After being in Florianópolis for over a month, I can say with great certainty that my favorite thing about Brazil is the expressiveness of its people. From the colorful buildings, to the samba dancing, to the large tattoos that can be seen on the majority of Brazilians, these people know how to express themselves, and they know how to keep things vibrant and colorful.
The most apparent form of expression that I have noticed throughout Brazil, and in Floripa specifically, is the graffiti that covers every highway, open wall, sidewalk, and even lamppost. It doesn’t take an art major to know that these creations are not simply tags on walls or a way for citizens to make their mark—they are expressing themselves and sharing their artistry with the world for all to see and enjoy, adding life and beauty to an already beautiful country.
Just on my walk to school each day, I pass a bright blue chameleon, a mermaid, and a sign that says “Força Dilma”, representing Brazilians’ current unrest with their nation’s president, Dilma Rousseff. Many of these works, such as the chameleons, can be seen on different walls and buildings all over the city, adding a sense of unity and begging you to wonder who the artist is, and what the significance of his/her work could possibly be. Not only has the graffiti in Florianópolis given me a greater appreciation for art as a form of expression and beauty; it has also given me a love and understanding of the liveliness and resilience of the Brazilian culture. It has helped me to realize that even in the face of adversity, Brazilians will find a way to add a splash of color.
The world awaits…discover it.