Censorship or caution? Culture war burns in Brazil

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Artists say a growing list of shows, plays, conferences and other projects have been abruptly canceled since President Jair Bolsonaro took office Jan. 1, vowing to fight "cultural Marxism" from school benches to movie theaters and museums.

Newspaper columnists, the president of Brazil's bar association and celebrated artists say they fear Bolsonaro's cultural conservatism may lead to routine censorship and public money drying up for progressive artistic projects.

But Bolsonaro bristles at the accusations of censorship. He says that while his government doesn't plan to finance projects at odds with traditional values, they can still be privately financed.

In his words, "With public money we won't see certain types of works. That's not censorship. That's preserving Christian values, treating your youth with respect, recognizing families."

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