Set Claiming in Ecuador

Apparently, I’m trans ethnic. Because I feel Brazilian, and people assume I’m not American when I’m abroad, I leaned in like Rachel Dozeal and claimed Afro Brazilian ancestry in Ecuador. LOL. What actually happened is that, my Spanish (the second language I learned) has been transformed in Portuguese ( the third language I speak). So when I went back to Ecuador and visited my friends in Esmereldas, everyone was like “You’re so Brazilian now!” Luckily, the languages are similar, and honestly, I’ve always spoke a mixture of the two.  I spent about a month in Ecuador, filming with a person I deeply admire, Bani Amor a dope ass travel writer and good friend. Puto2

As well as catching up with play cousins on the coast. Now, I’m thinking of returning an making a documentary about the black Ecuadorian experience. As I only spent a weekend there, I just wasn’t prepared to add an episode specifically about ESM to this season’s GLOWINGPAIN travel series. But there is always next year. But I did manage to take some cool portraits of friends. It’s been three whole years since I first visited ESM and somethings changed, and others didn’t.

My Ecuadorian mom Betty Veliz, is still just as beautiful as ever. btq

The amazing Henna Brown told me the story behind her burns, and it fuels my desire to learn more about environmental justice.Hb1 The kids have all grown up, everyone is tall and acne ridden, it’s surreal.

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If I’m Brazilian, I’m Ecuadorian too, because ESM always feels like visiting family, and I’ll be sure to be back sooner than 3 years. There’s so much to do!

Marcha de las Putas

Yesterday in Quito, Ecuador I celebrated Marcha de las Putas aka Ecuadorian SlutWalk. It was amazing and I got to wear makeup! This is the first time in a month that I’ve gotten to indulge my femme side. I’ve been in the Amazon, filming for my travel series and drinking Ayahuasca (more about that later). Anyway, it was nice to be around men and women celebrating their aesthetics and sex. The chant of the march was “more sex, less violence”; a phrase I can really get behind. If only women and female identifying people were allowed to be beautiful and feel safe. Can you imagine how much happier WE ALL would be?

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Like most marches of today, the signs and the outfits really steal the show. Here are a few of my favorite looks from Marcha de las Putas.

I didn’t ask what the inspiration was behind this, but the male side of her is carrying a baby and the female side of her has a briefcase. So I’m going to assume this look is about gender equality in action?

The signs speak for themselves.

It was also a family affair! It was great to see whole families out and about amongst the queer people and sex workers. Made it feel like a march for the benefit of humanity…maybe because it is.

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The girls were out honey. I always forget how amazing it is to see drag queens and trans women existing in safe spaces. They always inspire me to indulge in my softer pretty side. I was so happy at the end of this march (although it got rained out) that I went home and had a party by myself. I played Destinys Child and took too many pictures of my glittery face. You can see it on my IG story @_NIAnderthal

 

until next time!

 

 

Salvador Meu Amor

If you’re reading this, I’m probably in transit to Ecuador.

Yup, I’m leaving Salvador. Not for forever, maybe not even for long but certainly for now.

I accomplished a few things that I really wanted to while here, like the first episode for my series about the black community throughout Southern America.

 

Glowinpain.com Travel Series Trailer Episode 1 from nia hampton on Vimeo.

Episode 1 is all about the day of Yemanja in Salvador with my favorite photographer and friend Hele Mozao. I hope you take a look, love it and share it with your friends.

Secondly, I finished my ebook of poetry, entitled “What to do with all this Freedom?”. Click the link to get your copy.

Lastly, I’m starting a monthly newsletter, where I’ll be a little more personal and share adventures as this site will soon be holding only my travel series videos. Comment if you want me to add your email address.

Thank you so much for reading this blog and sticking with me for 3 years! Big changes are ahead, and I’m nervous (as always) but I’ll feel the fear and do it anyway.

 

Glowingpain.com is 3 Years Old!

“There are black people everywhere. No place you can go in the world that ain’t got no black people, we was the first on this planet.” –Juan, “Moonlight” (2016)

Yesterday completed three years of  this blog, GlowingPain.com. It’s been one of my proudest achievements to date. It’s really helped me take myself more seriously as a journalist, producer and traveler. Originally I planned to monetize this blog and devote myself to publishing here at least once a week. But due to the amount of outside opportunities I’ve been given to be paid to write, I’ve fell off significantly. But I don’t feel bad about it. I feel it’s a natural part of the evolution of a blog. A lot has changed for me since 2015. I’ve left and came back to Brazil and will be moving to Ecuador on the 20th of this month. I’m working on transitioning into video content and producing a 6 episode docu-series about black culture in South America. And since I will no longer be living in Salvador, the focus of the blog will broaden. Hence, the logo change.  Of course, I’ll always come back to Salvador when I can, because this is really a second home for me. And I still feel it’s a black mecca, especially for other black folks who were bought to the New World as slaves. But for now, excuse the dust or what seems to be a lack of activity on the site. I’m just transitioning is all. Thank you for the support so far, and stay tuned.

Goodbye Obama…

In honor of the end of an era, I compiled a playlist to help mourn the end of having a black president. I wrote about my complex emotions in depth, at AllthePrettyBirds.com. I’m still dealing with my own shame around being sad at the loss of the Obama’s in the White House. I’m not supposed to be emotionally attached to the government. I’m supposed to know better. But fuck it, I’m sad. He was a good president. I had free healthcare. Even more people will get deported and the World will suffer greatly under El Cheeto. And so goes on the legacy of the United States of America.

So I’m pouring some liquor out for the Obamas, and drinking a bit myself.

The Best thing in Sao Paulo; Liberdade

I spent a week in Sao Paulo, the biggest city in South America, the financial capital of Latin America. It was okay. I’m realized being from the NorthEast of the States makes “big” cities kinda boring to me. It was cold and gray. A lot of the people were stand offish and wore all black. A lot of hipsters and hamburgers and food trucks. The best parts were hanging out with my friend Rico Dalasam and going to Liberdade.

Liberdade

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Home to the second largest group of Japanese descended people and the best sushi in Brazil, Liberdade is an especially unique treat for lovers of migration stories and culture.  Liberdade was once the burial sight for unruly slaves, but after slavery ended and Brazil needed workers to farm the land and influx of Japanese people came to make the neighborhood their own. Every Sunday there’s a massive event celebrating the culture. I got to see a young boy sing Micheal Jackson’s “Ben”. It was awesome.

The Food

I had a cold bowl of soup with vegetables and meat. It had ice cubes in it. It was good but I really had no idea what I was eating cause the menu was in Portuguese and Korean. I regret not getting Korean BBQ.  *sigh* There was also a long ass line to eat dumplings. I stepped out of line to see about a city tour and missed my chance to taste the dumpling. But it seemed really good. If/when I return to Sao Paulo, I’m really just gonna spend most of my time in Liberdade. Cause the other parts of Sao Paulo were kinda wack to me. It was like a fake ass New York stuck in 2008.

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Natural Hair will Save us All.

This past Sunday was the II Marcha do Empoderamento Crespo Salvador.  “Marcha do Empoderamento Crespo na luta pelo fim do exterminio de juventude negra” This march is against the extermination of the lives of young black women. