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The galleries depict group sex and bestiality, while on the street evangelists cry blasphemy and paedophilia, with a reformed porn star leading the charge. Crunch time is approaching for a divided society. Despite its libidinous carnival, sexy music and skimpy clothes, Brazil is also a deeply conservative and religious country — and it is currently witnessing a culture war between those two sides of its national character. In September, a deluge of online protests and small yet vocally aggressive pickets by evangelical Christians and rightwingers scared the multinational Santander bank into closing an uncompromising gay art exhibition called Queer Museum in Porto Alegre.
This time the publicly run museum held firm , but the noise did not die down. Both curators were later summoned to an inquiry in the Brazilian senate. The fierceness of the protests prompted the MASP to take legal advice before even opening its current and long-planned exhibition Histories of Sexuality. For its first two weeks only overs were admitted. Then, following an interpretation of Brazilian laws published by federal prosecutors, the museum changed policy to allow minors in with their parents. Late on Saturday afternoon, the only children at the gallery were Joaquim, 8, and Miguel, 7, who were led around by their mother Milena Messias, 44, an agricultural engineer.
The boys paid little attention to the works and seemed keen to leave. Other visitors also praised the show. It shows sexuality in a more natural way. Frota said he saw no contradiction in a former pornographic actor attacking contemporary art for being too explicit. Hundreds demonstrated in her favour and against outside — one group even carried an effigy showing her as a witch in a pink bra. For Felipe Chaimovich, curator of the MAM, the warfare is not about language, but something much deeper.
He and Fidelis, the curator of the Queer Museum exhibition, were called to testify before a congress inquiry into crimes and irregularities against children and teenagers presided over by Magno Malta, an evangelical pastor and senator. Despite this, Fidelis said he has been energised by the the episode, and argued that the controversy and triggered a debate that Brazil could only benefit from. Brazilian health professionals have debated the issue. Share your experiences of the city in the comments below, on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram using GuardianSaoPaulo, or by to saopaulo.
This article is more than 3 years old. Photograph: NurPhoto via Getty Images. Thu 30 Nov . Reuse this content.Naked woman in Brazil
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