‘May God bless you’: evangelical pastors’ hidden role in human smuggling’s boom

As trusted individuals in a Guatemalan culture rooted in religion, pastors and priests play a role in the booming business behind immigration Early in the morning, Antonio knelt before an altar with white candles and a small statue of the Virgin Mary and prayed for a miracle. It was still dark when he piled into a blue van with his six-year-old son, Gaspar, and a group of other farmers and their family members hoping to reach the United States. They set out from their home town in the highlands of Guatemala and rode for hours before pulling down a narrow dirt road which ended in a clearing near the Mexican border. The migrants bowed their head as their guide an …

‘We’re afraid’: the queer Brazilian sex artists targeted by Bolsonaro

After the far-right president tweeted a video of their transgressive street performance, the two queer artists fled So Paulo but now theyre pushing back Queer people have been afraid since the president was elected, says Paulx Castello. He has been demonising us from the start but this was different. Here we were personally under attack. The artist, who has a mohican, is now instantly recognisable to most Brazilians. In March, he featured in plunged the country into a culture war. Numerous art exhibitions and theatre performances, many with queer themes, have been forced to close, either through direct political interference or from concerns about the safety of performers. Most recently, a show featuring nudity by the Rio de Janeiro collective …

The shock of the nude: Brazil’s stark new form of political protest

In a defiant riposte to president Bolsonaro and intolerance, performers at So Paulos international theatre festival are reclaiming the rights to be seen and to be different If ever there were a city where disrupting traffic felt like a political act, it would be So Paulo. Its 15 million inhabitants routinely take an hour to drive across town and can per year just getting to and from work. So when the dancers of Banksys kissing coppers) as hooting taxis squeeze past. We love the fight between the public and the traffic, performer Carlos Canhameiro tells me later, remarkably uninjured. The street belongs to you. The street belongs to you (See[]Have) Adrift. Photograph: Guto Muniz If there are politics even in …

El Norte review: an epic and timely history of Hispanic North America

Carrie Gibson has written an exhaustive corrective to historians who seek to whitewash a story of settlement and conflict The subtitle of Carrie Gibsons book is The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America. El Norte lives up to it. These 437 pages are an important correction to centuries of American history which have mostly neglected the vital role of Spanish pioneers (and Native Americans) in favor of settlers from England, Ireland and Scotland. As the author quotes Walt Whitman, Americans long ago tacitly abandoned themselves to the notion that our United States have been fashioned from the British Islands which is a great mistake To that composite American identity of the future, Spanish character will supply some of …

Forget tango: the murga of Buenos Aires is a riot of sequins and salvation

Freelance photographer Kate Stanworth has been following a Buenos Aires murga group for 10 years, as they perform in an energetic street carnival that is little known beyond Argentina Argentinas charismatic capital, Buenos Aires, might be more famous for tango, steak and football than colourful carnival parades. However, murga a feisty, home-grown form of street dance and percussion performed during carnival season, once unfairly thought of as only performed by drop-outs and drunks has flourished in recent years, providing a source of pride, happiness and salvation for the predominantly working class families that dedicate their lives to it. La Locura de Boedos band on a carnival night, playing the distinctive bass drums with cymbals, that are unique to the murga …