(Rio de Janeiro) Amidst the noise of percussion, lightning and singing, Rio’s Carnival set off on Sunday night to experience its strongest moment: a spectacular parade by prestigious samba schools.

I hear a voice say, “Today is a big day.” Rather, it is the first of two long nights in which each of the six schools will provide a spectacular spectacle at the Sambodrome, which architect Oscar Niemeyer created 40 years ago.

“I cried before, during and after. It’s emotion upon emotion. I have no words”: Wanda Ferreira, 33, said she was at the 700, which is flanked by 70,000-seat stands. After walking down the legendary Avenida Marqués de Sapucai, the main artery of the city, I still feel overwhelmed.

She marched for the Salgueiro School, which raises the urgent question of the fate of the Yanomami people, an Amazonian people facing a humanitarian crisis caused by the invasion of illegal gold miners, causing pollution, malnutrition and death. I chose to work on it.

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A tractor that looks like a ravenous monster, (literally) a blood-letting nature, but also the greatness and resistance of a native as large as a giant. That evocation is powerful.

If the Yanomami drama reached terrifying proportions under far-right President Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022), his left-wing successor Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva reversed the situation. I’m struggling to make it happen.

For Kevin Rodrigis, tackling this topic was “very important”. “I came to show everyone what is happening in the Amazon, the deforestation, how the Yanomami people are being treated,” said the 22-year-old, who was pulled out of the tank by a crane. .

In a sign that the fate of indigenous peoples is mobilizing conscience, another school, Grande Rio, has chosen to depict the mythology of the Tupinamba people through the central figure of the jaguar.

Monumental “allegorical” floats, thousands of dancers in glittering costumes, a rhythm section that awakens the dead, and a sophisticated light show. Every year, schools strive to outdo themselves in front of the public and the thousands of Brazilians glued to their television sets.

at risk of gigantism

The 12 most famous schools have been preparing for a year to win the title of champion, each with a 60-70 minute parade. Their fate is decided by a jury based on exact criteria, quality of floats and costumes, choice of theme and choreography.

The Porto da Pedra school will lose valuable points due to a double disappointment, which is not unusual here.

She first lost part of her tank in front of the jury. According to the city health department, the woman was dragged by a safety fence and suffered a scrape on her leg.

Like Porto da Pedra, which is based in the poor suburb of São Goncalo, samba schools are primarily rooted in favelas and working-class neighborhoods.

Beyond magic, they talk about Brazil, its history and its identity. These include celebrating local traditions, celebrating lesser-known black figures and famous black figures like singer Alcyone.

Samba was invented a century ago by a community descended from African slaves who were forcibly taken to Brazil. Since then, she has become a symbol of Rio’s popular culture.

“Playful citizenship”

Police deployed around Sambodrome to prevent serious crime in Rio, fighting dengue fever outbreak: The problem is not to spoil a party that brings huge economic benefits – 5.3 billion reais ($1.44 million) expected to be added to the economy in a short period of time Weeks of carnival fever.

Alexandre Reis (52) is a technician at Beija Flor School. Hours before entering the scene, his team was dealing with an emergency situation when a lighting malfunction on a large tank occurred.

“We give our sweat and blood because we love this school,” he says.

At the same time, street carnivals of different musical styles are held throughout the city during the day, led by “blocos” and their processions.

On Saturday, the great black writer Conceição Evaristo, who was awarded the “Broco” in the chic district of Ipanema known for its dream beaches, expressed his wish for a country crippled by inequality: Ta. “May this celebratory moment transform Brazilian society,” uniting everyone through legal citizenship, not playful citizenship. ”

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