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Porous CityA Cultural History of Rio de Janeiro$
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Bruno Carvalho

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846319754

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846319754.001.0001

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Afro-Jewish Quarter and Modernist Landmark

Afro-Jewish Quarter and Modernist Landmark

(p.104) Chapter Four Afro-Jewish Quarter and Modernist Landmark
Porous City

Bruno Carvalho

Liverpool University Press

In the 1920s, ‘Little Africa’ shared the Praça Onze with a burgeoning ‘Jewish neighbourhood’. The public square grew to be the focus of its popular street carnival, and the adjoining Mangue canal became the site of a red-light district. At the same time, these locales entered the aesthetic imaginary of a generation of modernist writers and painters. After discussing the Ashkenazi presence in the area, ‘Afro-Jewish Quarter and Modernist Landmark’ explores its potential intersections with the Afro-Brazilian milieu. The chapter incorporates readings of crucial texts by major authors like Murilo Mendes, Mário de Andrade, Manuel Bandeira, and Vinicius de Moraes, as well as works by visual artists Lasar Segall and Oswaldo Goeldi. With the Cidade Nova as its focus, the book confronts questions related to how a Brazilian artistic modernity coped with the fast-paced modernization and urbanizing processes undergone by the city, as well as to how these artists engaged cultural expressions (dance, language, music) and/or ethnic groups widely seen as antiquated, uncivilized, and a hindrance to the country’s progress.

Keywords:   Little Africa, Jewish neighbourhood, Carnival, Mangue, Murilo Mendes, Macunaíma, Manuel Bandeira, Vinicius de Moraes, Lasar Segall, modernity

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