lagoon city

Image: Elyeser Szturm

By Wagner Iglecias*

It's difficult, hours after the Oscar ceremony, not to relate the scenographic storm of Parasite with the flood in São Paulo this Monday.

São Paulo dawned chaotic, underwater, with most of its main roads blocked. It's not the first time and it probably won't be the last. There are decades, more than a century of negligence, irresponsibility, incompetence, deviations, marginalization. From a city that choked its rivers and streams. Who cut down their forests. That threw millions of poor people, slum dwellers, to the outskirts, traveling in crowded trains and buses in exchange for starvation wages. Who invested in the gray (un)sociability of cement and asphalt.

Which has always defined the allocation of public resources through master plans designed by the private sector. Who prioritized the automobile, gasoline, smoke. Which praised the fortified enclaves, the exclusive spaces, with their names in French, English and Italian, with all the security and sophistication that “you and your family deserve”. Finally, from a city that symbolizes Brazilian society and all its ills like few others.

It's hard, hours after the Oscar ceremony, not to relate the scenographic storm of Parasite with this Monday's deluge in São Paulo, both reminding us that, even against their will, the rich, the poor and the better off will be more and more in the same boat.

*Wagner Iglecias he is a professor at EACH USP and PROLAM USP.

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