Tsavkko Garcia, Raphael
Publication year: 2020

Carnival, which takes place in February, is one of the most important festivals in the Brazilian calendar. It is a huge event that takes place across Brazil, filling its streets with samba-school floats, blocos (street bands), and millions of people dressed up as anything they want, from sexy nurses to celebrities and politicians. Costume-wise, what matters is creativity.

But ahead of this year’s Carnival, identitarian activists tried to stymy this creativity. They argued that certain costume choices were either a form of ‘cultural appropriation’ or simply offensive. To make things worse, Ceará state’s Public Defender’s Office issued a list of costumes it deemed offensive, including those that evoked religious figures and ethnicities. It also urged male partygoers against dressing as a woman, which is a longstanding Carnival tradition.

This politically correct attack on a country-wide party that historically involves the breaking of social rules and the profaning of the sacred is not new. In recent years, traditional songs (called marchinhas), which have been sung for decades, have been censored for being considered offensive to minorities. Songs with lyrics like ‘Maria Sapatão, sapatão, sapatão, de dia é Maria, de noite é João’ (‘Maria big dyke, big dyke, big dyke, by day is Maria, by night is John’) are hardly heard today. Having censored the songs, it seems the identitarians are now going after the costumes.

Full article at Spiked’s website. Date of publication: 27/03/2020.

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