ADDED ON: 08/26/2018

In Brazil, ‘Queer Museum’ Is Censored, Debated, Then Celebrated

08/26/2018 | New York Times

Had it gone as planned, an exhibition that opened last year in Brazil — which included a drawing of smiling children with the words “transvestite” and “gay child” stenciled across them — would likely have been a mere blip in the country’s lively art scene. Gaudêncio Fidélis, the curator who assembled the 264 pieces that made up the “Queer Museum” exhibition, had expected at least a whiff of criticism for the art show. But nothing could have prepared him for the torrent of controversy that set off protests and shut down the exhibition within days. Even after the show was closed, the storm of criticism kept the project in the news, inciting a heated, monthslong national debate about freedom of expression and what qualifies as art. After nearly a year of arguments, the exhibition — which also included a painting of the Virgin Mary cradling a monkey, and sacramental wafers with words like “vagina” and “penis” written on them in neat cursive — reopened this month in Parque Lage, a public park in Rio de Janeiro that is also home to a renowned art school.

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