Friday, June 15, 2012

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Sunday, June 3rd , 2012 Today (June 3rd, 2012) we watched a video about the colonization of Brazil called “Brazil: An Inconvenient History”. The other students and I have already seen this video in class (and I think I might have seen it before then as well) and it was Lee’s first time seeing it. It was very interesting and eye-opening. It discussed the details of the colonization of Brazil and the worldviews that stemmed from this colonization in a way that is not commonly heard. It is called “Brazil: An Inconvenient History” because it is an inconvenience for those in power to be reminded of this history. It very critical of the way that Brazil was colonized and does not portray the colonizers in a flattering light. It shows how some of the processes that took place have created a system of social hierarchy in Brazil that can still be seen today. Because we had watched this film in class before we came to Brazil, and again while we are in Brazil, we were able to focus on some of the aspects of the film that we had missed before and we were able to relate this information to our experiences. We discussed how this colonization had caused there to be a separation of the classes that seemed to be based on ancestry, with the African- descendents seeming to be cast lower on the economic totem pole, with people with mostly descendents from Portugal or other European countries on the top, and indigenous peoples and other mixes somewhere in between. We also discussed a phenomenon that I pointed out in an earlier blog, the portrayal of beauty in lighter skinned, European descendents in advertisements. My experiences in Brazil and the knowledge that I have gained from watching this movie go hand-in-hand to shed light on the historical and current identity and socio-economic issues that plague Brazil. Beth

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