Carnaval in Rio

Last year I watched part of the Rio Carnval parade on TV. I didn’t really understand how it could go all night and what was actually going on with the floats and costumes and drums and flags.

This year, I attended the “Special Group” parade in person at the Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí in Rio, the enormous parade ground that seats over 90,000 people and is half a mile long. Watching the parade on TV did not convey the immensity of the spectacle, the jaw dropping number of participants, the complexity of each schools thematic presentation. The “Special Group” is the highlight of the 4 day Carnaval parade event in Rio. I was on my feet from 9pm until 6am the next morning seeing 6 different schools perform: São Clemente, Portela, Beija-Flor, União da Ilha, Imperatriz and Unidos da Tijuca.


 

Kalk Bay, Cape Town, South Africa

I’ve been back for a couple months from an unbelievable trip to South Africa.

I spent four weeks in Cape Town, taking an art workshop with my mentors and seeing the local historical and cultural sites, including memorable and emotional trips to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, as well as the Townships and informal settlements surrounding Cape Town, where many of the battles over apartheid were fought and where extreme deprivation remains.

On the other hand (and almost absurdly), I stayed in a very comfortable and beautiful inn with 8 others artists in nearby Kalk Bay and took in the wondrous natural beauty of Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope, including a sunset view of the comet McNaught that made an appearance while I was there. I also took my art in new and exciting directions while I was there, exploring issues of identity and location–issues that South Africa elicits with the incredible dichotomy of poverty and privilege, which is particularly evident in Cape Town.

At the end of my trip, I flew to Johannesburg with friends and took a four-day trip to Kruger National Park where I went on safari–another sublime and moving experience.

I took over 1000 photos but was able to whittle it down considerably, the highlights of which I have posted on my Flickr account. There are about 14 albums, including one that includes pictures of the art I made and some spectacular views of Greenland from my plane trip home.