Carnival dancers in Rio de Janeiro dazzled as they danced through streets, baring flesh and dripping in gold as the most raucous festival on earth entered its fourth day.
This year women’s groups have been using carnival to push back against sexual harassment.
Several block parties have feminist themes, many women are wearing temporary tattoos and stickers with messages like ‘No means no’ and authorities have launched campaigns to encourage women to report harassment to police.
But that’s not to say that revellers’ famously skimpy wear has got any more conservative.
Feather headdresses and sparkly G-strings were seen in abundance and bare skin gleamed under streetlight.
News site G1 posted a photo gallery highlighting female celebrities covering their nipples with just stickers or barely-there adhesives.
Some groups took a decidedly political slant, taking aim at politicians both old and new.
Last year’s champions, Portela, portrayed the story of Jews who fled persecution in Europe for Brazil, only to then face discrimination from Portuguese colonists.
Samba troop Beija-Flor de Nilopolis was expected to have a drag queen as its headliner.
Brazilian singer, songwriter, and drag queen Pabllo Vittar’s song Todo Dia has alone attracted 216 million viewers.
Vittar is a sensation in the Brazilian pop scene, and carnival has long been a place to celebrate sexuality and diversity.
But Brazil also has some of Latin America’s highest rates of violence against gay and transgender people, and Beija-Flor was tackling intolerance against the LGBT community and others.
‘It will be a parade that highlights such an important theme because we see a lot of scenes of homophobia and transphobia in the streets,’ Vittar told Epoca magazine in a recent interview. ‘It’s very important to address this theme at carnival so we can disseminate this message [of tolerance] every day.’
The gay rights organization Gay Group of Bahia hosted its annual LGBT Costume Contest in Salvador, including performances that highlighted Brazil’s high rates of violence against women and gay and transgender people.
‘All these schools are amazing,’ said Celso Pinheiro, an accountant watching on. ‘They are different, just like there are so many different carnival celebrations.’
In the northeastern city of Olinda, revelers paraded with giant blow-up dolls that depicted political figures like U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as well as celebrities from around the globe, including Michael Jackson, the Beatles and Brazilian sports and pop stars.
At carnival, everything is fair game, and many Brazilians have seized the moment to criticize their leaders at a time of intense dissatisfaction with the political class and angst over continuing fallout from a severe recession.
On Sunday, a float in Rio’s samba parade featured a plastic bottom with Mayor Marcelo Crivella’s name on it.
At parties across the country, revelers have denounced President Michel Temer, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and other politicians caught up in a sprawling corruption probe.
In Rio, the celebrations come during a time of unease, as the city that hosted the 2016 Summer Olympics is experiencing a surge in violence.
Authorities promised 17,000 security officers would patrol every day during carnival celebrations, but Brazilian media reported several muggings over the weekend in the upscale neighborhoods of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon that are popular with tourists.
Source : DailyMail