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International Press Award for promotion of Brazilian culture in Britain

A noted Brazilian academic in the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film at Queen Mary, University of London has won an international media award for the promotion of Brazilian Culture in the UK.

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Professor Vieira
Professor Vieira

Professor Else R. P. Vieira is being recognised for her “outstanding performance and contribution” in the 14th Annual Brazilian International Press Award, a major celebration of the South American nation’s cultural presence in Europe.

The Brazilian Ambassador Roberto Jaguaribe will open the ceremony on August 6 at the Hilton Canary Wharf, where Professor Vieira is to be presented with her accolade. The ceremony will be televised by the Brazilian satellite channel, Globo Internacional.

On 5 August, at the Hilton Canary Wharf, Vieira, who is Professor of Brazilian and Comparative Latin American Studies, will be a special guest at the seminar, ‘Brazilian Culture, Media and Community Abroad’. On the occasion, she will give the lecture, ‘Cinematic Projections of Brazilian Culture’.  

After joining the Department of Iberian and Latin American Studies at Queen Mary in 2002, Professor Vieira introduced a new programme on Portuguese-speaking (Lusophone) cultures, which nurtured the study of Brazilian film and music. So successful, it was upgraded to a Bachelor´s Degree in 2009.

Also as a member of Film Studies staff, Professor Vieira has taught courses and supervised theses on gender and sexuality in Latin American cinema.  She then set up courses on Portuguese cinema with the support of Lisbon´s Camões Institute, which promotes Portuguese culture and language abroad.

Her latest course on Lusophone African cinema assesses how history has pervaded the film production of Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe.

Through the Lusophone Film Club at Queen Mary, Vieira has also given visibility to the largest UK university collection of films in Portuguese, which includes over 300 Brazilian, 100 Portuguese and 50 Mozambican titles. The club provides regulars free screenings for the preservation of the language to its speakers nationally.

In 2010, UNESCO invited Vieira to represent the world’s Portuguese speakers in the International Year of the Mother Tongue and the Rapprochement of Cultures. She was selected for her outreach work to preserve Portuguese language amongst Lusophone UK residents.

The same year, Vieira was elected a member of the Council of Representatives of Brazilians Abroad, which encourages dialogue between the Brazilian community in Europe and the Brazilian Presidency and Ministries.

In 2011 she was selected to address the Deputy Mayor of London on behalf of an estimated one million speakers of Portuguese in the UK.

A major reception offered by the Brazilian Ambassador in his London residence, six years ago, celebrated Fernando Meirelles’s nominations for ten Bafta Awards for his film The Constant Gardener and Vieira’s book on his previous film, City of God in Several Voices: Brazilian Social Cinema as Action (2005). The book was conceived for a visit by the cast of the Academy-Award nominated film City of God to Queen Mary.

Formerly as Visiting Professor at the Universities of Oxford and Nottingham, Vieira has organized several conferences on Brazilian Culture. She also created the most comprehensive database on dispossessed and migrant workers in Brazil and their emerging culture, which was launched in the House of Commons in 2003.

In her previous career in Brazil, she was the Coordinator of Postgraduate Studies at the Federal University of Minas Gerais.

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