The yearspublished: 2008-12-04
On the train, someone I know happened to come and sit next to me. She exclaimed, "oh isn't this world simply great!" It was a meant to be kind of thing. But what -precisely – was meant to be? I now wonder. I had met her before I went to Brazil. She heads a foundation that helps young artists in the favelas of Rio professionalize their talent. Before I went to Brazil, she was finding it impossible to get funding for her projects from Dutch government as the government had labeled Brazil as no longer being a development country.
But suddenly, things had changed. A couple of months ago, the Brazilian and Dutch government signed a few principles of agreement aimed at strengthening bilateral relations. Overnight, the word Brazil had come to fit perfectly into policy terminology and now opens the doors to governmental support. She could hardly believe it herself. Clearly, it was her time to shine. In fact, she was shining already.
I asked her whether she felt it was just pure luck or whether she deserved this support in light of personal investments she had made over the years. She said it was the latter. "I've been trying to help creatives find their way out of the slums off and on for the past fourteen years." Fourteen years is an awful long time during which self-doubt can reach horrifying proportions. I've been writing (officially that is to say) for eight.