Milwaukee Bar Constructs Fake Brazilian Slum Where Yuppies Can Enjoy Watching the World Cup
Photo Credit: lazyllane/Shutterstock.com
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The World Cup kicks off in Rio de Janeiro this week, a city that is plagued with poverty, terrible inequality, crime, disease and desperation, much of which has been exacerbated by the World Cup.
So, the owner of a bar in Milwaukee thought it would just be a brilliant, hilarious idea to build a fake Brazilian slum for customers to come, relax in, and watch the World Cup in. The faux Brazillian favela is just like the real thing, without the disease, desperation, poor people or armed poice. No, not even. The "installation" is more like a favela themepark, with colorful fake facades, and fake laundry strung across fake windows. And of course, in this "favela," there are flatscreen TVs and unlimited brewskies.
Here's the bar's proud listing via OnMilwaukee:
The World Cup begins this week, and Milwaukee’s ready. And, of course, Nomad World Pub is ready, too.
Nomad, 1401 E. Brady St., has month-long celebration on tap and it begins Thursday, June 12 and doesn’t stop until the final match on July 13.
Two block parties (June 22 for USA vs. Portugal and July 13 for the final) are planned. For the final match, Nomad plans “Brasil on Brady,” a two-block stretch of Brady Street featuring live music, Brasilian dancers, vendors, and a Jumbotron for the final match of the tournament.
The Nomad event includes the temporary construction of a courtyard viewing area inspired by the colors and spirit of the mountainside “favelas” of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The “Nomad Favela” takes over an adjacent parking lot and consists of a surfboard bar, a Belair Cantina taco shack, and large outdoor space to view all of the tournament’s soccer matches on six large televisions. The unique space is the collaborative effort of a small group of volunteering artists and craftspeople and includes several from Makerspace.
“We like to say we are the home to soccer fans of all nations at the Nomad,” said Mike Eitel, owner of the Nomad. “We really try to provide the best option in the state of Wisconsin by making the experience fun, exciting, and just a little bit different.”
Imagine Nomad owner Eitel's surprise when critics accused him of racism and insensitivity.
As deathandtaxesmag points out:
The grand irony here is that the poor people who live in the real favelas are actually protesting the World Cup for a variety of reasons. One being that 15,000 families have been relocated to make room for that and for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Another being that one of these ever-so romantic favelas is being demolished in order to turn it into a parking lot for the refurbished Maracanã stadium. Oh, and the cost of that reconstruction could fund 200 schools for poor children in Brazil.
But Eitel is not backing down in the face of criticism. In fact, he claims he's being educational, not merely profit-motivated. He told OnMilwaukee:
"We're not going to change the name, change what it is or tear it down," Eitel said. "That's not going to happen."
He then addressed some of the direct complaints about the idea, many of which leveled racist charges at him.
"These are people who didn't know what a favela was a week ago, much less what the word was, much less that there was even strife associated with the World Cup," he said. "There's a lot of discussion that can be had about not just what's going on in Brazil. There's a lot going on Brazil. Nobody up here gives a (expletive) or knows about it. Now they're talking about it. So we got that far, and that's what art's supposed to do, is create the discussion."
To see more pictures of the fake favela and real favelas, click here.