When journalists check into their own “village” for the Olympic games, they will be welcomed by the Barra Media Villages, a group of “over 1,500 spacious and modern apartments” complete with kitchens, 24/7 food access, and a huge pool. But in truth, it can hardly get any spookier than this. In order to build the village, Brazilian authorities tore down several parts of a quilombo, a community of people whose ancestors were runaway slaves.
Builders simply razed a colonial-era sugar mill without any archaeological survey, and around that mill, several mass graves were found. Residents claim that the entire Barra Media Village is built over mass graves, and builders simply took or destroyed a number of artifacts. The area is home to a community which respects and cherishes its past, but Brazil’s government seems determined to shove all that under the rug and point to a lavish, modern future – even if that means ignoring hunger, poverty, and disease, even if it means throwing away centuries of history and culture. Sadly, it seems that the Olympics, Rio and Brazil itself are a powder keg just waiting to blow up.
In the meantime, if you don’t want to watch Rio’s Olympics, you can boycott them and watch the cyborg Olympics instead – it promises to be just as interesting.
Andrei's background is in geophysics, and he's been fascinated by it ever since he was a child. Feeling that there is a gap between scientists and the general audience, he started ZME Science -- and the results are what you see today.