Rio De Janeiro Prepares For 2016 Summer Olympics
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Photo Essay: Brazilian Graffiti Artist Attempts World Record With Olympics Mural

"… I wanted to show that everyone is united, we are all connected."

While athletes of all sizes and backgrounds, across all sectors of sports and gymnastics, aim to bring home the gold, Brazilian graffiti maven Eduardo Kobra, 40, is enacting his own best performance yet.

On a huge wall in Rio's formerly dilapidated port area, which has been rejuvenated ahead of the Games, Kobra is attempting, with his spray cans and polychromatic colors, a Guinness World Record for the largest mural created by one artist.

The 190-meter-long artwork stands tall at 15.5 meters, and is nearly 3,000 in square meters. “I was really happy I got to display my work here in Rio de Janeiro,” said the São Paulo native to the Olympics' official website. “This was something I have wanted to do for a long time.”

The mural, which could be recognized as the largst of its kind in the world, is titled Etnias ('Ethnicities'). The muralist and a team of four guest artists had been at work at least 12 hours a day for the past two months, before their masterpiece was officially unveiled on July 30.

Approximately 100 gallons of white paint, 1,500 liters of colored paint and at least 3,500 cans of spray paint were used to complete Kobra’s composition of the faces of five indigenous people from distinct nations on five continents.

The artwork is part of Olympic Boulevard, a large and vibrant site stretching about three kilometers, offering Games coverage on big screens, three stages with live music, street performances, firework displays, activities for the youth and food trucks.

“We’re living through a very confusing time with a lot of conflict. I wanted to show that everyone is united, we are all connected,” said Kobra, adding that Etnias builds on the themes of an ongoing project featuring Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Mother Teresa, among others. See more of Kobra's work, here.

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A photo posted by Eduardo Kobra 🇧🇷 (@kobrastreetart) on

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Ozuna And Darell Travel Through An Industrial Conquest Denouncing A Bad Love In "Vacia Sin Mi"

Gloomy cloudy skies are looming over an industrial like setting dotted with huge heavy duty trucks, as beautiful young ladies clad in yellow jumpsuits surround Ozuna in the visuals for his new single, “Vacia Sin Mi” featuring Latin trap artist Darell.

The new track is centered around the plight behind a romance gone wrong, and Ozuna is denouncing the love interest that did him wrong.  Through a hypnotic slow beat, he sings on beat about wanting nothing to do with her. He’s moved on and so should she. Darell assists the singer with brash vocals, which sound like the Spanish version of rapper Future’s signature raspy syrupy drawl.

“We want to show people a completely new concept, always looking to surprise the fans that have always supported my artistic career,” Ozuna stated in a press release.  

“Vacia Sin Mi” is the 27 year-old’s latest single off his forthcoming project NIBURU, which will be released under the record label Dimelo Vi. Just recently, the reggaeton artist made history by garnering 23 nominations for the 2019 Billboard Latin Music Awards.

We’re curious to see what new music and sound his forthcoming project will bring. Last year, he told VIBE VIVA about his previous album, Aura and what it represents for him. "Aura" is what one reflects in the heart, what you bring into the world, and what people want to learn from you,” he said. “In this situation particularly, it reflects what I have learned from fame, from all this going around my life. I interpreted all that in this album. I made international collaborations, which is something that didn’t exist in the past.”

Watch the video for “Vacia Sin Mi” above.

 

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Two Former Cops Arrested For Murder Of Brazilian Politician and Activist Marielle Franco

Brazilian activist and councilwoman Marielle Franco was murdered almost a year ago on March 14 2018, along with her driver Anderson Gomes. Now almost a year since Franco's brutal murder, suspects have been named and arrested in the case.

"Two police officers were arrested for direct and effective participation in the crime," said Rio de Janeiro's state police secretary, Marcus Vinícius Braga. "With these arrests, we get close to solving the crime."

Franco was a well-known activist in Rio de Janeiro and she used her platform to speak out on police brutality and on the behalf of Black Brazilians who have been fighting the rampant racism in their country. Just a day before her death Franco had attended a discussion titled "Young Black Women Moving [Power] Structures" and just a couple of hours later was allegedly shot by the arrested suspect retired military officer Ronnie Lessa with the assistance of the expelled cop, and another suspect, Élcio Vieira Queiroz, who was driving the car.

