Note from BW of Brazil: Once again the date of July 25th, the International Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean Women’s Day has arrived, and this year’s Latinidades Festival comes at a time when black Brazilian women are making unprecedented strides in their demands for representation and a new image in Brazilian society. But even with such progress in recent years, this year’s festival comes at a time when many black women feel that the struggle is even more pressing today with the election of a far-right extremist for President and policies that seem to have the objective of putting a halt to the social progress of black Brazilians in the past decade and a half.
The event that has been held in the nation’s capital since its inception is being held in the city of São Paulo for the first time, and will once again shine the spotlight on black women intellectuals, entrepreneurs, performers, activists, politicians, producers, researchers, writers, etc. The annual event is the largest festival focusing on black women in Latin America and promotes cultural exchanges and dialogue between this parcel of the population in Brazil and other countries, represented by various women participating in the activities. Through its conversation circles, performances, expos and workshops, Latinidades serves as a platform that brings together the inspiring works of black women in their varying fields of expertise.
In SP, Festival Latinidades vindicates knowledge of black women
For the first time outside of Brasília, event reaches its 12th edition
Courtesy of Agência Brasil with additional information from Brasil de Fato
The 12th edition of Latinidades – Afro Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Festival starts this Tuesday (23), at the São Paulo Cultural Center. For the first time the event is taking place outside of the capital city of Brasília. The program – between shows, fairs and debates – aims to strengthen the identity, political and technical formation, entrepreneurship and stimulate the artistic, cultural and intellectual production of black women. The festival takes place until the 27th, the week in which the Latin American and Caribbean Black Women’s Day has been celebrated on July 25th since 1992.
Created in 2008, Latinidades has consolidated itself as a platform that encourages and gives visibility to the production of these women in the most diverse areas, generating jobs and income. According to the festival’s organization, in twelve years the project has reached over 300,000 people as a direct audience, held over 200 training sessions and over 200 artistic performances. Several black entrepreneurs of Afrolab, a Feira Preta project, will also participate in the festival.
The event’s general coordinator, Jaqueline Fernandes, points out that after more than a decade of the festival, it has established itself as “a platform for the production of scientific, artistic, intellectual and diverse knowledge of black women”. She recalls that when the festival emerged, the July 25th date was not visible in the country and there was an artistic production of black women with no means of circulation. “We wanted to create this space.”
This year’s edition features the theme Reintegration of Ownership. “This theme was born in conversations with Erica Malunguinho, who is this great black artist and intellectual, who is now a member of congress [in São Paulo]. The reflection we bring is that we black women are producers of knowledge, of wealth. At the same time, we are the most impacted by racism and the enjoyment of this wealth is denied,” said Jaqueline. The theme reflects on the contribution of the black population in the sciences, technology, the arts, politics and different fields of knowledge.
In 2019, the festival will bring together representatives from Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, Angola, Cameroon, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Argentina, the United States, and Brazil. The event will be opened by the bloco afro Ilú Obá De Min, which is made up of women only. They make a cultural intervention based on the preservation of intangible heritage. “The bloco bases its repertoire on songs and dances of popular cultures, as well as its own compositions, performing a street opera commanded by the force of the drums,” says the group’s introductory text.
The bloco’s theme is the concept of repossession, inspired by the historian and activist Beatriz Nascimento, and Malunguinho, who is also creator of the urban quilombo Aparelha Luzia.
“Bringing together the trajectory of Erica Malunguinho and Beatriz Nascimento, we come to this theme, which is really about all the wealth, all the knowledge that the black population, and especially black women, constructed throughout humanity, but we could not enjoy because racism denied us that,” says Jaqueline Fernandes, the festival’s general coordinator.
“It’s about reintegrating all intellectual property, all copyright, all the wealth we can produce and reclaim a space for building a plural society, far from racism, machismo and LGBTphobia, from our world proposals, which are many because we are diverse. The festival being multilingual seeks to reflect a little of that,” adds the activist.
Invited participants at the debate tables include intellectuals, researchers, activists, writers, and cultural producers. The debates will bring themes such as ancestry, black religiosity, literature, fashion, economics, coloniality, black activism, among others. All activities need to be pre-registered on the site https://www.afrolatinas.com.br/
The closing festa, on the 27th, takes place at Casa Natura Musical with parades and shows by A.M Strings (USA) and participation of Laylah Arruda (Feminine Hifi), ZAV (Mozambique) and, from Brazil, Bia Ferreira and Doralyce, with the release of the Preta Leveza show. Only the closing event has a cover charge and the ticket can be purchased on the venue’s site.