Black Women of Brazil

The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

For the Day of the Black Woman of Latin America and the Caribbean, poet Débora Garcia to release video “Pretas Panteras” (Black Panthers)” in honor of black leaders such as Angela Davis and Tereza de Benguela


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Photo: Elaine Campos

Note from BW of Brazil: Poet Débora Garcia’s timing is right on point! The poet recently recorded a video for her song “Panteras Pretas”, meaning ‘black panthers’, or more specifically, black female panthers, for release on the July 25th commemoration of the International Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean Women’s Day. The song is a tribute to black women who have fought against regimes that have oppressed black people around the world. The song is especially dedicated to Tereza de Benguela, the 18th-century quilombo (maroon society) leader, who is officially remembered in Brazil on July 25th and the legendary African-American philosopher/activist Angela Davis.

book docu

The importance of Davis’s career and history has been studied by more Afro-Brazilian women than I can count in recent years with numerous women having read her 1981 book Women, Race, & Class (released as Mulheres, raça e classe in Brazil), watched the 2012 documentary Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, which was released as Libertem Angela Davis in Brazil and debated the importance of the former Black Panther in the liberation movement. 

debating Angela Davis

In recent years, activists such as Marielle Franco, Karina Vieira, Djamila Ribeiro and Rosane Borges have debated the importance of Davis’s life and work

To top all of this off, Davis herself has visited Brazil numerous times over the past decade or so and formed important connections with various Afro-Brazilian women leaders, activists and militants. In 2012 Davis declared her support for the first ever Black (Brazilian) Women’s March in the nation’s capital that took place on November 18, 2015. The activist has gained a large following among Afro-Brazilian women, many of whom reference her work and/or speak of her as an inspirational figure. 

Angela Davis UFBA

Headline – Black activism and feminist: Angela Davis will participate in Conference in UFBA this Tuesday (25th)

In fact, today, on the International Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean Women’s Day, Davis will be speaking at the Federal University of Bahia (in Salvador, Bahia) at the “Atravessando o tempo e construindo o futuro da luta contra o racismo” (intersecting time and constructing the future of the fight against racism) conference. As I said, the timing is right on point! Looking forward to seeing this video!

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Poet Débora Garcia (photo: Elaine Campos)

With the video “Pretas Panteras” (Black Panthers)” Débora Garcia honors leaders such as Tereza de Benguela and Angela Davis

Courtesy of Livre Opinião

The choice of release date is also to commemorate Afro-Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Day

To reflect on the role of black women in the world, the poet Débora Garcia will release on Tuesday (25) the video of the song “Pretas Panteras”, meaning black panthers, in the Ação Educativa center in downtown São Paulo, with free admission.

The clip, as well as the song, is a reference to the date, which marks the anniversary of the Afro-Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Day and also the day of the quilombola leader Tereza de Benguela. In addition, the audio-visual material also pays tribute to the Partido Panteras Negras (Black Panther Party), especially black activist Angela Davis.

The release of the clip will also feature the participation of the production cast, deejaying by Dj Laddybrown and music performance of rapper Bia Doxum. There will also be a chat with mediation by Landy Freitas on the representativeness of black women in rap and audiovisual. The film’s director, Joyce Prado, also participates, addressing the challenges of audiovisual production in the periphery.

For the artist, it is important to use art to talk about the historical references that guide cultural movements. “Through the video clip, we can talk about people who have had extremely relevant contributions regarding the production of theoretical reference on black feminism and also about struggle. I see this as a way to strengthen our history and also to foment our struggle in the present,” she said.

The video also features poets Elizandra Souza, Thata Alves, Jô Freitas, Andréia Rosa and Deusa (goddess) Poetisa, with graffiti artists Marisa Sooul and Pamela Rosa, with DJ Cris Laddybrown, MC Luana Hansen and the sister B. Girls Larissa and Letícia Rocha.

“All of them are black women, artists who are references in the peripheral cultural scene of the city of São Paulo. In music production is Tico Pró, of Indigo Music. I sought to bring together in the clip black artists from different languages precisely to show our potential. The Brazilian art market ignores the existence of these professionals as if we didn’t have a qualified workforce. All the people involved in the production are black, for a political and aesthetic choice. And we did an exquisite job,” said Deborah.

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Photo: Elaine Campos

About the song and the clip

According to the poet, having a very close relationship with music, most of her poems are loaded with musicality, as is the case of the song-poem “Pretas Panteras”. “I wrote it at the end of 2015 and, in view of the musicality, I decided to work with the rap metric, which is nothing more than rhythm and poetry. The choice was also because rap has a very big appeal with our young people and I understood that it would be a very interesting way of working the message about black feminism with them, especially in the saraus (see note one) I do in schools,” she recalled.

Also according to Deborah, the music began to be presented in the saraus, winning the public over immediately. “People started recording my presentations with cell phones and posting on social networks, spreading the music. A lot of people would come and ask me where they could find the song and this encouraged me to record it,” she said.

Experiences with music and audiovisuals

Despite defining herself as a writer, Débora Garcia brings in her history a great relationship with music and the performing arts. She has participated in several short films. O menino e o livro (the boy and the book) (2010), her first experience, was produced at the Tela Brasil Workshop in the city of Suzano, in partnership with Buriti Filmes. This was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2nd Cultural Festival of Cinema of São Simão.

In 2011 she participated in the DVD CenoPoesiaMusicadaMarginal produced by the Coletivo Cultural Marginaliaria (Marginaliaria Cultural Collective). In the same year, she participated in the CD of Literatura I produced by Associação Cultural Literatura in Brazil.

In 2013 she premiered the short film Vidas de Carolina, in which she plays the writer Carolina Maria de Jesus. The project of the director Jéssica Queiroz was contemplated by the Prêmio Criando Asas (award), of the Instituto Criar de Cinema, TV e Novas Mídias. She produces and acts in Video Literatura Volume II and in 2014, in Video Literatura Volume III; both produced by the Associação Cultural Literatura in Brazil. Finally, in 2014 she wrote Carolina – A Joia da favela (Carolina – The jewel of the favela), her first theatrical play, in which again she interprets the writer Carolina Maria de Jesus. Recently she has utilized audiovisual language to promote her poems.

With regard to music, she has already participated in the Municipal Choir of Suzano and has also taken private singing lessons. However “Pretas Panteras” is her first professional musical work.

“I have never lost sight of my intimate relationship with literature. I’m a writer. It was from this language that I entered the artistic universe. However, I don’t want this to tie me down. I want to experience everything that can add to me as a human being and artist. In addition, I believe that music and the performing arts, as well as literature, propose to tell a story, but with other languages.”

SourceLivre Opinião 

Notes

  1. A gathering of friends, involved in art and culture, featuring lots of music, poetry, photo, clothes and theater.

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