Note from BW of Brazil: On the eve of the beginning of the 2013 edition of the annual Mês da Consciência Negra (Month of Black Consciousness), 22 black women have come together to release an anthology of contemporary literature. After the controversy surrounding the selection of one black writer out of seventy Brazilians representing the country in the prestigious Frankfurt Book Fair, this collection provides a welcome outlet for the literary expression of this ignored contingent of authors. As BW of Brazil has continuously reported, the contributions, recognition and arguably the apparent inexistence of black women are consistently displayed in many genres of Brazilian society including journalism, television, print media, modeling runways and literature itself. To combat this blatant exclusion, black women are increasingly “doing for self”, taking matters into their own hands and bringing visibility to this important demographic of the Brazilian population in areas such as fashion design, print media and entrepreneurship. Great to see this! As the old saying goes, “if you want something done (right), you gotta do it yourself!”
Anthology Pretextos de Mulheres Negras (Pretexts of Black Women) brings together 22 contemporary writers
courtesy of the Mjiba blog
Book edited by Elizandra Souza and Carmen Faustino will be released on October 31st in São Paulo.
With the poetic urgency of millions of eyes appears, in contemporary literature, the anthology Pretextos de Mulheres Negras (Pretexts of Black Women), which will be released on October 31 in São Paulo (SP).
The volume of nearly 140 pages presents in each one of the 22 authors – 20 from São Paulo and guests Queen Nzinga Maxweell from Costa Rica and Tina Mucavele of Mozambique) – subjectivity and self-representations, whether in text, images, biographical profiles or how they struggle for resistance, memory, belonging, playfulness, corporeality, musicality, religiosity and other values present in Africanities and in the diaspora.
“We intend to reconnect our ancestral links and also write the melody of our own rhythms,” announces the book’s editor, Elizandra Souza.
The work is part of the collective actions of Mjiba, which strengthens the role of black women in different spheres and was also inspired by the book Oro Obínrin – 1º Prêmio Literário e Ensaístico sobre a Condição da Mulher Negra (Oro Obínrin – 1st Literary and Essayistic Award on the Status of Black Women), published in 1998. The volume is also a tribute to writer Maria Tereza (in memoriam) and also refers to the children of the authors’ social circle.
In the presentation, the words of Conceição Evaristo “liking to write, most of the times hurts, but but after the written text it’s likely to appease some of the pain, I say a little…I like to say that writing is for me the movement of dance-song that my body does not perform is the password through which I access the world” summarizes the process. “This process was experienced by the guests…we are the continuity of black women and we need, like all plantations (crops), to replant and spread new seeds,” points out Elizandra Souza.
About the work and the Mjiba collective
The anthology has the organization of Carmen Faustino and Elizandra Souza, brings graphic design of Nina Vieira and cover illustrations and homage made by Renata Felinto. The photos of the authors were shot by Chaia Dechen.
During the launch on October 31, the event also features the music of Camila Trindade and DJ work by DJ Vivian Marques, in addition to recitals with the authors Carmen Faustino, Chaia Dechen, Debora Marçal, Elidivânia Souza, Elis Regina, Elizandra Souza, Flávia Rosa, Janaina Teodoro, Jenyffer Nascimento, Landy Freitas, Lids Ramos, Lu’z Ribeiro, Luciana Dias, Mel Duarte, Nayla Carvalho, Priscilla Preta, Raquel Almeida, Rose Dorea, Tiely Queen and Tula Pilar.
The actions of the Mjiba collective are inspired in word, which originated in the Shona language of Zimbabwe, where revolutionary young women faced British troops and fought for independence. Touched by the story, the poet Elizandra Souza published from 2001 to 2005, the fanzine called Mjiba and since 2004 put on the event “Mjiba em Ação (Mjiba in Action)”, when black woman are paid homage near the date of July 25.
This year the project has the support of the VAI program – Valorização de Iniciativas Culturais (Appreciation of Cultural Initiatives).