Note from BW of Brazil: All I can say is, it’s about time! Weall know that comedy provides a clever way to teach us things about society in a way that makes us laugh while simultaneously getting a message across in a way that doesn’t come across as being too preachy. The best stand up comics I’ve ever seen are the ones who are able to analyze society, offer sharp critiques in a comical manner that makes you enarly come to tears laughing so hard because the comedian hit on a point that you know to be true, never said it publicly or never thought about it in such a way.
I’ve always wondered, as there are so many issues that are worthy of analysis that go down in Brazil on a regular basis, where are the comedians that make us laugh while we think about such issues? Now, of course Brazil’s media has a number of television programs parody a variety of Brazilian social norms, scandals and personalities, but there was still something missing. As far as I’ve seen, the genre of stand up comedy is a relatively new form of entertainment in Brazil, and even with its rising popularity, I had to wonder…where are the black stand up comedians? As in so many areas of society in which black Brazilians have been excluded, as recently as 3-4 years ago I remember thinking, with so many racial issues being discussed in the black community, both in live events and on social media, black stand up comedians could really push the envelope on these topics and blow up the genre at the same time.
Well, black stand up comedians ARE HERE!! In a previous post, I brought to my readers the comedy group known as Coisa de Preta, meaning Black Thing, a collective of mostly black male but also black female comedians who were slowly making stand up comedy in Brazil exactly that: a black thing! Bruna Braga is one of the sistas in the collective that is bringing a uniquely feminine perspective of what it is to be black in Brazil. I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing her live as of yet, but considering the few videos I’ve seen of her in action, when she gets a little more experience under her belt, I can imagine her becoming a queen of comedy!
Bruna Braga creates new formats of humor and speaks about the black woman in an intelligent way in Stand Up
By Laísa Gabriela de Sousa
Bruna Braga, at 25, is one of the rising names in Brazilian comedy and is part of the Coisas de Preto (black thing), the first group of Black Stand Up Comedy of the country, along with Micheli Machado, Tia Má, Nelly Coelho, Yas Fiorelo, Hélio de la Peña, Thiago Phernandez, Yuri Marçal, Gui Preto and Edson Duavy.
In an intelligent way, she talks about her experiences, psychological disorders, eating disorder, relationships frustrated by the consequences of the disorders, childhood games, her relationship with her own image, empowerment and “legacies”, about the relationship with her mother, among other subjects.
“I talk about my experiences and my points of view about things. […] about my traumas and prejudices (like with men wearing a dress shirt on a date, lol), about sexism, about how often people get caught reproducing speeches and attitudes that we wouldn’t like. I try to deconstruct the image of “sensible fairy” to show that I am real, because I really am! I think the world is already full of people pretending to be what they are not, and that is a disservice. I think it’s funnier whoever dresses up as themselves and screams at the world. We only evolve when we accept ourselves. And it’s worked out that way a lot.”
On October 2018, Bruna, Hélio de la Peña, Thiago Phernandez, Yuri Marçal, Gui Preto and Edson Duavy, were on Fábio Porchat’s talk show. They talked about representation in art and about how they began to perceive racism in society.
“I am my own cause, much more than just saying, I am all the flags that I carry. Who would say that I could walk through the front door of the TV one day? Sometimes I don’t even believe it! It seems small and silly to many people, but for me and mine it’s not. And I see the shine in the eyes of those who see me as a crack in this unjust door that is the inequality that limits the dreams of so many people.”
The comedian says that she learned to deal with everything she went through laughing at herself, using it as her own narrative, since she was previously made inferior by others. “I want other women not to feel alone about their confusions, their taboos, their prejudices, their daily lives. I expose the best and the worst of me to bring it all out, that I’m not and don’t want to be a heroine, perfect and that no one is. I always wanted to make you laugh, but today I feel a greater responsibility than that, but to do it being real, from the heart. And that’s what moves me.”
In Brazil, we still have little space of representation in humor and, mainly, of pessoas pretas (black people). Like Tia Má, Yuri Marçal, João Pimenta and many other talents who are winning over the country by empoderando pessoas pretas (empowering black people), Bruna is part of a generation that is revolutionizing humor and leaving aside jokes that are futile and derogatory, dealing with racial and social issues that are necessary for discussion and with the objective of bringing reflection to the public.
“Where I’ve been, I feel something that goes beyond Comedy going on, you know? Seeing meninas negras (black girls) identifying with my image, discovering and loving themselves for being black. From people who learned to laugh at themselves and see themselves with more love through laughter, to people who decided to run after a goal that seemed distant because they saw me there, occupying a space that my whole life they said was not for me. I am a woman, black (although with passabilities for not being retinta – dark skinned), raised in the periphery, that already collected cans to make a change. I don’t say that to cause pity, they’re facts.”
Bruna has been doing comedy for almost two years. “I was lucky and as a result of the effort to achieve incredible things, but I am still a baby in all this. There is still time to give up and go into a pyramid scheme (laughs). Seriously, I found out that this is what I REALLY wanted from the first time I stepped onto a stage.”
Passionate about the work of Anjelah Johnson and Wanda Sykes, Bruna has them as references. “They are powerful figures on stage, ironic and at the same time very light, regardless of the weight of the subject. And in Brazil, my biggest reference is Paulo Vieira. He’s an actor, humorist, sings, writes and has a coherence between what he does and says that made me want to hang with him in the playground of life.”
Like many black women, she grew up with self-hate and spent years denying her own image. She hated her own hair, her features and her body.
“I used the fact that I wasn’t retinta (dark) and had a lighter skin to try to lighten myself even more. I was confused about myself, I lacked close, real references. Having understood myself and learned to love myself, with everything that I cam composed of (including all the embarrassments and failures I’ve ever had, laughs) makes me want to show it to other mulheres pretas (black women). We are in a healing process and we are not alone. There will be one and more and more, many of us in all spaces. And we can blame ourselves less and laugh more, ALWAYS,” she emphasizes.
At the beginning of the second semester, she debuts with a new show next season of Stand Up Comedy Central on Comedy Central, in addition, there is the premiere of Comediantes Resolvem os Problemas do Mundo (Comedians Solve the Problems of the World), scheduled for July, also on Comedy Central, where comedians solve problems with absurd and funny solutions.
Source: Mundo Negro