My Trip began early on Sunday morning, and I was quite nervous because I had no idea what to expect in Rio de Janeiro. During the flight to Brazil, I managed to get a little closer to the Portuguese language and pick up a few words here and there.
Upon arriving in Rio de Janeiro, I was welcomed by Swissnex with a wonderful meal. The team was very kind and the view from their balcony was stunning. While they had to get back to work afterwards, I went on a discovery tour of the city until the VFXRio Dance event.
The famous Copacabana beach was a sensory overload. Along the entire stretch, there were stalls where you could buy everything from food to beach chairs. It costs around 15 Reais per day for two chairs and an umbrella, which is approximately 2.70 Swiss Francs. Once you had picked your spot at the praia, it didn’t take long for a beach vendor to come by, offering anything from freshly cooked corn in still cooking pots to bathing suits. The diversity of items available for purchase was almost unimaginable.
Of course, the Christo Redentor could not be excluded either on this journey. Unlike in the movies, we couldn’t go straight to the top; instead, we had to wait in various lines. At last, we had to climb a great number of stairs. However, once at the top, the experience was exhilarating. Standing beside a few dozen other people at the base of this massive statue, with a wonderful view of Rio de Janeiro, made me truly realize the size of the city as well.
We also indulged in our artistic side by visiting a Samba organization/school preparing for the world-famous Carnival festivities. During this tour, we were only allowed to take photos in specific areas, as the set-up and planning were kept confidential to prevent the competition from copying their ideas and work. As an artist myself it was engaging to see what material they’re making these sculptures out of and the whole process itself.
Soon enough, it was time for the VFX Rio Dance event. This event aimed to project dancers from one location to another using various technologies, allowing them to perform without physically moving and return home to sleep in their beds at night. The project was founded by the artist Gilles Jobin. Throughout the day, there were various talks by several people about different virtual reality technologies and their functions. Many of the talks were in Portuguese, but thankfully, I could pick up a few things here and there through the presentation slides. At the end of the day, there was a live stream of Gilles Jobin’s dancers. In the video, they appeared as characters in a different world, with changing backgrounds, in varying sizes and body movements. Occasionally, the scene would change back to reality, with the dancers visible in the studio. It was an abstract performance that mixed elements of dreams and reality.
Out of all the experiences, which are too numerous to mention them all, one of many highlights was the people I met. The warmth and joy they shared were truly incredible. Despite the short duration of my stay, I formed close connections that I will never forget and always cherish in my heart. I’m grateful to Swissnex and Schweizer Jugend forscht for making this incredible adventure possible and giving me an experience for life.