Tropical Trauma Misery Tour

Rafael Roncato

Keywords: Network propaganda, Digital populism, Documentary photography

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Welcome to the TROPICAL TRAUMA MISERY TOUR. I invite you to take this tour through a roofless theater 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.

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