Tropical Trauma Misery Tour

Welcome to the TROPICAL TRAUMA MISERY TOUR. I invite you to take this tour through a roofless theatre called media, the stage representing the farce and media opportunism of the Brazilian president and far-right populist Jair Messias Bolsonaro—The Myth.

In 2018, Bolsonaro was stabbed during a presidential rally campaign. Against a backdrop of polarization, micro-narratives, and misinformation, The Myth starred in an online political campaign where he had complete control over his narrative and self-presentation. This tour investigates how the ambiguity of the stabbing event exposes the network propaganda in the Brazilian political game.

Through a speculative documentary photography practice, this piece overcomes the political illusions and dissemination of nonprogressive values of digital populists. The fictionalization of the real is a form of resistance toward such ideological shams and manipulations. It devolves into a meta-play, a farce within a farce.

This multimedia work unfolds in some physical and digital campaigns. The first act consists of printed materials such as posters, flyers, photographs and a photobook. The second act seeks to use digital platforms and social media to invite in a collaborative experiment - to produce and disseminate playful short videos in an attempt to share awareness against network propaganda and staged politics.

This project discusses the dangers in the relationship between media, digital populism and manipulation seeking to reflect on the importance of media literacy in a playful and pop way.

Without further ado, it’s time to go backstage and start the tour. See you on the other side of the curtain!