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One year after homophobes forced it to close, Brazil’s queer museum reopens

One year after homophobes forced it to close, Brazil’s queer museum reopens

two photos of two artwork. one is a painting of two children with protest words painted over them. the other is a painting a jesus on the cross with eight arms

A LGBTI museum has reopened in Brazil in an iconic new location almost a year after conservatives forced it to close.

The Queermuseu opened in the southern city of Porto Alegre in August last year. It was the first large-scale exhibition dedicated to queer topics in Brazil and only one of a few in South America. But conservatives forced it close saying it promoted ‘pedophilia’, ‘bestiality’ and ‘blasphemy’.

Queermuseu reponed to its former glory in Rio di Janeiro under the shadows of the world famous Christ the Reedemer statue. The new exhibition opened on Saturday (18 August) at Parque Lagos’ School of Visual Arts (EAV). Eager crowds of people lined up to see the exhibition on it first weekend.

Queermuseu

The free exhibition called Queermuseu: Cartographies of Difference in Brazilian Art will run for one month. It features 223 works by 83 artists from around the world.

Its forced closure last year sparked a fierce debate in Brazil about art and censorship.

But thanks to the country’s biggest ever crowdfunding campaign, organizers managed to raise one million reais (US$275,000) to reopen the museum.

‘It is a very important moment for Brazilian democracy, a convincing demonstration that the most progressive sectors of society will not accept censorship,’ curator Gaudencio Fidelis told AFP.

‘We haven’t seen an act of censorship of this size and severity since the dictatorship.’

Increased security

The exhibition also has increased security measures from last year and is only open to people older than 14.

Curators hired 20 security guards and installed extra security cameras to protect people from right-wing protestors.

a big placard in the middle of museum that reads queermuseu
‘The cancellation of the exhibition QUEERMUSEU is not a discussion about art, but censorship’. | Photo: Twitter

‘We hope for an enormous number of visitors, but not because of all the controversy. People will see that it was a false premise, a fabricated polemic. Society will be able to see the true nature of the exhibition,’ Fidelis said.

Last year the exhibition only ran for 25 days last year after an online campaign by protesters who said it was ‘perverting the notions of family’.

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