“We are used to giving moral ground to those who come from outside and forget to look at us. This is Brazil,” said rapper L7nnon at the start of his presentation last Sunday at Lollapalooza in São Paulo. The singer slammed Canadian artist Drake, the festival’s main attraction that day. He canceled his appearance at the last minute, disappointing fans who had purchased tickets to see him. It’s not the first time the guy has belittled the Brazilian public. During the 2019 edition of Rock in Rio, among other displays of dislike, Drake banned his presentation from being aired by Multishow shortly before it was to occur, frustrating those without the opportunity to to attend an event of this magnitude. How long are we going to keep applauding postures like this? Until when are we going to look at what comes from outside with a dazzle that dazzles us?
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There are Tuesdays, invariably, who cry in the evening in front of the TV. The cause? Leticia Colin. She plays in “Where is my heart”, a series of ten episodes broadcast by Globo. The production had already been made available for streaming, and I knew of the praise it had garnered, but I hadn’t seen it yet. In the story, the actress plays Dr. Amanda, a crack addicted chemoaddict. The drama is very strong, and the performer gives himself so much to the stage that it moves me. At the same time that I see her, impacted, I wonder what are the limits of Letícia’s talent. It is because, at the same time, I am another of his performances in the soap opera “Todas as flores”, which gets its second season starting this week on Globoplay. In João Emanuel Carneiro’s plot, she plays the detestable villain Vanessa.
In addition to the actions, the speeches of this little girl who does not measure the consequences to get what she wants cause so much anger that I even laugh. But it’s a desperate laugh to think, “It’s worse that there are people like that.” The Disgusting One has a blind sister who saved her by donating her bone marrow. But that doesn’t bother her. Vanessa drops beads like, “I can’t believe the blind girl found a boyfriend who also has a car!” or “Life can’t be so rude to me.” I was exchanged for a blind woman”. A festival of prejudice and coldness. Any resemblance to real life is unfortunately not coincidental.
How can the same artist change to such an extent, provoking great emotions in those who see her? Talent, dedication to his profession, respect for the public who will consume his work… These would be some answers. But not only. In addition to her vision of the profession, Letícia shows an admirable attitude as a person. When I watch her pose as a citizen, she always seems empathetic. Last week, citing a recent example, she participated in the program “Encontro” on a difficult day, when the mother of one of the young witnesses of the sad attack on a school in São Paulo was present. The episode ended with injuries and a dead teacher. Attentive to the conversation, she listened with respect and gave her honest opinion. She even said how much tragedies like this distress her as the mother of a little boy that she is. And this view of the world makes all the difference in the performance of an artist, since the raw material of his work comes from others, from life.
But why did I start talking about a gringo rapper and end up quoting a young Brazilian artist? Because Letícia Colin is our thing! I now use it as a reference, as the emotions it evokes are fresh in my memory. Not that she needs me to shine a light on her genius, because she has been recognized in many ways: she was nominated for an Emmy for the series I mentioned, she filled a major role after the other… And the best part is that she is among many others in a super powerful cultural scene like the one in Brazil. I don’t even need to skip lines here to talk about how rich our MPB is too. The world has been aware of this for some time. But what about us?
During a visit I made to Cuba, the telenovela “Avenida Brasil” was broadcast there. The stir the series generated was impressive, so much so that Carminha, an unforgettable character by Adriana Esteves, became the nickname of a cold that struck them at the time. When they found out I was Brazilian, they stopped me to ask me about the story. I experienced a similar feeling in Argentina, another country among many fascinated by what we produce. Do we all know how much they like us there?
Art has no borders. We need to know what others are doing to inspire us, learn, merge different references and create new things… But always keeping in mind that, in this area, we owe nothing to anyone. Drake is unable to assess Brazil’s suitability. And we don’t need Drake shows around here.
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