Brazilian folk music rests on a Portuguese
heritage but also holds African rhythms, such as in
samban and bossa novan. In the field of visual arts, all
population groups have made important contributions.
It was a long time before Brazilian culture set
itself free from the Portuguese tradition. During the
colonial period, the literature in Brazil was heavily
influenced by the mother country. In the beginning, most
Jesuit priests were engaged in authorship, such as Padre
António Vieira (1608–1697).
Latest population statistics of Brazil, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
After independence in 1822, romance and naturalism
dominated. José de Alencar (1829-1877) was a romantic
writer who idealized the indigenous peoples. He wrote,
among other things, the novel O guaraní 1857. The
realist Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (1809-1908) is
described as "the father of modern Brazilian
literature". He lived in Rio de Janeiro and among his
works are Memórias póstumas de Brás Cubas from 1881.
In connection with the centenary of the country's
independence, in 1922, São Paulo organized a week of
culture that became the beginning of Brazilian
modernism. The poet Oswald de Andrade was a leading
force and contributed to the creation of the journal
Anthropophagia. It included poets such as Mário de
Andrade, a pioneer in Latin American magical realism and
most famous for his novel Macunaíma.
In the 1930s, the authors began to increasingly seek
motives outside the cities. Several writers portrayed
the poor northeastern Brazil, for example Graciliano
Ramos (1892–1953), whose classic novel Vidas secas is in
Swedish (Dehydrated Life). Another well-known 20th
century author is João Guimarães Rosa (1908-1967). His
greatest work, Grande Sertão: Veredas, is also
translated into Swedish (Life is dangerous, senho r).
Internationally best known is Jorge Amado (1912–2001),
who also portrays northeastern Brazil.
Songaah: List and lyrics of songs related to the country name of Brazil. Artists and albums are also included.
Other modern authors are Antônio Callado, Márcio
Souza, Ivan Ângelo, Ignácio de Loyola Brandão and João
Ubaldo Ribeiro, the latter translated into Swedish with
the novel Brazil, Brazil. Among modern female writers is
Nélida Piñon, but most notably Clarice Lispector
(1920–1977) with several books translated into Swedish,
including the novel Perto do coração selvagem (Near the
Wild Heart) and the short collection Laços de família
(Family Bands). Most famous among contemporary poets is
João Cabral de Melo Neto (1920–1999).
Children's book author Lygia Bojunga Nunes was
awarded the Swedish Alma Prize in 2004 in Astrid
Lindgren's memory. She has also written drama and adult
In the field of visual arts, all population groups
have made important contributions. During the 18th
century, the architect and sculptor Antônio Francisco
Lisboa, called Aleijadinho, appeared. His work is found
in the historic cities of the eastern state of Minas
Gerais, where a Baroque style of building has emerged
since gold and diamonds were found in the area.
During the 19th century the painting was developed by
Victor Meireles, among others. Modern Brazilian art is
considered one of the foremost in the world with names
such as Emiliano Di Cavalcanti and Cândido Portinari.
The latter, for example, has done murals in the UN
building in New York.
Modern architecture can be seen above all in the
capital Brasília, whose city plan was made by Lúcio
Costa. Many of the city's buildings were designed by
Oscar Niemeyer, who is the most well-known of Brazil's
architects. When Niemeyer died in 2012, 104 years old, a
memorial ceremony was held in the presidential palace.
Brazilian folk music rests on a Portuguese heritage
but also holds African rhythms, such as in samban and
bossa novan. Chico Buarque is one of the
representatives. Big names in popular music are, for
example, Gil Costa, Milton Nacimento, Maria Betânia,
Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil (Minister of Culture
2003-2008 and winner of the Swedish Polar Prize 2004).
Heitor Villa Lobos (1887–1959) is the most famous
composer of recent classical Brazilian music.
Brazilian film had a heyday in the 1960s but was
affected more than other arts by the control of the
military dictatorship from 1964 onwards. The most famous
filmmakers are Glauber Rocha and Nelson Pereira dos
Santos. The latter has continued its filmmaking after
the return of democracy and has, among other things,
made the critically acclaimed Dried Life after
Graciliano Ramo's book (see above). Fernando de
Meirelle's film City of God, which is based on a novel
of the same name by Paulo Lins, and Walter Salle's
Central do Brasil has attracted international attention.
