It may have escaped your attention but, of late, the spotlight is beaming with megawatt force on Brazil -- a fact not lost on us when we devoted the entire Wallpaper* June issue to a country that’s given us the likes of Oscar Niemeyer, a galaxy of supermodels and a sun-drenched beach-based lifestyle that’s the envy of the world.
In a quite timely fashion, our Born in Brazil issue coincides with the launch of Festival Brazil in London. The festival forms part of banking giant HSBC’s Cultural Exchange programme to celebrate the business acumen and culture of a country that’s forecasted to have the world’s fifth largest economy by 2025.
Said Conrado Engel, president and CEO of HSBC Bank Brasil S.A. at the launch, ’Brazil’s economic strength and extraordinary cultural diversity make it an exciting country on which to focus in 2010, especially as it becomes the subject of intense interest before the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.’
Headlining the festival is a three month summer celebration of the best of Brazilian music, performance, literature and visual arts at Southbank Centre. Dipping randomly into the eclectic offerings: Ernesto Neto’s imposing installations loom large on the upper floors of the Hayward Gallery; the poet Arnaldo Antues will speak at the London Literature Festival; thought leaders will debate the state of Brazil’s creativity today; and hip-trembling grooves will be played at the Royal Festival Hall by Gilberto Gil and Os Mutantes.
All this alongside capoeira demonstrations, mass samba shake-out sessions, football displays, South American film screenings and, this being Brazil, plenty of food.
If that doesn’t bring out your inner carioca, we don’t know what will.