Franco was clearly targeted given her candidness when speaking about the corruption that plagues the Brazilian police force and the color of her skin is what convinced the men that their actions would go unnoticed. Brazilian prosecutors have stated that Franco's assassination was planned three months in advance by the two individuals, however, they are also now looking into whether Lessa and Queiroz were hired to kill Franco by someone else.

Following the arrests Gomes' widow, Ágatha Reis spoke out. "It is a weight that is starting to lift off my shoulders," Reis said. "I cannot be completely at peace. They still have to tell us who ordered these killings. It doesn't end here." Reis sentiments were echoed by supporters of Franco as #WhoOrderedMariellesMurder trended on Twitter soon after the arrests as well.

This is the first step towards justice for Franco and Gomes and it must not be the last.

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Bronx City Councilman Unveils Street In Memory Of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz

Honoring the victim in the tragic and fatal case of mistaken identity, a New York City street has been renamed in tribute to Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, CBS New York reports.

Guzman-Feliz was killed by members of the Trinitarios gang in the summer of 2018 after a group of its members mistakenly thought he was somebody else. He was 15. His story gained nationwide media coverage after footage showed multiple men attacking him with machetes.

It was announced that the Bathgate Avenue block would be renamed on July 25 and now nearly eight months later, the street sign has officially been unveiled. With both the family and city council members of the revel in tow, Councilman Ritchie Torres delivered a beautiful speech honoring the late Bronx native.

 

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A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words❤️🙏🏼😩 . . . Cr: @justice4junjun #justiceforjunior #justiceforjunior💔 #lesandroguzmanfeliz #juniorsworld #happybirthdayleandra #happybirthday #ripjunior #e4j #j4j #llj #longlivejunior #flyhighjunior #forever15 #restinpeacejunior

A post shared by 👼🏽JUSTICE FOR JUNIOR👼🏽🗣 (@rip_junior15) on Feb 27, 2019 at 12:49pm PST

 

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The Crowd Sang Happy Birthday To Leandra😩😭❤️ Btw THE SIGN IS UP ITS OFFICIAL😭 . . . #justiceforjunior💔 #justiceforjunior #forever15 #juniorsworld #longlivejunior #stoptheviolence #justice #e4j #j4j #flyhighjunior #lesandroguzmanfeliz #ripjunior #restinpeacejunior #restinheaven

A post shared by 👼🏽JUSTICE FOR JUNIOR👼🏽🗣 (@rip_junior15) on Feb 27, 2019 at 7:48am PST

 

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A Bittersweet Moment😭❤️🙏🏼🤴🏽 Long Live Junior👼🏽 . . . Cr: @camaro_clutch #justiceforjunior💔 #justiceforjunior #forever15 #juniorsworld #longlivejunior #stoptheviolence #justice #e4j #j4j #flyhighjunior #lesandroguzmanfeliz #ripjunior #restinpeacejunior #restinheaven

A post shared by 👼🏽JUSTICE FOR JUNIOR👼🏽🗣 (@rip_junior15) on Feb 27, 2019 at 8:01am PST

“It is Junior’s memory that inspired the governor of New York to invest over $18 million in new funds for youth programming right here in the Bronx. It is Junior’s memory that inspired both the mayor and the City Council to bring new gang violence prevention services right here to the 48th Precinct," Torres said. "And it is Junior’s memory that inspired the Bronx borough president, partnering with New York State’s parks and the Fresh Air Fund, to create an upstate summer program for Bronx youth known as Camp Junior. These commemorations of Junior’s memory represent only the beginning. Junior’s impact will last as his spirit lives on.”

He went on to say, “we should remember Junior not only for the tragic loss of his life in an unspeakable act of violence. We should remember him for the lives he has saved and the lives he will save because of the legacy he leaves behind—a legacy that I am honored to memorialize right here on Bathgate and 183rd. This street will forever be the home, will forever tell the story of Lesandro ‘Junior’ Guzman-Feliz.”

 

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