New filmmakers include Luis Carlos Barreto, who
filmed Jorge Amado's novel Dona Flor and her two
spouses, among others. In Brazil, however, the
production of TV series (telenovelas) has partly taken
over traditional filmmaking.
The annual carnivals are popular expressions of
popular culture. They take place in February / March in
all cities in Brazil but the most famous ones are held
in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador da Bahia. Preparations
are in progress throughout the year where groups,
so-called samba schools, learn dances, create costumes
and rehearse songs and then compete against each other
during the carnival. The carnival became internationally
known through the film Orfeu negro, recorded in Rio in
1959 by French director Marcel Camus but with Brazilian
actors. The film won both the Gold Palm at Cannes and an
Oscar. Antônio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfá wrote the
well-known music for the film.
Football in Brazil also has to be counted.
Soccer-crazy Brazil, with its imaginative, fast-paced
games and players like the legendary Pelé, has long been
one of the world's leading football nations. In 2014,
the country organized for the second time the World Cup
Lula under investigation
The state prosecutor has launched an investigation into financial
irregularities against Lula, following allegations from one of the convicted in
the mensalão scandal that the ex-president knew and made money on this. This is
Marcos Valério, who himself was sentenced to 40 years in prison and $ 1.3
million in fines for his involvement in the scandal.
The Mensalão trial ends
A total of 25 people have been convicted of participating in the corruption
scandal (see August 2012). José Dirceu, who was Lula's chief of staff in
2003-2005, has been sentenced to nearly eleven years in prison and fines of over
SEK 2 million. Dirceu denies that any Mensalão function has ever existed and
accuses the opposition and conservative media of running a campaign against the
left government. Former party chairman José Genoíno has been sentenced to nearly
seven years in prison and heavy fines. In the closing hearing, the court decides
that three congressmen involved in the scandal should be deprived of their seats
in the congress. They belong to three different parties.
Ex-chief of staff convicted in the mensalão scandal
The Supreme Court sentenced José Dirceu, who was Lula's chief of staff in
2003-2005, to close to eleven years in prison and a fine of just over SEK 2.2
million for his role in the mensalão scandal (see August 2012).
Dirceu denies that any Mensalão function has ever existed and accuses the
opposition and conservative media of running a campaign against the left
government. Former party chairman José Genoíno has been sentenced to nearly
seven years in prison and heavy fines.
Local elections are held
In two elections during the month, mayors and members are appointed by the
municipal council in more than 5,000 cities. In Rio de Janeiro, incumbent Mayor
Eduardo Paes (PMDB) is re-elected with a satisfactory margin already in the
first round, and the Labor Party is losing big in the major cities of Salvador
and Fortaleza in the northeast as well. In São Paulo, however, the Labor Party
resumes the important mayor post. The winner Fernando Haddad has been strongly
supported by party comrades Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff. The municipal
elections are the first held since a new law was introduced, which means that 30
percent of the candidates must be women.
Mensalão trial begins
The corruption trial that the media calls "the judicial process of the
century" begins in Brazil. 37 people are charged with involvement in the
so-called mensalão scandal in 2005 (mensalão means about "the big monthly
money"). The concept came about after a number of MPs were accused of receiving
monthly grants to support the government. Among the defendants are several
former ministers, government officials, businessmen and bank employees.
According to the prosecutor, members of the ruling party had paid allied members
of the parliament $ 10,000 each month were for them to vote for the government's
proposal. The money should have been taken from government companies'
Environmental conference in Rio de Janeiro
The UN Global Environment Conference Rio + 20 brings together delegates from
all over the world.
The Truth Commission begins work
According to a law passed in 2011, a seven-man commission has been appointed
to investigate human rights violations committed during the years 1946 to 1988.
Already in 2009, a commission was made to investigate abuses under the military
dictatorship 1964-1985, but several militants were very critical and threatened
to resign, and the decision was revoked. Now the assignment has been reworded
and also applies for a longer period. Rousseff himself belongs to the thousands
of Brazilians who were tortured during the military dictatorship 1964–1985.
President veto against forestry
President Rousseff vetoes parts of a new controversial law that has been
swept through Congress for a year. The law gives landowners the right to harvest
a larger proportion of rainforest than before and means amnesty for people who
have harvested forest illegally. Critics believe that the law is a disaster for
the environment. Now Rousseff is stopping his veto including amnesty for illegal
Mário Negromonte, minister responsible for cities, is accused of corruption
and leaving his post.