force of his own son Juliano and Wim Wenders, and it's a story that has turned out to have its own uplifting dynamic and character arc. 

For the last 40 years, the photographer has been travelling through the continents, from gold mines, through the Sahel and the Gulf war oil fires, and into the death-frenzy of mid-90s Rwanda in the footsteps of an ever-changing humanity. He has witnessed some of the major events of our recent history; international conflicts, starvation and exodus. He is now embarking on the discovery of pristine territories, of wild fauna and flora, and of grandiose landscapes as part of a huge photographic project which is a tribute to the planet's beauty.

Last Friday, Feb 20., the documentary directed by German Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, son of the photographer, won the best documentary of Caesar based on the work of Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015


There´s more to it than a simple parade. The highlight of Rio Carnival is undoubtedly the Rio Carnival Parade called theSamba Parade or Samba Schools Parade, a totally unique event in the world!
The Samba Parade in Rio de Janeiro is something everybody should experience at least once in their lives. The event is broadcast live to several countries. Watching on TV is comfortable but not any close to the fun that is being there. Definitely mingle with the crowds and watch the Brazilians and Cariocas (the people of Rio). For the best and full blown experience, you can even march with a samba school.

The Rio Samba Parade is very distinct from all other street parades held at some other places in the world. The Carnival parades in Rio developed into something special, a competition between the samba schools. The preparation for the Samba Parade starts months in advance, as each samba school mobilizes thousands of supporters who will create the various parts of the school's display. 

First, the theme of the year is chosen. Then the school's samba song of the year is selected through competition, while the school's Carnival Designer creates the costumes and the floats. When ready, the sketches move into production. By December the rehearsals begin. In time for Christmas, the schools' annual samba songs are recorded and released to the record shops.

The Rio Samba Parade is not a street event where people move chaotically about as they like, but more of a highly orchestrated show of vast proportions. Every parader has a specific role and place according to his costume in a particular wing, of a particular section of the samba school he/she is parading in support of.

Each year the schools chooses a different theme for the Samba Parade. It can be a celebration of a particular period, or, famous figures of Brazilian history. It may highlight a special event or speak of anything that might move the spirit and imagination; like a special animal, or one of the elements; water or fire, etc. The school has to illustrate the chosen theme through all its work:
the samba tunes, which are especially written for that year; the richly decorated floats and costumes of their 3,000 to 5,000 parading members designed by the school's Carnival Designer (the so calledCarnavalesco).Every school's parade is highly organized and designed. They line up in a unique way to present their pageant. The schools are divided into a number of sections and each section has a number of wings of about 100 people wearing the same costume. 

In between the wings, there are about 8 Carnival floats, separating the sections and illustrating the school's theme. 

Most of them are pushed along by men from the School's community but some are motorized and have mechanical parts. The floats carry special guests along with some young and mesmerizing samba dancers in very elaborate, awe-inspiring costume creations.

The costumes are extremely imaginative, colorful, elaborate and detailed. They are truly original, designed and made from scratch each year. They have mirrors, feathers, metallic cloth, silk and sometimes gems or coins. These costumes take months to make. The work starts roughly 8 months in advance.

Each samba school has its own distinctive colors (of its flag) and costume style. The color scheme is reflected in many parts of their parade.
The biggest and most elaborate costumes are worn by the main floatees (destaques), members chosen with honor by the samba schools to wear these special costumes.

You may think of the whole event as a tropical opera or rather like several operas happening on one night. It is beautiful to watch and the experience for the paraders themselves is so intense that the memories last for a lifetime.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Can you fathom a people-powered football field? This is what happened when Pavegen Systems - Green Energy from Footsteps installed 200 tiles into a local football pitch in Morro da Mineira, a favela which has not benefitted from tourism and private enterprise development in Rio de Janeiro.
Pavegen tiles work day and night alongside solar panels to power the lights for up to 10 hours on a full battery, creating the world’s first ever people-powered football pitch. The pitch was officially opened by international football legend Pelé. This first-of-a-kind energy solution as a source of global inspiration, empowering action through sport as well as providing a tangible off-grid power supply that benefits a whole community. Now how cool is that?

SOURCE: Avantgardens
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