Unhappy Prostitutes

Maria Sem Vergonha montage

POLITICAL PROSTITUTES AND SHAMEFUL POLITICIANS Laura Murray is a filmmaker, activist and PhD student studying sex worker activism and politics in Brazil. In an expansion on her blog post published at akissforgabriela.com, Laura explains how the Brazilian Minister of Health celebrated International Prostitute’s Day in June – by censoring an HIV prevention campaign: June has been a month of […]

Seriously, Brazil

jruv_IMG_9896_Sunday in Ipanema

“Brazil knows how to party, but are they serious enough?” In my second photo-essay for The Atlantic‘s city-specific edition, Scenes From Carnaval, the ‘Largest Street Fair on the Planet’, I go inside the colonial view that Carnaval is evidence Brazil is not serious enough: Six million people have taken to the streets of Rio de Janeiro this […]

Sayonara Centauros


  Luxury brothel smackdown in Rio de Janeiro. The Olympic City takes aim at a pricey brothel popular with tourists in its latest effort to clean up Rio’s image abroad. In my first story for The Atlantic’s new city-specific edition, AtlanticCities, I report on the Rio+20 raids, where an ultra-expensive sauna brothel called Centaurus, along […]

Major Lazer


Summer time and the living’s easy in Rio, where the principle of lazer (“leisure”) dominates workout culture. In other words, “I am working out and I am enjoying it. At the same time.” The scenery doesn’t hurt. Six scenes of lazer (pronounced “lahz-AIR”)  in Rio’s South Zone. Would you lazer at the beach? Woman in bikini gives the slackline […]

This is a Favela


  Favela does not mean “slum,” and contrary to what you might read in ESPN, the entire city of Rio is not big blazing war zone. Favela has no direct translation, but the proper word these days is “community,” and a full third of Rio’s 6 million citizens live in “communities,” probably more if there […]

Country of the Future


According to this New York Times profile on Viennese writer Stefan Zweig, who moved to Rio shortly before poisoning himself in a suicide pact with his wife, we can thank Zweig for “creating one of most hackneyed phrases ever associated with Brazil: Country of the Future:” Derived from the title of his 1941 book praising […]

on Gringos


Thaddeus Blanchette is a professor of anthropology at the Federal University in Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). He wrote about gringos for his masters dissertation and in Nossa Senhora da Help, a 2005 paper on Copacabana sex tourism. Blanchette talks about what it means to be called a gringo in  the April 2002 issue of BadSubjects, a […]