“Nation of the future”. “Sex paradise”. “Wonderland of pickpockets”. “The emerging economy that grows in the rhythm of samba”.
Stop right there. There is more in Brazil than meets the eye.
Thank God, it is exotic, erotic and chaotic – to borrow an expression used by Dean Graber to describe how the international press sees the country. He is a brazilianist from Austin, Texas, that I met briefly years ago. But these beaten clichés are getting old. As a journalist I am well aware of the use of mental frames to make communication easier. To some extent, clichés help us understand the world. This doesn’t mean we should buy them without questioning.
Naturally, if you cannot read Portuguese, you have limited options to escape the beaten paths. That’s why I came up with the idea of launching the Deep Brazil blog. This will be a space to cover interesting aspects of Brazilian Visual Arts, Architecture, Media, Music, Cuisine, Fashion, Folklore – but not your average “culture for export”. I also intend to give a panorama of Politics, Economy, social issues and other themes that are often covered hastily by the foreign press. No hurt feelings, fellow journalists. I know it is hard to evade clichés when you have to write three stories a day. Plus, let’s face it. Brazil is not so easy to understand. Most of the time, I don’t get it, myself.
So, whoever is listening, welcome to Deep Brazil. Please, visit often, leave suggestions of new topics and spread the word.