Note from BW of Brazil: Women telling their stories, revealing experiences and revealing with their words what it means to be a black woman in a country like Brazil. In fact, this is one of the objectives that led to the creation of this blog. Considering the comments we receive on this blog and social network pages, the information presented on this blog shatters many long held beliefs about the influence of race in the lives of black Brazilians, particularly black Brazilian women. The exhibit is another in long number of projects from across the country discussing the idea of black identity and experiences of how blackness is experienced in Brazil (and for good reason – see here and here), a number of which have been featured on this blog (see here, here or here, for a few examples). We wish success for this important exhibit and look forward to hosting a few of these personal revelations here at BW of Brazil!
Exhibition in Rio de Janeiro reflects on empowerment of the black woman
‘Black Soul’, by Nina Franco, is a showcase of art, politics and poetics on issues of ethnic identity and gender. Photos and confessional texts are on display until July 26 at SESC Ramos
by Xandra Stefanel
Letters respond to the question: ‘How do you feel being a black woman in a patriarchal and racist country?’
“Double working hours, low pay, machismo, sexism, sexual, physical and moral abuse, violation of fundamental rights, death etc. These are the fruits that the patriarchal society offers women. In addition to feed ourselves from these fruits, we, black women, are obliged to complement our menu with a bit of racism.” This is a snippet from one of the letters that make up the exhibition Soul Black, by the artist Nina Franco, a carioca (Rio native) currently living in Greece.
The exhibition, on display until July 26 at SESC Ramos in Rio de Janeiro, invites visitors to a deep reflection on ethnic/racial and gender identity from pictures and testimonials of black women. Nina mixes individual experiences of these women to reflect on important social issues: sexism and racism.
No wonder that the models were photographed from the back: to contemplate the pictures and women, it is not necessary to see their faces to identify one’s self with them. The exhibition aims to make one think about the invisibility of black women in Brazilian society. Because of this it’s a work of art, politics and aesthetics.
“In this series, I analyze the representation of the female body in photography and the letters, which are based on the question: ‘Como você se sente sendo uma mulher negra em um país patriarcal e racista?’ (How do you feel being a black woman in a patriarchal and racist country?). Paragraphs of those letters appear to be monologues, so I decided not to show the faces. Although each person has their own experience, the story of black women is the story of all,” says Nina on her website.