A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘brazil

[LINK] “‘Je Suis Favela’ – Bringing Brazilian Books to the French”

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At the Inter Press Service, A.D. Mackenzie has a fascinating article describing the workings of Éditions Anacaona, a French publishing house specializing in the publication of Brazilian works of literature from the favelas.

Educated as a translator of technical texts, Paris-born [Paula] Anacaona, 37, became a literary translator and publisher by chance. On holiday in Rio de Janeiro in 2003, she happened to start chatting with a woman who revealed she was a writer and who promised to send her a book.

Back in Paris, Anacaona received the book two months later and “loved it”, as she told IPS in an interview. She translated the work, written by Heloneida Studart and later called Le Cantique de Meméia, and managed to get a Canadian company to publish it.

Studart, who died in 2007, was also an essayist, journalist and women’s rights activist, and the book caught the attention of French-speaking readers in several countries.

Other writers got in touch, and Anacaona found herself becoming a literary translator. But by sending out the works to publishing companies, she was also taking on the role of agent, a time-consuming task.

“With all that was involved, I thought why not publish the books myself?” she recalls. She set up Éditions Anacaona in 2009 and decided to focus initially on literature from and about the ghetto or favela in Brazil, because “no one else was doing it.”

Written by Randy McDonald

June 18, 2015 at 11:00 pm

[LINK] “A Chimera in Growing Cooperation Between China and Brazil”

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Mario Osava of the Inter Press Service is critical of the emergent China-Brazil relationship, noting critics who argue that Brazil’s exports to China are overdominated by commodities, with few value-added goods.

Oil and iron ore make up nearly 80 percent of Brazil’s exports to China. Hence China’s interest in improving this country’s transport infrastructure, to reduce the cost of Brazil’s exports, besides providing work for China’s construction companies now that domestic demand is waning.

Another agreement opens up the Chinese market to exports of cattle on the hoof from Brazil.

Brazil has exported some industrial products to China, mainly from the aeronautics industry. The sale of 22 planes from the Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica (Embraer) to a Chinese company was finalised during Li’s visit. A prior accord had established the sale of a total of 60.

Bilateral trade amounted to 77.9 billion dollars in 2014, with a trade surplus for Brazil, although it is shrinking due to the fall in commodity prices. The goal is to reach 100 billion dollars in trade in the near future, according to the Chinese prime minister.

The stronger relations, especially the increase in Chinese investment, “could be positive for Brazil, but we have to control our enthusiasm over the closer ties,” said Luis Afonso Lima, president of the Brazilian Society of Transnational Corporations and Economic Globalisation.

“China may have more to gain than us in this process: they are seeking suppliers (of raw materials) throughout Latin America, but without any urgency because their economy has slowed down; they can think things through strategically, with a view to the long term,” the economist told IPS.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 11, 2015 at 10:42 pm

[DM] “Some migration-related news links”

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I’ve some links up at Demography Matters, reporting on some interesting migration-related news articles.

[LINK] “Latin America Already Has the Trade Deal It Needs”

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Bloomberg View’s Mac Margolis writes about poor Mercosur. Is the Common Market of the South, founded on a deal between Brazil and Argentina, salvageable at this stage?

When it kicked off in 1991, Mercosur, the abbreviated name for the Mercado Comun del Sur, or the “South American Common Market,” looked like a winner. Latin America had cashiered its dictators and begun to open its borders. Free trade winds were blowing, and the region’s emerging democracies wanted to join forces to cash in on the global bonanza.

[. . .]

A renewed Mercosur would lead the way. On paper, the trade bloc is a juggernaut. If it were a country, it would have the world’s fifth-largest economy and a population of 295 million.

Solidarity made a good bumper sticker, but it didn’t translate easily into good trade policy. As the raw materials boom subsided, markets retracted and protectionism returned. Governments raised non-tariff barriers and imposed import quotas against their neighbors.

The customs union announced in 1994 ought to have been completed by 2006. With luck, said Lia Valls, trade expert at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Rio de Janeiro, “the agreement will be in place by 2018 or 2019.”

