Rio de Janeiro — Amid a conservative wave that brought far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to power, this year’s Carnival in Rio will feature irreverent, in-your-face parades highlighting the role of women, blacks and indigenous people in Brazil. The traditional escolas or samba dance troupes that will march along Marquês de Sapucai Avenue in the so-called Sambodromo arena also face another year of budgetary restraints imposed by city officials. The other side of history The songs of Mangueira, one of the city’s most traditional troupes and winner of the samba competition in 2016, aim to spread “the history that history does not tell” — that of grassroots heroes who fought losing battles and do not show up in in children’s school books. “The traditional narrative chose its heroes, picked its facts, erected monuments, named streets and avenues, and that is how we ended up with those who won. Indians, blacks, mulattos and poor people did not end up as statues. Their names are...

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