“My Name is Now”

directed by Elizabete Martins Campos
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Elza Soares is samba and she reminds the world in her new documentary, “My Name is Now”.
Elza lives up to her reputation of being groundbreaking by using this doc to talk about who she is now as opposed to she was she was. Unlike other documentaries on bad girl singers whose time has passed, we don’t focus on the life she’s lived, nor is this a history lesson in what she’s done. Our role as the audience in this extended visual poem of a documentary  is interesting, we get to be Elza’s mirror. She bares all, something it seems she’s always done but it’s not for the sake of exhibition-this is more like thug motivation.
Memorable moments include seeing the 79 year old in a lusty photo shoot that proves confidence will always be the singular component of sex appeal. Others include too short glances of her as a child. This film is for true fans of Elza so at times as a gringa I was lost on certain images, like an old newspaper clip stating that Elza and her pro footballer ex husband were actually never separated confused me. I very much wished there was more of a linear storyline to follow because Elza is already so abstract and hard to grasp, but I will admit I am intrigued now and will more than likely go about researching her myself. In conclusion this film is a great introduction into the philosophical and mystical mind of the Goddess Elza Soares.

Carnival Recap Part 1.

*the days aren’t actually in order, carnival lasts an entire week. I tried to go everyday and take pics, but living directly on a parade route and crashing at a friends place who lives directly on a crazier parade route made it hard. SO, I’m blogging about Carnival in three different installments because honestly, that’s all I remember.*

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3Carnival is the largest party in Brazil. Wikipedia says the largest celebration is in Rio, but actually it’s in Salvador. For the entire month of February, Salvador experiences a huge influx of tourists. They fill the stairs of Geronimo on Tuesdays, they take all the seats at Jazz no Mam on Saturday nights, they have all come to see the livest party on Earth, Carnival in Salvador, Bahia. As a tourist turned person who just won’t leave, I can’t lie-the excitement got me caught up as well. After snagging a press pass I hit the streets with my camera. Here are the better shots of the first day.

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Carnival, which is celebrated in many countries all over the world is a direct result of imperialism. Traditionally, Christians and Catholics feasted and partied hard before Lent started on Ash Wednesday. During Lent people abstain from fun and awesome things like meat, wine, chocolate or sex to pay reverence to Christ. However, with the rise in globalization and the boon in the tourism industry, specially of the sex variety, your typically Carnival or Mardi Gras has little to do with the original religious origin. (I’m looking at you Trinidad and Tobago and NOLA)

The coolest part about Salvador’s carnival is how the afro blocos (bands) chose a figure or country to pay homage to. Olodum, one of the largest afro reggae bands in Brasil chose Ethiopia after members of the organization took a trip to the country this past year.  Brazil now has a direct flight route to Ethiopia as well.

1011The music and costumes of Olodum were all inspired by Ethiopia. If you look closely you can see coptic crosses. Ethiopia,  (low key the cradle of human life), is home to the bones of the world’s first human ancestor as well as pieces of the actual cross Christ was hung on.

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Olodum’s’ opening reception premiered the music they would go on to play throughout Carnival as well as  Ethiopian food and drink and an apperance from the Ethiopian ambassador.