Note from BW of Brazil: Black representation in the media is one of the main issues we tackle here at BW of Brazil and the internet is an area that has opened up a variety of new possibilities to Afro-Brazilians who continue to be for the most part excluded from Brazil’s ultra-Eurocentric mainstream media. The 2015 edition of the Festival Latinidades addressed this issue and featured a number of activists who taking advantage of this technology to carve out their own niche and space in the alternative sphere of media.
Festival Latinidades addresses the web as a place of dialogue and resistance
Artists, researchers and filmmakers discuss the topic at the event
By Adriana Izel
The growth of the Internet has enabled the society to conquer a new space where everyone can express themselves and disseminate information. This freedom has meant that movements related to different causes, including the black, could knock down some barriers imposed by prejudice and ensure visibility in its discourse.
“In the old platforms it was unacceptable that the black community would have visibility. The internet came to break this and not only for the Movimento Negro (black movement), but for all others. It has a fundamental value of revelation. When you create a blog, you position yourself,” said Don Filó, producer, videographer and creator of Cultne, the largest digital collection of black culture in the country.
Don Filó today will be at the side of the actress, producer and screenwriter Kênia Maria, the artist and filmmaker Everlane Moares and musician and founder of Casa de Cultura Tainã, Mestre TC in the debate table ‘A internet como território negro: afroimaginários, diálogos e resistência’ (The internet as black territory: afro-imaginaries, dialogues and resistance), scheduled for 10 am at Cine Brasília (106/107 South). The discussion is part of the program of Festival Latinidades – Festival of Afro-Latin American and Caribbean Women – which began yesterday and will continue until July 26 in the capital. (check out the full schedule in the sidebar).
The quartet will discuss at the table the power of the internet as both a positive territory for the black movement as well as a space of dissemination of racist thoughts. “We have the internet today as a so-called ‘black antenna’. From this antenna, we are able to talk about ourselves and show our look. I want to present in the lecture all this development that I do in Cultne, with documentaries and an archive of content that involves the issue of culture, of education to police violence,” he adds.
Kênia Maria is creator of the YouTube channel Tá bom pra você? (Is it good for you?), in which she operates with her husband, actor Érico Brás (of Tapas & Beijos novela fame). In the project, the couple questions the lack of blacks in the audiovisual industry and especially in advertising. One of the most famous videos criticizes the lack of black families in margarine commercials. “I intend to focus my discourse on the thought of the absence of representation. It’s as if black people don’t eat margarine, don’t brush their teeth, black women don’t use absorbent … I see the work of the channel as a political act,” he explains.
On the internet, the carioca (Rio native) sees the platform as a territory that has a very important role, despite having not yet reached the ideal space. “For lack of organization and mobilization, we lose many things. The internet comes to remove the curtain from the eye, but I think it still has not achieved all that it could,” he laments.