Photo: xenïa antunes
Doing a bit of history on Brasilia, say that the capital of Brazil, was built in the middle of nowhere and populated by staff from other parts of the country. The sky is the sea of Brasilia. Yes, the phrase is a slogan. But one consolation. In Brasilia, the sea is far away. Far away. And that, for many Brazilians, especially for those who came from the coast, which ever came from Rio de Janeiro, could have been a great tragedy.
“But Brasilia is not for tragedy. It was not designed well. The wit, the mighty hand of man has always been stronger”.
50 years ago there was nothing here. Only red and dry land, trees flattened, some animals who swarmed between grassland and a few streams. Today is all there. And, first, people. The capital was planned for 500 thousand inhabitants. 2.6 million live today. There are also large avenues, monumental buildings, oddly shaped buildings, large arched bridges, hundreds of churches, shopping complexes, car, many cars. Until there is a large artificial lake. And a park. A large green area where today, a sunny Sunday, we can see part of the new life of the young Brasilia.
Photo: Eduardo Deboni
Next April 21, 2010, Brasilia will be 50 years. And as befits the place where more than two million people should meet at the call Esplanada dos Ministerios, the nerve center of Brasilia, where public buildings are lined up like huge boxes of matches, just before Congress. The group U2 (or, as advertised, Paul McCartney) should play live, and free, for the crowd. And the crowd will be crowded with thousands of Brazilians.
In Brasilia Candango call those who came to build the capital 50 years ago. Workers come mostly from the Northeast and that instead of returning to his homeland, decided to stay here to see a better future. However, the city was not for them, but for government managers to come to Rio. Thus, only people around were left. And then transform them into satellite towns, which are nearly twenty. One of them is called, precisely, Candangolandia.
In Brasilia almost all come to work. Very few, for a walk (there is evidence to say that only 7 percent of Brazilians know Brasilia). Already on the plane is too many people with ties, briefcases and notebooks. Brasilia lives only Monday through Friday as bottlenecks to enter or leave the center could be hellish. On weekends, however, the center is empty.
But they live well in the capital. It is a good place, for example, to raise children. The city is quiet, there are low levels of violence, compared to other major cities in Brazil. Moreover, wages for those working in health, safety and education, are high: the teachers, for example, are the highest paid in the country. Life is, perhaps, too placid. The bars close at 2 am. On weekends, when many leave Brasilia (politicians mostly) nothing happens, except the occasional frat party is announced in advance. Spend the carnival here? A mistake: no one in February.
But Brasilia is coming out of apathy. Civic Tourism, for example, has grown. Since the advent of popular government Lula da Silva in 2003, works to see where the president has become much more interesting to the common Brazilian. Appear, even super blocks attractions, such as 404 and 405 Sul, which have focused prestigious restaurants: the Peixe Na Rede, Fred, the Bargaço, the Nu Ceu, the Portal 4.
Photo by Peter Shanks
Brasilia big celebrates its 50th anniversary!