The Holocaust float at the Rio Carnival
Follow-up: Judge bans Holocaust-themed Rio Carnival float
Holocaust-themed Rio Carnival float causes strain
A Carnival float with a pile of model dead bodies commemorating the Holocaust is causing unease before the lavish parades in Rio de Janeiro this weekend.
The Viradouro samba organization, or school, plans to feature the grim display when it marches in the Sambadrome parade strip on Sunday, despite objections from a local Jewish group.
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In dramatic contrast to the floats carrying sequined, scantily clad dancers smiling and gyrating, the Holocaust entry will show only motionless, skeletal figures piled on top of each other.
Its creator defended the float, which will move along under the theme “It’s Horrifying”.
“It’s a very respectful float. It’s going to depict it [the Holocaust] as a sort of alarm, so that it never be repeated,” the creator, Paulo Barros, said.
“I believe the carnival is also a way of showing what happens in the world,” he said.
At first glance I found it obscene, but I sent the link to a Brazilian friend.
My friend explained that the Carnival season is not only a time for a huge party (obviously), but also a time for social discussion and critique. Many social issues are brought to public attention during this time of the year.
The intention of the Viadoro group who came up with the float is to bring the Holocaust back to people’s minds. My friend says,
it is intended to be very shocking, very lifelike, to show the horrors of the Holocaust even during a very festive occasion
Additionally, the Viadoro are singling out this float by not having people on it as a show of respect. The purpose of the float is to bring the Holocaust back to public view, lest people forget it.
Nothing could be more public than a float down the Sambodromo.
Having considered my friend’s comments, I think that this may be a very effective way to highlight Holocaust awareness. The question remains, is the setting appropriate?
I invite my readers to add their comments.