Carnival away from the beach

I cannot understand how people can deliriously enjoy themselves in such a chaos as this. I don’t know why the media doesn’t have the courage to report on this “other side” of the party.

 

Bernardo Mussi

Salvador, Bahia (Brazil), 16 February 2010

Carnival away from the beach

 

Carnivalesque contrast. Photo: Bernardo Mussi

Carnivalesque contrast. Photo: Bernardo Mussi

 

I’ve never seen so much garbage. I walked from Porto to Farol to see the Carnival, Brazil’s version of Mardi Gras, and will never forget what I saw. Without dwelling on details, so that my complaints will not be redundant in this blog, I think there is one word to summarize the experience: DEGRADATION!

I cannot understand how people can deliriously enjoy themselves in such a chaos as this. I don’t know why the media doesn’t have the courage to report on this “other side” of the party. By the way, I’m cautious to guess that the majority of Carnival sponsors, who also inject a lot of money in the local broadcasting station, probably ensure limited negative coverage of the event.  That is also because many of these heavy investors are also producing most of the garbage that we see spread along the streets, for example breweries.

A justifiable request would be that these companies be obligated to support the “clean up” during Carnival with garbage cans, containers and chemical toilets along its route. They should also be committed to support education campaigns. And performing artists should ask people to participate and inform them about this action.

Carnival is enjoyable for the attendants, but Carnival appears to strongly benefit the performing artists and sponsors, who make their millions without really caring about the health of our people and the preservation of our city. The residents of Bahia and nature are left with this “garbage aftermath”. Something needs to be changed!

 

Carnivalesque contrast. Photo: Bernardo Mussi

Carnivalesque contrast. Photo: Bernardo Mussi

 

I propose that Carnival be moved away from the natural coast line of the city, and leave things the way they are.  The resulting garbage on the streets can be collected afterwards, but the garbage going into the ocean is permanent and there is no solution. Today, on the second to last day of Carnival, I collected several kilograms of plastic trash, was floating between the beaches of Porto and Farol da Barra. You see, I only collected the things that were floating! Much of the garbage is beer cans and other items that sink to the bottom.

Another option is an oval circuit with a lot of space for carnival floats, people and tribunes. There could be enough green area, away from residences, hospitals, commercial establishments and historic sites. What about having the Carnival circuit at Paralela Avenue in front of CAB circulating the monument of Luiz Eduardo Magalhães?

It would be more organized, less crowded, and would not destroy our historic patrimony, leaving it free for tourists to visit it who come to Salvador to see it. There would be more parking space and access areas. It would be more open to everybody and, most of all, far away from the beach.

Carnival just for the sake of Carnival and without any adverse effects! Everything speaks in favour! If ACM was still alive, he would like the idea and the circuit would already be named! Who can guess??

 

Bernardo Mussi at Farol da Barra. Photo: José Augusto

Bernardo Mussi at Farol da Barra. Photo: José Augusto

 

Translation: Global Garbage and Kimberley Jardine



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