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Claudia Leitte, ômicron and something else: why part of the population is against carnival

Last weekend, a video by singer Claudia Leitte invaded thetimelines of thousands of Brazilians on social networks, viralizing the enough for the artist’s name to appear at the top of Google searches and among the most mentioned terms on Twitter. This time, however, it was not a new music video, nor a single unpublished, but a montage that compared two moments: the sold out show that starred in the capital of São Paulo, day

, and another, older one, in which the singer says “concerned about the amount of people who don’t wear masks and crowd together.”

The contradiction did not go unnoticed. Federal deputies BiaKicis, Eduardo Bolsonaro and the minister of Communications,Fábio Faria, were some of the prominent public figures who helped to promote the video.

The event would have all the characteristics of a simple satirical meme to generate engagement on the internet, but it ended up going beyond that and boosted a campaign started days before, symbolically represented by the hashtag #CancelaoCarnaval, carried out, above all, by right part.

If the objective of the campaign can be easily identified – the cancellation of carnival events, scheduled to be resumed in 2021 -, less obvious are his real motivations, which go far beyond the health concern with the new variant of the coronavirus that haunts Europeans.

Variantômicronand increase in cases in Europe

Since last month,Europehas registered substantial increase in the number of infected people, although most of the population on the continent is already fully immunized. So far, according to public health authorities, the main suspicion of being the cause of the new wave would be the so-called omicron variant, of South African origin, apparently more contagious than the previous versions. The situation led the countries of the European Union to suspend flights from seven countries located in the south of the African continent. Germany even tightened restrictions on the unvaccinated, limiting their access to bars, restaurants, nightclubs and other closed places.

Asked last Thursday (26) about this new advance of COVID-18 , President Bolsonaro said: “For me, there would be no carnival”. The phrase was said in an interview with Rádio Sociedade da Bahia, with the addition of the reminder that “according to the Federal Supreme Court, it is the governors and mayors who decide”, in reference to the STF decision that gave autonomy to states and municipalities to decide on actions to combat the pandemic.

Although in the same interview Bolsonaro criticized the possibility of the return of thelockdown in Brazilian cities, the phrase about the carnival called the attention of analysts and made headlines in several newspapers, serving as a trigger for his followers to start promoting the hashtag #CancelaoCarnaval on the internet.

If at first sight the mobilization for the cancellation of the event seemed contradictory with the positions adopted by the right part during the pandemic, the reactions to Claudia Leitte’s concert in São Paulo – governed state by his rival, João Doria – stated that the concern with the risk of contamination in this event was not, exactly, the core of the matter. From a political point of view, the chance to wear down an opponent, exposing a contradiction, was unmissable.

Why Claudia Leitte went in the crosshairs

In the editing of the video that went viral, parallel to the images of the euphoric crowd dancing in his show, without a mask and, obviously, without any distancing, another filming, older, was included, in which the singer says that “the fact that people do not wear masks is indignant, they continue to gather, promoting agglomerations and inciting agglomerations”. Claudia Leitte concludes the reasoning by stating: “That kills. It is proved”.

Two days before the controversial show, another old video by Claudia Leitte, recorded in 2019, had also gone viral on social media. In it, who appears dancing with the artist on stage and singingmusic“WeAre Carnaval”is an animated governor João Doria. On the morning of the day 26, Doria himself retweeted the video: “I have fun with these things,” said Bolsonaro’s visceral enemy, probably without imagining that he was linking himself to the negative repercussions of the show in the city of São Paulo, scheduled to take place the following day.

Longtime supporter of the São Paulo governor, Claudia Leitte was nominated to perform at various events under Doria’s management, since when he occupied the city’s city hall.

Anything goes for the São Paulo Carnival

The party is so important to Doria, and its so desired resumption that on November 9th, in a meeting with the League of Samba Schools of São Paulo (SP League), the São Paulo Carnival was declared intangible heritage of the state by the Council for the Defense of Historical Heritage, a subordinate body to the Department of Culture. In the post celebrating the recognition, the SP League highlighted that this was the first time in years that they were received by the head of the state Executive Power. At the meeting, another opponent of Bolsonaro’s supporters, federal deputy Alexandre Frota (PSDB-SP), was also present and was appointed as one of those responsible for winning the title.