Meantime, just about anything goes. Some trade analysts estimate that up to half of the goods traded between Mercosur partners do not benefit from the reduced common tariff. “Uruguay does what it wants. Argentina doesn’t want free trade, and Brazil doesn’t lead,” Mauro LaViola, head of Brazil’s Export Association, told me.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 2, 2015 at 10:19 pm

[BLOG] Some pop culture links

  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talked about her social networks, and about the need to have faith in one’s abilities and to be strong.
  • C.J. Cherryh describes her visit to Grand Coulee Dam.
  • Crooked Timber notes the ways in which Ian Macleod is actually a romantic writer.
  • The Crux looks at the controversy over the siting of a new telescope on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea.
  • Cody Delistraty wonders if social rejection is needed for creative people.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at how difficult it is for Americans with criminal records to get jobs.
  • Mathew Ingram notes how young Saudis can find freedom on their phones for apps.
  • Language Hat suggests that a computer’s word analysis has identified a lost Shakespeare play.
  • Personal Reflection’s Jim Belshaw linked to his local history columns.
  • Otto Pohl notes the culinary links between Ghana and Brazil.
  • Peter Rukavina remembers the fallen elms of Charlottetown and reports on innovative uses of Raspberry Pi computers.
  • The Search reports on format migration at Harvard’s libraries.
  • Mark Simpson notes homoeroticism on British television.
  • Speed River Journal’s Van Waffle describes his discovery of wild leeks.
  • Towleroad notes an Austrian magazine’s printing of a limited edition with ink including HIV-infected blood, notes a gay Mormon’s defense of his life to his church, and observes an Argentine judge who thought it acceptable to give a man who raped a possibly gay child a lighter sentence because of the child’s presumed orientation.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes the repeal of blasphemy laws in Norway and examines the questionable concept of Straight Pride.

[LINK] “The Blue Amazon, Brazil’s New Natural Resources Frontier”

The Inter Press Service’s Fabiola Ortiz has a nice overview of Brazil’s growing interest in the resources in the exclusive economic zone off the Brazilian coast, on its continental shelf and beyond.

The Atlantic ocean is Brazil’s last frontier to the east. But the full extent of its biodiversity is still unknown, and scientific research and conservation measures are lagging compared to the pace of exploitation of resources such as oil.

The Blue Amazon, as Brazil’s authorities have begun to call this marine area rich in both biodiversity and energy resources, is similar in extension to the country’s rainforest – nearly half the size of the national territory.

And 95 percent of the exports of Latin America’s giant leave from that coast, according to official figures.

Brazil’s continental shelf holds 90 and 77 percent of the country’s proven oil and gas reserves, respectively. But the big challenge is to protect the wealth of the Blue Amazon along 8,500 km of shoreline.

“We haven’t fully grasped just how immense that territory is,” Eurico de Lima Figueiredo, the director of the Strategic Studies Institute at the Fluminense Federal University, told Tierramérica. “To give you an idea, the Blue Amazon is comparable in size to India.”

“But we aren’t prepared to take care of it; it isn’t yet considered a political and economic priority for the country,” the political scientist said.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 20, 2015 at 10:51 pm

[LINK] “Cash-Strapped Latin American Countries Turn to China for Credit”

The Inter Press Service’s Mario Osava notes how, following Angola, many Latin Americans needing credit have turned to China.

[S]everal Latin American countries in financial difficulties have recently turned to China as a sort of lender of last resort. Argentina and Venezuela, for example, lacking access to international credits, obtained large loans from Chinese banks.

For China, it makes no sense to refuse loans to countries with strong agricultural production or that possess plenty of commodities, especially oil and gas. There is no need to be concerned about their solvency if their products guarantee their loans, whatever the reasons for their difficulties.

Brazil’s state oil giant Petrobras announced on Apr. 1 an injection of 3.5 billion dollars from China to relieve its finances, which have suffered from the corruption scandal that has rocked the economy, the government, large companies and several political parties in the country since 2014.

The loan from China Development Bank is helping Petrobras weather a storm that also includes gross management and planning mistakes which raised the cost of constructing two refineries, of the purchase of another plant in the U.S. city of Pasadena, Texas, and of other projects by tens of billions of dollars.

The crises faced by potential Petrobras suppliers provide opportunities for China, but are not seen as indispensable. China Development Bank previously loaned Petrobras 10 billion dollars in 2009, when the oil company appeared prosperous and had recently discovered vast reserves in the pre-salt layer off the Brazilian coast.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 13, 2015 at 10:44 pm


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