Gringo Love: Stories of Sex Tourism in Brazil
Published: July 2020© 2020
200 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.50 in, B&W illustrations throughout
In the city of Natal in northeastern Brazil, several local women negotiate the terms of their intimate relationships with foreign tourists, or gringos, in a situation often referred to as "sex tourism." These women have different experiences, but they share a similar desire to "escape" the social conditions of their lives in Brazil.
Based on original ethnographic research and presented in graphic form, Gringo Love explores the hopes, dreams, and realities of these women against a backdrop of deep social inequality and increasing state surveillance leading up to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. It touches on important contemporary issues, including sexual economics, transnational mobility, romantic imaginaries, gender representation, race and inequality, and visual methods.
The graphic story is accompanied by analysis and contextual discussion, which encourage readers to engage with the narrative and expand their understanding of the broader social issues therein.
Note to the Reader
Part I: Arrivals
Part II: Gringo Love?
Part III: Sair Dessa Vida
Appendix I: Reading Guide & Discussion Questions
Appendix II: The Making of Gringo Love
• The Creation Process
• The Research Process
Appendix III: The Context for Gringo Love
• Sex Tourism
• Ponta Negra
• Gringo Love
Appendix IV: Further Readings
"This graphic novel is a much needed addition to libraries. There are a lot of books out there that vilify people in this industry, and it is important for people to view this subject from another point of view."2020 VLA Graphic Novel Diversity Award Committee
"Gringo Love boldly does something less common in anthropology: it uses an experimental visual medium and a collaborative process based on generously shared time and stories to tell a reality-based tale that complicates and broadens the space in which a politicized and controversial practice can be understood. By visualizing those often made invisible in the mainstream discourse of sex tourism, Carrier-Moisan and her collaborators bring us into lives on the ground."Colin Willox, Maynooth University, Visual Anthropology Review
"This ambitious ethno-graphic novel generates alternative representations of sex tourism beyond sensational media accounts, putting faces, bodies, and voices to the categories of ‘sex worker’ and ‘sex tourist’ that help dispel some of the most durable stereotypes lingering in the public imagination. The gringo love stories are wonderfully complex. They leave the reader feeling a sense of intimacy with the dreams, desires, and dilemmas of people we may never meet, while opening up the possibility that sex tourism in general is much more complex than imagined."Susan Frohlick, The University of British Columbia, Okanagan
"An extraordinary synthesis of the stories of women striving for better lives in the intimate economy of Ponta Negra, the foreign men they encounter, and the misguided interventions by state and NGO campaigns against sex tourism before and after the 2014 Rio Olympics. This graphic novel skillfully exposes the complexity of doing anthropological research – maintaining relations with people in the field, writing fieldnotes, as well as deep reflections about the inequalities between researcher and the researched. The discussion questions, appendixes, and further reading suggestions will make Gringo Love a must-have for any college course on gender and sexuality, sex work, and globalization!"Sealing Cheng, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
"This text affirms everything we know about the power of ethnography and comic- and arts-based research: It is more than just an ‘illustrated’ ethnography—it’s a work that transforms and transports the reader using the power of the graphic novel and its attendant processes to bring emotional engagement to the surface. Carrier-Moisan’s keen analyses carefully illuminate and amplify participant stories, and the graphic novel presentation turns up the volume on a deeply affecting ethnography, giving the reader a gloveless punch to the gut. Outstanding."Sally Campbell Galman, University of Massachusetts-Amherst