Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Welcome to O Mangue!

Welcome to "O Mangue", our blog which presents information and opinions about life in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, concentrating on sex, race, class and those damned foreigners who make this city their home.

“O Mangue” is named after Rio’s historic red light district. The name means “the Salt Marsh” and, in its heyday during the early 20th century, the neighborhood contained a huge and diverse community of working-class Brazilians and foreign immigrants. It was made famous by police reports, yellow journalism and by the paintings of internationally renowned Lithuanian-Brazilian artist Lasar Segall. The Swamp might have been dangerous and dirty, but no one could deny that it contained a brute vitality. For the better part of a century, it was pounding heart of working-class Rio. The Mangue was Lapa's darker sister - the one we kept in the kitchen when foreign guests were about. You can see a brief film of what it was like back in the 1950s right here. Successive attempts to eliminate the Mangue began in 1943 and finally bore fruit in the 1980s, when the last houses of ill repute were bulldozed to make way for the new City Hall (thus earning that building the nickname of “A Piranhão” – the Big Whore). The Mangue's survivors then moved the show over to Rua Ceará near Praça da Bandeira, where it became Vila Mimosa, modern Rio's cut-rate commercial sex district.

We've chosen the name for our blog because we feel it represents our interests in the commonplace and bizarre people, events and places which make Rio Rrrrrrrrrrrrio and which inevitably end up tinging foriegners' views about Brazil and what can be found there.

Over the next few days, we'll be posting introductions and links to a series of our already-published articles. We hope you enjoy them. Because we are very active debaters and discussants, we also hope that these tidbits will get people interested in talking about the subjects and issues we raise in the "comments" section. It is our policy to not censor folks simply because they disagree with us, but we will shit-can anyone who is gratuitously rude or simply a spammer.

Note that some articles here will be in Portuguese and others in English. If you aren't bilingual, we're sorry. Sooner or later, we hope to have translations for all this stuff, but in the meantime, you're all just going to have to muddle through.

In the future, we plan to be writing new stuff here, hopefully on a weekly basis.

We also cordially invite others to post here, if they feel they have material of interest.

Welcome! We hope you'll find your stay here interesting and informative, if not always strictly enjoyable!

Ana Paula da Silva
Thaddeus Blanchette

1 comment:

  1. O que entende-se com a expressão: estou querendo fazer um mangue?