Note from BW of Brazil: One of the main motives for the creation of this blog was the expose persons outside of Brazil to a facet of Brazilian society that people continue to try to insist doesn’t exist, push under the rug, diminish its severity or label those who denounce it as ‘vitimistas’, or those who ‘play the victim’. For decades, Brazilian society have sworn that racism, racist actions and insults are things that only happen in places such as the United States. But with more and more Afro-Brazilians getting access to a college education along with the rise of the internet, there is a deeper understanding of how racism works as well as the ability to denounce it by finding strength in the common experiences of others.
Unfortunately, on the internet those Brazilians who no one wants to believe exist have found a place to share and spread their racist views and opinions about Brazilians of visible African ancestry. On popular social networking sites such Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Brazilians have provided endless evidence of the fact that the nation’s long held belief in the ‘racial democracy’ is simply a myth as social scientists and activists have argued since at least the 1940s and 50s. To document this even further, the black women’s organization Crioula came up with an ingenious campaign that share such racist sentiments for all the world to see! Taking various racist comments posted on social networks, the group took them, blew them up into enormous billboards and posted them in the hometowns of the persons who made the comments. The campaign gained worldwide attention, as international and alternative news programs featured the campaign on their programs.
The campaign even earned an award from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity distributes awards in the areas of communications, advertising and related fields. 11,000 registered delegates from 90 countries visit the seven-day festival held in June in Cannes, France, that hands out Grande Prix awards along with Gold, Silver and Bronze Lions (1) (2). At the end of the video created to divulge the campaign, one of the men caught posting a racist comment on the internet was brought face to face with the woman he insulted. After all, as a phrase in the video says, “You can’t stop racism without facing it.”
Congratulations are in order for the ladies of Crioula for coming up with such a creative campaign in the battle against such a serious problem! See a video about the campaign over at Vimeo here.
Billboard that exposes racists: A bronze that’s worth gold
Racists who hide behind the keyboards were exposed through the campaign “Espelhos do Racismo” (Mirrors of Racism), launched by the NGO Criola and created by W3Haus. The case won, so far, two Leões de Bronze (Bronze Lions) in PR and Outdoor respectively.
By Leonardo Araújo
It’s not simply a bronze. It’s a bronze that’s worth gold. First, because the Leão de PR (Lion of PR) is the first in the history of W3Haus, which is healthy for the market used to other names. But the most important is the cause. “But it is a campaign for an NGO”, so what? There are so many campaigns for NGOs that can inspire retail customers. The very use of data made for the case can help – a lot – to sell more.
But that does not matter here. At least not now. It’s time to honor the work of W3 that threw light on a problem so present in Brazil. A problem that insist on hiding, which is not discussed as it should be.
It’s amazing how in 2016, in the twenty-first century, that we still see and hear cases of racism around here. And to top it off everyday situations witnessed in the streets across the country, now it has been increasing on the Internet, a safe field for cowards who often hide behind a fake profile on social networks.
Recently we had two cases because that because they dealt with famous people quickly came to the fore in the mass media. In July 2015, the weather reporter of Jornal Nacional, Maria Júlia Coutinho, was bitterly attacked by a group of fakes. In the month after that, we had the actress Taís Araújo, who likewise was called names of all forms simply for being black.
In both cases, those responsible were investigated and punished when found. But I confess that when I found out I was wondering, “What if they were not public figures, would it have had the same end? Would it have been divulged the way that it was?
Probably not, and this is very sad because we know that every day cases like this happen with anonymous men and women who “lost” their human rights because they have a different skin color.
There are some campaigns that you need to keep the key moments in a special place of the mind. Moments like the revelation of the film Hitler or the classic songs of the chinelo Rider or when Patricia Lucchesi wore the bra. Do yourself a favor, watch the end of the video, with the request of the apology of the racist and keep this scene in that particular place in your brain.