Culture

Culture, Enviroment, Sustainable Cities

Game of Thrones and Climate Change: Brace yourselves, Summer is Coming!


By Cassia Moraes

[8 min read]

Imagine a world where different political clans fight for increasing their power while ignoring a threat never seen before – and which can annihilate their societies without much consideration for man-made boundaries. The narrative above could be an introduction for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, to be released soon, in which the fate of Westeros will be sealed as the army of the dead finally make its way through “The Wall”. It could also be an accurate description of the current state of world politics, where names such as Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro wage a war against multilateralism at the moment which we needed it the most. Political distractions as billionaire walls and celebration of past dictatorships occupy their agenda while the real – and potentially irreversible – threats posed by climate change are already in our backyards.

While in HBO’s show the Great Houses fail in addressing the major danger Westeros has ever faced, in real life the scenario is not much different. Those who have historically been the main contributors to climate change do not take the proper actions to offset their actions. In turn, emerging countries like Brazil and China, today’s major emitter of greenhouse gas, use the poor response from developed countries as an excuse to postpone their own actions. Although the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities reinforces emerging countries’ position, they will also be losers if we fail to tackle climate change as a global community. Perhaps the metaphor of white walkers makes it easier to understand why the prisoner’s dilemma strategy of maximizing individual benefits is an illusion. If Westeros lose the war against the white walkers there will be no throne for Cersei or anyone to sit in.

(more…)

Blog, Culture, Society

What happens when people DO NOT recognize themselves as rights holders?


By Camila Jordan, editor and writer at Brazil Talk

[ 7 min read ]

Watching a video[1] of a tragic incident in São Paulo[2], where people’s houses under a bridge were caught in a fire, triggered the following reflection.

What happens when people DO NOT recognize themselves as rights holders?

According to residents living in the occupation, the fire was started by local police officers with the intent to expel them from their impromptu homes, made out of remnants of wood and other rejected materials. However, according to an article in Folha de São Paulo and interviews with Eduardo Odloak, the sub-mayor of the region, one person from the impromptu community lit the area on fire in revolt against the actions performed by the city government.

People who had been living in the place of the incident say they had been dwelling there the last three years. Whether city hall gave warnings about their planned removal is unclear, some people said two social workers came by and urged them to go to a shelter on the Friday before the incident, but the majority didn’t seem to know what was happening.

(more…)

Blog, Culture, National Politics, Society

What do you know about the military regime in Brazil?


by Mario Saraiva, MPA-DP candidate 2018 at SIPA

We need to talk about the military regime. I don’t think the issue has received the attention it deserves. Some stories from the period of dictatorship in Brazil are famous, such as the kidnapping of the American ambassador by the communist guerrilla, and how the US was a key supporter of the regime. However, many Brazilians are still unaware of the atrocities that happened from 1964 to 1985.  Our neighbors, Argentina and Chile, have publicly examined the crimes committed against human rights during their dictatorships regimes but Brazil…let’s just say Brazil is not there yet. Open dialogue about the military regime remains limited and consequently, my generation—born after 1985—is at risk of forgetting what we as a nation have been through.

 “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” George Santayana words carry a timely lesson for Brazil as the country approaches the one-year countdown for its 2018 presidential election.

(more…)

Culture, Events

The Pride of Being Brazilian – Film Screening and A Conversation with Adalberto Piotto


Brazil Talk invites to the film screening of ‘The Pride of Being Brazilian’ — ‘Orgulho de Ser Brasileiro’ — followed by a conversation with director Adalberto Piotto on October 29, from 6:30 to 8:30 in IAB 405.

(more…)