By Sol Biderman
March 28, 2012

Barbara Wolf (Born Starr) and her sister Carole Starr Schein are familiar figures in the Latin American art world. Barbara for decades has organized exhibits and cultural events in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina and her home overlooking Pacaembu (not far from Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s) was a center of cultural and social activity promoting painters, musicians and other artists for several decades. She has helped coordinate art, literary and musical and other musical cultural exchanges throughout the Americas.

Her sister Carole Starr Schein has had several exhibits in Latin America, including São Paulo, Montevideo and Buenos Aires, as well as in Miami, New York, Cambridge and Boston. One of her earlier themes was broken dolls”, exhibited at several galleries and museums in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina and Boston. She loves to take pictures of dolls with missing eyeballs, missing limbs, cross eyed dolls, wall-eyed dolls, sad dolls, profound dolls, never a happy doll (never a Barbie). In a poem by William Butler Yeats, the dollmaker’s wife apologizes that their baby was an unaesthetic “accident” while the dolls he makes are the basic reality. Dolls, broken, busted, beaten, remit to a reality that only an uncommonly sensitive eye like that of Starr Schein can capture.

The Starr family has for decades made important contributions for the preservation of the environment in Brazil, Argentina and Boston, where a large wetland park is dedicated to the Starr family on the border between Boston and Quincy Massachusetts.

In Boston, Barbara and Carole continue their cultural activities interfacing with Latin American artists, and others and sponsoring cultural events in Boston and Cambridge.

Now Carole Starr Schein’s latest exhibit includes industrial photographs which are being exhibited at MIT. The photographs contain a constant in Carole Starr Schein’s art: composition, light, shadow, form, the harmonious concatenation of shapes, contours, contexts and surfaces, even in the most banal industrial obsolescence. Her earlier exhibits in New York, Miami and Boston have corroborated her importance as a leading photographer capturing things that break down – broken down dolls and broken down factories representing a harsh reality of our daily lives. In the words of William Butler Yeats, “A terrible beauty is born”.

Edna O’Brien appears at FLIP Paraty
Brazil: With Goya-Like Imagination and Technique, Carranza Defends the Environment
Brazil: Judith Lauand – 50 years of painting
Brazil: Arthur Schlesinger
Around Brazil: I Left My Heart in Arraial D’Ajuda
Brazil: Dolly Moreno – A Great Sculptress of the Americas
Brazil: Stephen Henriques in Manaus
Brazil: The Stunning Abstracts of Renata Rosa
Brazil: Doris Lessing Still Surprises at 86
Brazil Art Review: Raquel Cararo
Brazil Art Review: Guilherme de Faria
Brazilian Art: Rimbaud and the music of colors in Stephen Henriques
Brazilian Art: A tale of 3 Angelicas
Aravena and Aravenism in Chile and Brazil
São Paulo Hotel Guide: L’Hotel

March 28, 2012

Futebol Society is a night football tournament taking place in São Paulo, from 22h to 05h on both 31st March and 21st April. There will be 24 teams of 7 players competing all night. There is more information on the tournament here:

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By Steven Nelson
March 28, 2012

The USA is making moves to simplify the process for citizens of Brazil visiting the States, so that they receive 90-day Tourist Visas on arrival in the country. This will avoid the lengthy and expensive process of paying to book advance consulate appointments, the interview with the immigration departments of the various consulates, and perhaps lessen the possibility of still being refused entry to the USA on arrival there.

President Barack Obama signed a new executive order with the aim of promoting travel to the USA for citizens of Brazil and Argentina, amongst other countries with growing economies. There may be some delay with implementation of new rules though, due to larger budgets being necessary to provide more staff to deal with applications, and with elections looming this is unlikely to be a priority for Congress.

As always with such changes, the bottom line is the dollar. Brazilians visit the USA as tourists in large numbers and spend more money per capita than any other nation as they spend small fortunes on consumer goods such as clothes and electronic goods. This amounted to US$5.9 billion in 2010, and with such large sums involved, the USA is keen to capture even more of the Brazilian travel market and make it as easy as possible for Brazilians to visit and spend money.

This good news is not yet guaranteed but hopefully it will also mean an eventual change in the Visa Rules for citizens of the USA who want to visit Brazil.

The reciprocal visa system in Brazil is used as a tit-for-tat response to countries which insist on prior organisation for Brazilians. With a strengthening economy and an emerging middle class, Brazilians now travel abroad in ever greater numbers. Hopefully other countries will also want to attract Brazilian tourists and introduce a visa exemption for them, resulting in citizens from Canada, Australia, India and Singapore amongst others being issued 90-Day Tourist Visas on arrival in Brazil. The more countries that are on the Visa Waiver list along with those from the European Union, Mercosul, South Africa, Namibia, Malaysia, Thailand and New Zealand amongst others, the easier life will be for all of us involved in the Brazilian Tourist Industry as well as those people wishing to visit Brazil.
We can only hope!

