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4/21/2014 7:20:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Today, April 21st 2014, marks the 54th anniversary of the inauguration of the city of Brasilia, capital of Brazil and city where I live.
Brasilia was built in less than five years by president Juscelino Kubitschek, as part of his plan to develop the country "fifty years in five" (back then presidents had five year terms in Brazil), but the plan to move the capital from the coastal Rio de Janeiro to a location less vulnerable to foreign attacks existed since the independence of the country, however, since Kubitschek decided to actually carry out such plans several criticism have been made on the real intentions that lied behind this decision. Some say that that the capital was moved to the interior of the country because politicians would prefer not to be bothered by protests and demands from the population which concentrated in the Southeast coast, and therefore, a great geographic distance from that region would allow the politicians to act as they wish, with little accountability to the population.
The city plan and modernist architecture have been both praised for it's boldness and criticized for being out of touch with reality. Brasilia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the only one to be built in the second half of the 20th century. As an inhabitant of the city, I can say that it does have a unique feeling, with a lot of green and open spaces, Brasilia is the only city I know that really seems to be in harmony with nature - which have earned it the nickname of "the park city". However, the strict building rules and the cost of living in the planned area of the town create a type of "island of utopia", since most people are forced to live in satellite cities outside the privileged areas, and also the city seems to be disconnected from the poverty ridden region that surrounds the Federal District.
So, for you, as outsider, how do you perceive Brasilia? Are capitals moved from the population centers for strategic reasons or remove the world of politics away from the people? Is Brasilia a symbol human endeavor and creativity, or a monument to inequality and injustice?
About the video: This is a song from the golden age of Brazilian rock, the 80s. The band that plays it is from Brasilia - which besides being the capital of Brazil is also the capital of Brazilian rock - and it's lead singer, Renato Russo, was a legend in Brazil. The song might sound as a simple love story, but it really captures the "Brasiliense way of life", and is a symbol of the city. The video is a valentine's day add from a cellphone carrier company, so there is an add and a valentine's day message at the end. Subtitles are in English.
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