” I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library” has once declared Jorge Luis Borges, the famous Argentinian writer.
Enclosing secrets as old as the world, mysterious and intriguing, these temples of knowledge offer much more than literary choices. They present marvellous architectures symbolising the developments and ideas of history and dazzle with such cachet.
From the oldest to the most futuristic, these spaces dedicated to reading were all built with the aim of being able to amaze, charm and above all inspire visitors. Well, mostly to charm and inspire me. And make me travel to unusual places.
Exhilarated, this is the feeling I had when I arrived in Brazil and met up with my two friends. Having arrived around noon in Foz do Iguaçu, I gently acclimated myself to this country and its atmosphere. The girls took me directly to eat the traditional feijoada: in Brazil, they are the guides!
We soak up the quiet city (although some 200’000 Brazilians live there) which doesn’t offer much interest but allows us to feel safe, to tame the Brazilian culture and to enjoy a bit of rest. And then, looking back in the evening on the rooftop of our hostel, how could I be more pleased than at that moment? I’m surrounded by Argentina and Paraguay and the next day, I’m finally going to discover the Iguaçu Falls, the ones I missed on my previous trip, the year before in Argentina and Chile.
At the crossroads of cultures, this geographical intersection represents the meeting point between the borders of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, naturally delimited by the crossing of two rivers: the Rio Paraná and the Rio Iguaçu.
*This article has been written in January 2019. Since that date, many things might have happened which is not mentioned there.
Despite some independence movements, Brazil became ” popular ” when the Portuguese royal family arrived in the country in 1808. As a result of this and the economic boom, many foreigners, mainly Europeans, immigrated to what they called “the new world”. A year after the return of the royal court to the country, the king’s son proclaimed the country’s independence and was crowned emperor in 1822. Without bloodshed, the transfer of power was easy but left slavery behind, which was in contrast to the reputedly liberal regime of the time. Slavery was abolished definitively many years later in 1888.
Subsequently, the republic was proclaimed in 1889. From these years onwards, a great deal of political and cultural change followed (a period of industrialisation and nationalism, but also of foreign modernist movements), which reinforced social inequalities.
*this article was first published in French on the 3rd of January 2019
Being the subject of fantasies or apprehension, Brazil generates a lot of clichés that are a bit hard-skinned. But are they really accurate?
For example, to mention just a few negative comments about this country, I was asked why I ventured there, apart from waddling my booty on beaches with a caipirinha in my hand, or that it was too dangerous to be an unaccompanied girl (three in this case for this trip) of a man to avoid being bothered!
To sum up, although I was a little annoyed by these prejudices about a country that does indeed have stereotypes but like every country on the planet; I challenged myself to deconstruct them and make my own analysis. Because of course, I also have my own preconceptions and I often ask myself a lot of questions about what I am going to discover while travelling. It is precisely this curiosity that allows me to change my points of view or to strengthen them, to open my view of the world and particularly of our society today.