You can visit Steve’s blog at Around Brazil: The Botanical Gardens, Rio de Janeiro
Around Brazil: Praia do Pontal, Macumba, Prainha & Grumari (Rio de Janeiro)
Around Brazil: Tijuca Forest, Rio de Janeiro

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March 28, 2012

Meet Jennifer Souza who moved to Brazil last year. Read the following interview in which he tells us about some of his most memorable experiences and gives some useful advice to newcomers.

1. Tell us a little about yourself, where are you from, what do you do etc.?

I grew up in Annapolis, Maryland and went to University of Maryland. After college, I lived traveled all over the US, Caribbean, a little of Mexico and parts of Europe – teaching English along the way. I finally settled in Northern California and taught ESL in the evenings while working during the day in a variety of different non-profit organizations. I met the love of my life and got married in May 2010 and finished grad school in May 2011.

2. When did you arrive in Brazil and what brought you here?

We moved to Rondonia in June 2011 – me and my Brazilian husband. We both wanted to live in Brazil. I get tired of the fast pace of life in the US and Carlos was in the US without a visa, so we made a plan to move to Brazil and carried it out.

3. What were you first impressions of Brazil?

It’s hot!

4. What do you miss most about home?

Paved roads and sidewalks. And Target!

5. What has been your most frustrating experience in Brazil?

I’m frustrated with the pace I am learning Portuguese. It’s going well, but I’m impatient.

6. What has been your most memorable experience in Brazil (specific incident)?

When I had only been here for 2 months our puppy, Bob, got really sick really fast. My husband was at out our farm, with no way for me to contact him. I did not know anyone who understood English, and my Portuguese was super basic. I had to go to the vet and mime vomiting and diarrhea! It turns out Bob had parvo, and they nursed him back to health. He’s big and healthy now and brings a lot of joy to my life, along with our other adoptee, Sacha. they’re great dogs.

7. What do you most like about Brazil (in general)?

The pace of life, the way people still go to church and still cook, and the fruit is amazing! Copau is my latest new pleasure. I also love banana pratas. I find Brazilians easy-going and kind in our little town.

8. What is your favorite restaurant/place to hang out here?

Well, there’s not a lot of places to ‘hang out’ in Buritis, but we do have a bakery that is open 7 days a week. The owners are always very kind to me, helping me with my Portuguese, and their children became students at our language school.

9. Do you have any funny stories/incidents to tell about your time in Brazil?

Well, my most memorable was pretty funny.

10. What difference between your homeland and Brazil do you find most striking?

The biggest difference I’ve noticed is consumer expectations. Americans complain about poor service, demand their rights and get better service as a result. Brazilians have a higher tolerance for not getting what they want or deserve in commercial and civic transactions.

11. How is your Portuguese coming along? What words do you find most difficult to pronounce/remember or are there any words that you regularly confuse?

Av and Avó are difficult for me to distinguish. I also say ‘e’ when I should say ‘o’ at the end of words. Luckily people feel comfortable correcting me, and I appreciate the help.

12. What advice do you have for newcomers to Brazil?

Relax. Everything will take 2-5 times as long as you think it should. When you go to a government office, you won’t have everything you need, people will give you contrary information, and things will be confusing. It’s OK! It’s just the way it is.

If you can find a way to volunteer and give back to your community, start doing that as soon as possible. It will help you feel more a part of your surroundings, and you will feel good serving others.

13. What are some things that you would recommend for a visitor to do in São Paulo (or anywhere else in Brazil)?

If you’re visiting, I recommend you see more than just SP and Rio. Brazil is an enormous country with a wide variety of cultures and lifestyles. It isn’t all Carnaval, samba and capoeira.

You can contact Jennifer via jennifersouza8@gmail.com.

Are you a foreigner who has lived in, or is living or travelling in Brazil? Are you a Brazilian who has a lot of contact with foreigners and/or lived outside of Brazil? Are you interested in telling your story? If you would like to volunteer for our interview series, or if you would like to recommend someone, please send a blank email to gringoes@www.gringoes.com with Interview” in the subject. We will send you the interview questions by return email.

