After Secretary of Culture’s Spectacular Meltdown, a New Twist in Brazil’s Culture Wars

Alvim, a former theatre director, has spoken publicly of a reborn dedication to Christianity that developed around 2017. Shortly after his appointment to the Culture Secretariat, he called upon “conservative artists” to create “a cultural war machine.”

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - (Column) It was a spectacularly absurd act of self-sabotage. The Special Secretary of Culture, Roberto Alvim, issued an official statement – in video form – ostensibly to announce the National Arts Award, which echoed a speech by former Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

As if to reinforce the fascist connection, a portion of the video was accompanied by music from Richard Wagner’s opera “Lohengrin,” a celebrated and formative musical favorite of Adolf Hitler. It’s even possible that Alvim had intentionally curated his appearance, seated in front of the Brazilian flag and an official portrait of . . .

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