Brazil Culture Wars Heat Up

“For many, what is happening in Brazil’s creative spaces is a reflection of the politics here,” states BBC journalist Katy Watson. A more progressive and socially liberal side is pushing back against the right-wing, primarily Evangelical Christians’, conservative attempt at censorship. The censorship that is being debated is supposedly to protect children, but in reality, it is to push the harmful ideals of right-wing traditionalists onto the rest of the population of Brazil.

For example, there is a show that is performed in Brazil, The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven, where the Christ is a transgender woman. The shows are always packed, however, certain portions of the population are trying to shut it down. The cast faces many forms of discrimination. This is a sign of the transphobia that is occurring in Brazil. Natalie Mallo, the director of the show, made the statement that “With Jesus embodied in a trans woman, it addresses all the oppression and violence suffered by this population.” In just 2017 alone, more than 170 transgendered persons have been murdered in Brazil.

Another example is the Queer Museum exhibition that was forced to end early due to the backlash and protest from conservative groups. The protestors, which include evangelical leaders and people representing the Free Brazil Movement, deemed the art exhibition as a promoter of “bestiality and paedophilia.” Artists have stamped this act as censorship of art and, thus, freedom of expression.

These differences of opinions in Brazil’s cultural life is also reflected in Brazil’s politics. It is expected that politics in Brazil will continue to polarize, especially with the general elections that are to occur next year.



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