To read previous interviews in the Brazil Through Foreign Eyes series click below:

Bill Holloway – USA
Pieter Kommerij – Netherlands
Robyn and Willem Van Der Merwe – South Africa
Danielle Carner – USA
Jaya Green – USA
Andrew Dreffen – Australia
Marcus Lockwood – New Zealand
Jonathan Russell – USA
Jeff Eddington – USA
Rod Saunders – USA
Ken Van Zyl – South Africa
Angus Graham – UK
Anne Morddel – USA
Jessica Mullins – Switzerland
Evan Soroka – USA
Mary de Camargo – USA
Brendan Fryer – UK
Aaron Sundquist – USA
Jay Bauman – USA
Alan Williams – USA
Derek Booth – UK
Jim Shattuck – USA
Ruby Souza – Hawaii
Stephan Hughes – Trinidad and Tobago
Louis van der Wiele – Holland
Drew Glaser – USA
Barry Elliott – Canada
Joel Barsky – USA
David Drummond – Canada
Liam Porisse – France
Jim Kelley – USA
Max Ray – USA
Jeremy Clark – Canada
Don Fredrick – USA
Jase Ramsey – USA
Ben Pearce – UK
Nitai Panchmatia – India
Johnnie Kashat – USA
Jeni Bonorino – USA
Eric Jones – USA
Bill Martin – UK
Bernard Morris – USA
John Graves – USA
Deepak Sapra – India
Alison McGowan – UK
Brent Gregory – USA
R Dub – USA
Tara Bianca – USA
Jack Hurley – USA
James Woodward – Canada
Tony O’Sullivan – Ireland
Anna Belavina – Russia
Jim Kirby – USA
Linda Halverstadt – USA
Michelle Monteiro – USA
Chris Mensah – UK
David Sundin – USA
Stephanie Glennon – USA
Julien Porisse – France
Hans Keeling – USA
Jim Adams – USA
Richard Murison – USA
Will Periam – UK
Jan Sandbert – Sweden
Jim Jones – USA
Mike Stricklin – USA
Edward Gowing – Australia
Adrian Woods – USA
Kevin Raub – USA
Pierpaolo Ciarcianelli – Italy
Zachary Heilman – USA
David Johnson – Bermuda
Cipriana Leme – Argentina
Timothy Bell – USA
Patti Beckert – USA
Timothy Bell – USA
Paul James – USA
David McLoughlin – Ireland
Pat Moraes – USA
Richard Dougherty – USA
James Weeds – USA
Tom Sluberski – USA
Peter Kefalas – USA
Sylvie Campbell – UK
Kathleen Haynes – USA
Matt Bowlby – USA
Alan Longbottom – UK
Eric Karukin – USA
Eddie Soto – USA
Kieran Gartlan – Ireland
Bryan Thomas Scmidt – USA
Emile Myburgh – South Africa
Bob Chapman – USA
David Barnes – USA
John Milan – USA
Chris Coates – UK
Matthew Ward – UK
Allison Glick – USA
Drake Smith – USA
Jim Jones – USA
Philip Wigan – UK
Atlanta Foresyth – USA
Lee Gordon – USA
Carmen Naidoo – South Africa
Lee Safian – USA
Laurie Carneiro – USA
Dana De Lise – USA
Richard Gant – USA
Robin Hoffman – USA
Wayne Wright – UK
Walt Kirspel – USA
Priya Guyadeen – Guyana
Caitlin McQuilling – USA
Nicole Rombach – Holland
Steven Engler – Canada
Richard Conti – USA
Zak Burkons – USA
Ann White – USA
Monde Ngqumeya – South Africa
Johnny Sweeney – USA
David Harty – Canada
Bill McCrossen – USA
Peter Berner – Switzerland/Brazil
Ethan Munson – USA
Solveig Skadhauge – Denmark
Sean McGown – USA
Condrad Downes – UK
Jennifer Silva – Australian
Justin Mounts – USA
Elliott Zussman – USA
Jonathan Abernathy – USA
Steve Koenig – USA
Kyron Gibbs – USA
Stephanie Early – USA
Martin Raw – UK
Sean Coady – UK
Hugo Delgado – Mexico
Sean Terrillon – Canada
Jessie Simon – USA
Michael Meehan – USA
Thales Panagides – Cyprus
Tammy Montagna – USA
Samantha Tennant – England
Ron Finely – United States
Bob Duprez – United States
Peter Baines – England
Youssef Bouguerra – Tunisia
Van Wallach – USA
Lesley Cushing – England
Alexander von Brincken – Germany
Hank Avellar – USA
Ed Catchpole – England
Penny Freeland – England
Yasemin de Pinto – Turkey
Amy Williams Lima – USA
John Naumann – England
Marsye Schouella – Eygpt
Rita Shannon Koeser – USA
John Fitzpatrick – Scotland
Liam Gallagher – Northern Ireland
Lorelei Jones – England
Adam Glensy – England
Tommie C.B. DeAssis – Japan
Aaron Day – Canada
Graham Debney – New Zealand
Silke Tina Tischendorf – Germany
Tanya Keshavjee Macedo – Canada
Frank de Meijer – Holland
Carl Emberson – Australia
Kim Buarque – Wales
Damiano Pak – South Korea
Jonas Helding – Denmark
Pari Seeber – Iran
John Milton – England
Ken Marshall – Australia