Brazil is by far the most populous country in Latin America and the largest one in the southern hemisphere, only slightly smaller than the United States.
We have the world´s largest rain forest, the largest tropical wetlands, the largest waterfall system and the greatest biodiversity as well.
And, above all, we have the 8th largest economy in the world, yet occupy a shameful 75th place in the Human Development Index.
Since 2001 Brazil has been struggling to successfully be one of the world’s strongest emerging countries.
Nonetheless, we faced the worst recession in our history in 2013, and one year after it, we had over 14 million unemployed citizens. If you compare it to the American recession in 2008-2010, when the United States lost about 8 million jobs, you can gauge the magnitude of our crisis.
15 million citizens live in extreme poverty, and 62% of Brazilian families are in debt. Besides that, Brazilian public services are broke. Which is a tragedy in a country where there is a 34% tax rate, and people rely on public services in return.
In 2016, 4 to 8 million protested against corruption, in a march which numbers show to be the largest in our history.
|Brazil – Through the cone|
Even though we are very slowly emerging from the economic crisis, most people can´t see much improvement.
Since it all began with astonishing and ongoing political corruption scandals, we are still immersed in random disappointment that messes with our minds.
The combination of the economic crisis and this strong feeling of disappointment lead us to this moment of distrust and uncertainty.
|Lenzi, Brazil – Looking|
These confusing times have made me think about the difference between risk and uncertainty.
In risk we acknowledge some future possibilities.
We are not sure of the probabilities, but we may expect changes by choosing one future to trust.
In uncertainty we are not aware of any future possibilities.
We can´t predict the future and we can´t expect changes. We don´t even identify which option we might have.
There´s no trust. Just doubt. We simply don´t know.
Sadly, that is our case.
|Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Fire in Museum of Brazil|
At this historical moment of fuzzy uncertainty, the National Museum of Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro, was engulfed by flames, and burned to ashes on September 2, 2018.
This tragedy happened on its 200th anniversary, on the same day and in the same place where Brazil’s independence was proclaimed.
In those buildings, not only did a woman announce Brazil’s independence, but our first constitution protecting individual rights was written. It was also the location where our first National Constituent Assembly took place.
It was built to become the most important museum in Latin America, with more than 20 million artefacts. Among its collection there were some artefacts more than 160 million years old. The Luzia woman, the oldest human fossil ever found on the American continent, was about 12,000 years old.
Despite all that, we forgot to celebrate the museum and our history. We didn´t study our gains; we didn´t notice the scientific discoveries, the art collection or the historical documents.
We didn´t care.
That was supposed to be the government´s responsibility, and now 90% of the collection is gone. Consumed by fire.
|Porto Alegre, Brazil – Uncertain|
The loss of a great national museum is a global tragedy. A tragedy that for us, Brazilians, is a symbol of our lack of vision.
This fire is a symbol of our newly gained disregard for information and skills acquired through experience or education over the years.
The result is the burden of uncertainty.
Brazilians are in grief, but there are still no signs of change.
We are stuck in a time of uncertainty, hoping that anger doesn´t take over the country.
It already seemed like too much to handle but, suddenly, it wasn´t enough.
|Maua da Serra, Brazil – Get out of there|
The country´s most popular politician, a former far-left president, is already in jail for corruption and money laundering and couldn’t run again in the elections we just had.
The far-right presidential candidate who won, was stabbed in the stomach during a campaign rally.
Now the polarized environment may be exacerbated even more.
It is painful and our democracy is being tested. It must prove its gains against corruption among all the losses in the battles.
Now here we are.
Controlled by an emotional mindset that keeps us confused during the economic, political and moral crisis that we face.
|Altamira, Brazil – Open|
I wonder if human psychology will drive the country.
It does look like we don´t know how to behave to achieve that progressive mindset we once had.
We are not able to recognize ourselves anymore, since we are slowly becoming unfamiliar with our nation´s history and identity.
Maybe, our so-called lust for life has distracted us.
|Curitiba, Brazil – Lust for life|
We deny our own identity as if we could choose to be someone else, as if we could be anyone but ourselves, as if we could run away and emigrate. Nowadays, 62% of our youth wishes to emigrate. But what does this failure of vision tell us?
If we don´t know our history, we don´t know what we are made of.
If we don´t know what we are made of, we don´t know who we are.
If we don´t know who we are, we don´t know who to become.
We must overcome this ignorance to vanquish uncertainty.
|Itacare, Brazil – Hungry|
Nelson Rodrigues, a famous Brazilian writer once complained:
“Brazilians are like an inverted Narciso who spits upon his own image, there´s the truth, we don´t find personal or historical excuses for self-esteem.”
But the truth is, we have not even looked for those reasons for quite a long time.
We have no other choice than to work to rebuild our lives and our nation, despite this mindset of despair that drives us to anger and blinds us completely.
We may have collapsed in confidence, but we are still the 4th largest democracy on the planet, and 97% of our children are in school, so we could try to remember our past and learn from our history to create a better present and work towards a better future.
|Brasilia, Brazil – Hot air|
It is up to us to renounce this collapse in trust.
Enough with uncertainty.
But we are not there yet.
For now, I´ll quote a song by Gilberto Gil that exemplifies the current spirit.
“(…) Nothing but a wooden board floating upon the waters, with no destination.”
Photo 1: Brasilia, Brazil – Another world – William Carletti
Photo 2: Gonzaga, Brazil – Praca Independencia – Gabriel Ramos
Photo 3: Brazil – Through the cone – Davidson Luna
Photo 4: Lenzi, Brazil – Looking – Lucas Lenzi
Photo 5: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Fire in Museum of Brazil – CP DC Press
Photo 6: Porto Alegre, Brazil – Uncertain – Lucas Affonso Santos
Photo 7: Maua da Serra, Brazil – Get out of there – Guilherme Stecanella
Photo 8: Altamira, Brazil – Open – Dennys Lennon
Photo 9: Curitiba, Brazil – Lust for life – Vinicius Wiesehofer
Photo 10: Itacare, Brazil – Hungry – Milo Miloezger
Photo 11: Brasilia, Brazil – Hot air – Alexandre Perotto
Photos from private contributions, unsplash and shutterstock
Cinemblem: Perypatetik youtube channel
The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed
Awdejuk, Pawel. Niepewność – The Road to Freedom – Poland. July 2018.
Bell, Sarah. The Bushfire Drive – Australia. July 2018.
Bondarenko, Evgeny. Twenty Plus Years. August 2018.
Cajoto, Christina. The Trajectory of Life – España. August 2018.
Castañeda, Martha Corzo. Worried Workers – Peru. February 2018.
Cooleridge, Tweeney. Uncertainty in the Abstract – Slovakia. March 2018.
Cordido, Veronica. The Crib of Uncertainty – Venezuela. January 2018.
Dastan, S.A. Uncertain Waters – Turkey. March 2019.
Deiana, Sara. The Dark Side of Perfection. September 2018.
Electra P. Aβεβαιότητα: The Enemy of Romantic Relationships – Greece. February 2018
Escandell, Andrea da Silva. Compromise – Uruguay. March 2018
Fischer, Kristin. Talking about Cancer – Germany. September 2018.
Gómez, Javier. Uncharted Bliss. October 2018
Goumiri, Abdennour. Uncertainty Is All There Is – France. February 2018.
Guerrero, Marilin. Crossing the Uncertain Path of Life – Cuba. February 2018.
Guillot, Iuliana. Preparing for Change – Romania. June 2018.
Huihao, Mu. Going the Uncertain Way. July 2017.
Julber, Lillian. What Will Tomorrow Bring? – Chile. July 2018.
Kanunova, Nigina. Metamporphoses in Modern Life. June 2018.
Kingsley, Anastasia. Expect the Unexpected. November 2018.
Konbaz, Rahaf. So You Say You Want A Revolution – Syria. March 2018.
Korneeva, Kate. One We – Russia. April 2018.
Krnceska, Sofija. No Name Country – Macedonia. May 2018.
Lassa, Verónica. The Old Eastern Books of Uncertainty – Argentina. May 2018.
Lozano, Gabriela. El cuchillo de la incertidumbre : Piercing Uncertainty – México. January 2018.
Pang, Lian. Now or Later? October 2018.
Phelps, Jade. Healing Journey Pulls Us Apart – America. June 2018.
Protić, Aleksandar. Environmental Uncertainty. August 2018.
Romano, Mavi. An Uncertain Democracy – Spain. April 2018
Ranaldo, Mary. Incerto or Flexible: Italia and UK. March 2018.
Ray, Sanjay Kumar. Once upon a Time in a Queue – India. November 2018.
Çakır, Peren. Building a Future in Times of Uncertainty – Argentina and Turkey. May 2018.
Sanmartín, Virginia. Qué Será, Será – Spain. June 2018.
Samir, Ahmed. Uncertainty in Personal Life. January 2018.
Sekulić, Jelena. Nesigurnost of the Past, Present and Future – Serbia. June 2018.
Sem, Sebastião. Vagrant Poets. September 2018.
Sepi, Andreea. Uncertainties Galore – Germany. April 2018.
Sevunts, Nane. From Uncertainty to Newness. November 2018.
Sitorus, Rina. When Uncertainty Reaches the Land of Certainty – Indonesia and the Netherlands. May 2018.
Trojnar, Kamila. Ephemeral. October 2018.
Quintero, Jonay. The Fear of Not Knowing – España. January 2018.
Uberti, Alejandra Baccino. Adventure – Uruguay. September 2018.
Vuka. Lacking Uncertainty in Political Culture – Serbia. April 2018.
Wallis, Toni. Living for Today – South Africa. October 2018.
Younes, Ghadir. Economic Uncertainty in Life – Lebanon. Part 38.
Zakharova, Anastasiya. LGBQT – Russia. August 2018.
Translators and writers from Jordan, Mexico, Germany/Spain, Bosnia, and then on to the Syncretion of Polarization and Extremes…
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed