Brazilian Culture at Columbia

The Brazilian Society at Columbia has hosted many events that celebrate the miscegenous art and culture of Brazil. By embracing the multifaceted aspects of Brazilian heritage, members have the opportunity to reinforce their national identity and introduce the national films, music, cuisine and even promote heated debates within peers. All this contributes to having a taste of Brazilian culture, not only in the artistic field but also society and interpersonal relationships.



Our last event before the pandemic hit Columbia was a watch party of “Bacurau”, one of most celebrated Brazilian movies in recent years. BRS took Columbia students to the famous Lincoln Center to watch the film that received the Jury Prize at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The only thing we can say about “Bacurau” is that it depicts a fictional small town in the Brazilian sertão that experiences weird things after the death of its matriarch at the age of 94… but you should definitely watch it for the many other surprises we can’t tell you!


The 2020 Spring was a busy time for us before March… We invited one of the world’s top guitar ensembles to present at Columbia’s campus: Quaternaglia Guitar Quartet. The Brazilian guitarists Chrystian Dozza, Fabio Ramazzina, Thiago Abdalla, and Sidney Molina showed us why Quaternaglia is recognized for its artistic excellence!


In February of 2020, we celebrated Carnival by inviting the all-female samba-reggae drumming band Fogo Azul to play for the Columbia community. Not only were we reminded of (or introduced to) the thrill of the famous Carnival from Salvador, with music and dance moves that resemble that of Olodum and Ile Aiye, but we also got to learn a little bit. The band members hosted a samba-reggae workshop, and inspired our desire to create a Bateria of our own!


As celebrators of Brazilian film productions, in the Fall of 2019 we screened “Eleições” by Alice Riff to the members of the Columbia community. Alice Riff is a filmmaker from São Paulo that aims to depict themes related to human rights and youth. Here’s the synopsis: “It’s best to learn about the workings (and snags) of democracy by practicing it. At a public high school in São Paulo, the elections for the student council are coming up. Various teams compete for the best ideas, the coolest campaign poster and the most votes. It’s vital not to be carried away by populist actions and to put personal interest aside. Just like in ‘big’ politics, the candidates walk the line between honest commitment and superficial show effects in election debates. But the sudden appearance of the police at the school gates instantly makes it clear how important it is that the students are able to speak with one voice.”

Thiago Costackz

In our first event of the 2019-2020 school year, the Brazilian Society invited over the Brazilian visual artist and climate activist Thiago Cóstackz, whose art has gained national visibility in the past years for its engagement with the natural diversity of the ecosystems that inspire Thiago. He hosted a talk about his most recent project “An Artistic and Scientific Expedition to Greenland and the Amazon,”, and the Columbia community had the chance to see an exhibition at Casa Hispánica with photographs from his project during the event