Visual Da Fome No Brasil

Uma cartão da Fome Zero traz lágrimas aos olhos de uma senhora.

Above is a photo taken of a woman receiving her government issued card for Projecto Fome Zero. This is a very powerful, seemingly candid photo showing the significance of receiving the card bringing tears to the woman’s eyes. However, after watching the film “Quanto Vale, ou É por Quilo?”I am more skeptical to believe that this is a truly candid photo and not part of a staged photo shoot funded by the Fome Zero campaign. Either way the woman’s visible reaction to the card strengthens the idea of the card’s impact in the lives of the poor to the photo’s viewers. This photo also supports a common theme of subconscious racism found in Brasil. The person receiving the card, and in theory moving closer to success, also happens to be the person with the lightest color skin in the photo. The two black people in the photo are in small in the distance of the background insinuating their insignificance to the government, and separation from potential success. The most interesting aspect of this photo to me is how the face of one of the black people in the background is almost symbolically covered up by the government’s program card. This invisibility of identity can signify the unimportance of poor individuals to the government, and instead the importance of how their program and the bigger picture are viewed. Unlike audio and written sources, visual sources allow for loud implicit messages to be shared with its viewers through emotions seen, emotions evoked, and body language. At first glance, this photo appears to be a simple ad for a successful welfare intervention, but using the depth gained from its implicit messages this photo transforms into so much more showing the gaps in the government’s program to end hunger in Brasil.

 Photo Source:

Fonte De Áudio Sobre A Fome No Brasil

In this song “Comida” written by Titãs back in 1987, messages about food and government assistance are shared that are still applicable to the hunger problems in Brasil today. When reviewing the song lyrics the ones that most clearly portrayed a message of dissatisfaction with government aid were: “A gente não quer só comida”. Which translates to We do not want just food. This idea of not being satisfied with simplistic necessities for life is repeated throughout the song with items like, food, drink, and money. The song uses the word “a gente” in order to create a unified voice for the people of Brasil. Titãs’s message explains that food is simply food, and money is only money which means that these very basic need that the government is providing does not create a sustainable improved quality of life for the people they are helping.

By studying audio sources we are able to gain unique insight that is lost in text sources.  From rhythm, volume, and the poetry of words specific to lyrics audio the way an audio source is heard adds a new depth to the message being portrayed. Titãs song is categorized as Brasilian rock featuring strong beats and a yelling tone to his voice. By portraying his message of dissatisfaction in a rock song it is easier to pick up on his demanding tone for change. The tone of his singing has more of a speaking quality than a melodic one, making this song and its message easy to repeat by any listener. Through Titãs demanding tone his song calls “a gente” to mandate a change in the government’s support which is not fixing the hunger problem still faced in Brasil.

Although audio sources provide new and different insights not found in texts, they can indeed have a downside. Audio sources like this song portray a very biases position on an argument, only expressing dissatisfaction without any concession to the opposing argument. While the song does a good job of expressing the emotion behind the message, it also does not provide any real evidence to support the argument’s claim. Without the explicit evidence, or source documentation found in texts it is hard to deem the song’s message as a reliable source of factual information. Even thought this song may not be the most historically accurate source of information on the food problem in Brasil, I still feel that “Comida” provides valuable insight into the emotions felt by the people of Brasil towards the government’s attempted aid to the hunger problem.