With everything set for the return of the revelry, Bolsonaro’s speech and the campaign of his followers lit up the alert signal in the organizers who responded by launching it on the day 27, its own hashtags #Carnavalsim and #Osambavive, in addition to the slogan “Carnaval da Vida” and a explanatory text in which they argue that it is possible to promote a parade of samba schools, with an audience, following all health safety protocols. On the day27, the City Hall of São Paulo released the list of street blocks for the carnival of 2022, revealing that not only the parade at the Sambadrome do Anhembi was on the radar, but also the return of2017 popular blocks, including estimated audience:20 millions of participants.

Campanha da Liga SP lançada para defender a viabilidade do Carnaval de São Paulo, mesmo com pandemia.Campanha da Liga SP lançada para defender a viabilidade do Carnaval de São Paulo, mesmo com pandemia. Liga SP campaign launched to defend the viability of the São Paulo Carnival, even with a pandemic.

The loss of celebrities in aBrazilwithout carnival

Since the #EleNao campaign, promoted in the elections of2018, the climate of hostility between part of the Brazilian art scene and Bolsonaro was made explicit. Given the fact that participation in trendy carnivals, especially in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Salvador, is extremely profitable for celebrities – many of them opponents of the president -, this became an incentive for part of the population to act for the cancellation .

Before the pandemic, the Brazilian carnival had been in a streak of attendance and profit records. According to an estimate by the National Confederation of Commerce of Goods, Services and Tourism (CNC), in 2020 the party turned over 8 billion in the national economy. One of the most favored categories is artistic. That year, the specialized press spoke of fees ranging from 19 thousand to 27 thousand reais a day, simply for the star to be in a certain box and be photographed. The value depends on how hot the celebrity is at that moment. A starring role in the soap opera on display, for example, throws the price up.

No matter how engaged they were in defending lockdowns, in 2021, when there were no big carnivals, singers, models and actors Politically more active were also severely hit in the pocket by the consequences of restrictions on mass events, and perhaps the size of the damage caused some to reconsider the vigor they were investing in defending containment measures.

Religious rejection of carnival goes beyond politics

If the current political disputes were decisive for putting carnival in the crosshairs of the right, for the religious and conservatives in general that make up this political spectrum, it was not even necessary to reject the party. The convergence of motivations only joined forces.

The statement about the controversy, made on Twitter, by the president of the Cultural Foundation Palmares, Sergio Camargo, helps to explain this reality:

Campanha da Liga SP lançada para defender a viabilidade do Carnaval de São Paulo, mesmo com pandemia.Campanha da Liga SP lançada para defender a viabilidade do Carnaval de São Paulo, mesmo com pandemia. Even if historians argue about a remote Medieval origin of the festival in Europe, which supposedly consisted of the farewell to the consumption of meat, alcoholic beverages and other pleasures before abstinence and fasting that characterize Lent in the Catholic calendar, for decades, the Brazilian carnival provokes rejection in Christians of various denominations.

“We need to take into account what Carnival is today. Unquestionably, a time of perdition, in which people give themselves to an extremely disordered life, eat to excess, drink to excess, use drugs, spend to excess, fight with each other, indulge in the most diverse types of sins. sexual, among many other sins”, says Pedro Luiz Affonseca, president of Centro Dom Bosco, an association of Catholic faithful, based in Rio de Janeiro, which in recent years has gained notoriety in the press for the legal battles they wage against organizations that offend it Catholic faith. They have already sued, for example, the comedian group Porta dos Fundos and the pro-abortion NGO Catholics for the Right to Decide.

In 2020, news emerged that the group would file a lawsuit against the Mangueira samba school, alleging a crime against religious sentiment, after is featuring a transsexual Jesus in the parade. This time, the process did not materialize, but the entity admits that it studied this possibility.

Controversies involving satire on religious symbols end up being one more aggravating factor in the controversial relationship between Christians and carnival parades in Brazil. Provocations to the Christian faith were also registered in the parades of Gaviões da Fiel, in 2020, with an enactment in which Jesus was defeated by Satan, and Unidos da Vila Maria, in 2017, with Our Lady being represented by half-naked dancers. Both presentations took place in the São Paulo carnival.

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