When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

Sick Of Smartphones Ruining Your Concerts? There May Be A Solution

Smartphones and iPads, we all know, can be pretty cool. We also know they can suck. Take music concerts, when the other fans in front of you form a view-blocking field of little blue lights in their own private attempt to take home a digital souvenir of the show.

Filming performances has even been encouraged with the creation of websites such as evergig.com, which allows users to upload their recordings before reassembling them into one single video of a song or concert. “Your ultimate ringside seat to your fav artist's best shows,” the website boasts, no matter if this almost always means low-quality video and sound.

A growing number of artists such as Jack White, Kate Bush and Prince have slammed smartphones as a bonafide plague for live music. In April 2013, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs even posted a sign at their concert to tell their audience where they thought people should put their devices.

Now, finally, real action is being taken in the war against shiny screens at music gigs. After the creation this year of an app called Kimd, which allows users to take photos or videos with a dark screen, a company called Yondr recently joined the fight. Their idea: before a show, people put their cell phones in special cases they can’t open before the end of the concert.

The company explains on its website: “Yondr gives venues and artists the tools to create phone-free events and spaces. In a technology-filled world, Yondr is the easiest way to maintain authenticity, privacy, and exclusivity.”

It’s not the device itself the company is trying to change; it’s the way it’s used. “We think smartphones have incredible utility, but not in every setting. In some situations, they have become a distraction and a crutch — cutting people off from each other and their immediate surroundings. Yondr has a simple purpose: to show people how powerful a moment can be when we aren’t focused on documenting or broadcasting it,” they explain.

An initiative that may start changing mentalities on capturing events — maybe even beyond the context of concerts — that should be happening before our eyes, and not behind a lens.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


How Brazil's Evangelical Surge Threatens Survival Of Native Afro-Brazilian Faith

Followers of the Afro-Brazilian Umbanda religion in four traditional communities in the country’s northeast are resisting pressure to convert to evangelical Christianity.

image of Abel José, an Umbanda priest

Abel José, an Umbanda priest

Agencia Publica
Géssica Amorim

Among a host of images of saints and Afro-Brazilian divinities known as orixás, Abel José, 42, an Umbanda priest, lights some candles, picks up his protective beads and adjusts the straw hat that sits atop his head. He is preparing to treat four people from neighboring villages who have come to his house in search of spiritual help and treatment for health ailments.

The meeting takes place discreetly, in a small room that has been built in the back of the garage of his house. Abel lives in the quilombo of Sítio Bredos, home to 135 families. The community, located in the municipality of Betânia of Brazil’s northeastern state of Pernambuco, is one of the municipality’s four remaining communities that have been certified as quilombos, the word used to refer to communities formed in the colonial era by enslaved Africans and/or their descendents.

In these villages there are almost no residents who still follow traditional Afro-Brazilian religions. Abel, Seu Joaquim Firmo and Dona Maura Maria da Silva are the sole remaining followers of Umbanda in the communities in which they live. A wave of evangelical missionary activity has taken hold of Betânia’s quilombos ever since the first evangelical church belonging to the Assembleia de Deus group was built in the quilombo of Bredos around 20 years ago. Since then, other evangelical, pentecostal, and neo-pentecostal churches and congregations have established themselves in the area. Today there are now nine temples spread among the four communities, home to roughly 900 families.

The temples belong to the Assembleia de Deus, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the World Church of God's Power, the latter of which has over 6,000 temples spread across Brazil and was founded by the apostle and televangelist Valdemiro Santiago, who became infamous during the pandemic for trying to sell beans that he had blessed as a Covid-19 cure. Assembleia de Deus alone, who are the largest pentecostal denomination in the world, have built five churches in Betânia’s quilombos.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest