A Wisconsin bar is catching heat on the Web for building a fake “favela,” or Brazilian slum, as a way to celebrate the World Cup.
As the Nomad World Pub’s favela-inspired design went viral, so did words of criticism, especially on social media.
Dear @NomadMilwaukee: The poverty, police violence, & conditions of military occupation in favelas are no joke & it’s not a samba frat party— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) June 11, 2014
.@NomadMilwaukee is a great bar, but building a favela (Brazilian shanty town is in bad taste). It’s like blackface, but abt poor people.— ynktxn (@ynktxn) June 11, 2014
The Milwaukee bar, meanwhile, has come out in defense of its controversial design. Nomad owner Mike Eitel even says he’s glad the project, which he refers to as “art,” has pushed so many buttons. He told OnMilwaukee.com:
“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. 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. … We feel good about what we did and the intent of what we’re doing and the fact that a lot of people donated a large amount of time and energy to it.”
And judging from the turnout at Nomad on the World Cup’s opening day on Thursday, Nomad’s patrons also appreciate Eitel’s efforts, whether they understand or care about the controversy that surrounds them or not.