Body Parts on Planet Slum: Women and Telenovelas in Brazil by Lisa Beljuli Brown

By Lisa Beljuli Brown

Based on a year’s examine from inside of a Brazilian slum, this learn follows a sequence of unemployed ladies who watch as much as six hours of telenovelas an afternoon, frequently in the middle of laborious actual labour in the house. the ladies endure on the subject of their our bodies, yet at the same time put money into a masochistic glorification of agony that hyperlinks their lives to the cleaning soap operas, revealing annoying valuations of the feminine physique that traverse fact and fiction. via its exploration of this day-by-day integration of genuine discomfort and fictional glamour and wealth, ‘Body components on Planet Slum’ finds how fable and social exclusion can jointly result in a kind of mental survivalism, permitting those ladies to reconfigure the important beneficial properties in their life – their ache, excitement, sexuality and embodiment.

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Jimi is a good husband, and apart from when he gives himself up to drink he never lets us go hungry.

In Bahia, the following of evangelical Protestantism has doubled over the last ten years, with almost 12 per cent of the population now a member of one of its many sects (Bomfim 2002a). In the two bairros, the most prolific Pentecostal churches are the churches of Deus e Amor (God and Love) and what Burdick has called the ‘Super Churches’, such as Renascer em Cristo (Reborn in Christ), Aseembléia de Deus (Church of the Kingdom of God) and the Universal (Universal Church of God). With their charismatic services and their ‘theology of prosperity’, the Pentecostal churches pose the biggest threat to the more established Catholic churches (Lehmann 1996).

In her room at the ‘ends’ of Jardim Cruzeiro, I ask Rosane if she will be able to eat tomorrow. She has contracted tuberculosis and the doctor said she must never miss a meal. ‘Se Deus quiser ’, she responds. We are watching the seven o’clock telenovela on her small blackand-white television, but it is more white than black – we can vaguely make out some white adolescents having a barbecue on a beach. I am sitting on a wooden chair in the middle of the eight-square-foot, windowless room in which her family of ten sleep.

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