In cultural event focused on Yoruba contemporary art in Mato Grosso do Sul, only one of the runway models is black


Note from BW of Brazil: I’m just curious. For someone who believes that Brazil has no issues with race, please explain shit like this right here, yet another practice in Brazil’s bag of tricks. For decades, the country and its people has denigrated Africans and their cultural practices, particularly African-derived religions such as the Candomblé, which is directly influenced by the Yoruba in Nigeria.

Followers and places of worship of Candomblé and another religion that has certain African elements, Umbanda, have always been negatively stereotyped by Brazilians, and for decades, particularly in recent years, have been targeted for a number of vicious attacks. Last year, the country’s second most popular television network, Record, lost a lawsuit due  to its demonization of Afro-Brazilian religions in its programming

But besides direct attacks, another facet of the racist manner in which facets of Africa and blackness are dealt with is the practice of whitening. It’s as if they’re saying, “Well, if we can’t get rid of this altogether, let’s at least whiten its images.” We’ve seen this in the whitening of the image of the orixá, Iemanjá. We’ve seen it in events dedicated to Africa but featuring mostly white bodies. We saw it in a play in which a prominent, black historical figure, associated with Samba and Candomblé, Tia Ciata, was portrayed by a white actress

In this context, all I can say in terms of this latest event is that it’s business as usual. Or better, Brazil as usual: making black people mostly invisible even in events in which one would expect to see them. 


Yoruba contemporary art event features only one black model

By Maysa Lima

The Cultural Foundation of Mato Grosso do Sul announced that from May 03 to 25 the contemporary art event entitled Yoruba, at the Centro Cultural José Octavio Guizzo (José Octavio Guizzo Cultural Center) will be held On site will be exhibitions, live painting, fashion show, thrift shop, film projection, costume party, foodtrucks and DJing, a space totally aimed at publicizing cultura Afro-brasileira (Afro-Brazilian culture).

Despite being a movement that has as main objective to promote black culture, in making the disclosure, the event used five models, but only one of them was black. The fact denotes a loss of identity and representation, and even an attempt of embranquecimento (whitening) the event’s own proposal.

According to the Fundação de Cultura de Mato Grosso do Sul (Mato Grosso do Sul Cultural Foundation), the idea was born in 2017, having Africa as the theme, and seeking to adapt myths, legends and influences of Brazilian culture through conceptual clothes made in a traditional and artistic way: ‘The African-born religions carry a tradition full of good stories and cultural richness. However, these manifestations do not always receive their due value,” says Fábio Maurício, creator of the event.

In African culture, the orixás are the representation of God in nature. Each carries a myriad of cultural strengths that were introduced in Brazil through the entry of slaves from various parts of Africa. “Since its beginnings, Brazilian culture has been strongly influenced by African culture, which places Brazil at the level of one of the richest cultures in the contemporary world.”

A Mitologia dos Orixás (The Mythology of the Orixás) by Reginaldo Prandi

Fashion designer Fábio Maurício was inspired by the book A Mitologia dos Orixás (The Mythology of the Orixás) by Professor and PhD in Sociology, Reginaldo Prandi. The work portrays the great meeting that took place in the palace of the great God, to which the orixás came richly dressed, for they would receive the riches of the world.

It was following the accounts of Prandi’s book that Fábio Mauricio developed a conceptual fashion collection and that the artist Ghva used as a starting point for screens that will be painted during the entire month of May, in the Cultural Center.



May 3, at 7 pm: Exposição Orum, by artist Ghva; Olorum fashion show, by Fábio Maurício, DJing with DJ Mario Francis.

May 11, at 4pm: Winter Bazaar; Cine Café with the screening of the film “França: Chaos e Cration”; Discotheque with invited DJs.

May 16, at 4pm: Editorial of fashion photographed at the Cultural Center.

May 18, at 4pm: Winter Bazaar; Cine Café with movie screening of the film Blow up.

May 25, at 7:00 pm: Closing with Cine Fantasy (costume party of Cine Café with prize of the best costume); DJing with DJ Bibiana Vargas.

Source:  Notícia Preta

About Marques Travae 3333 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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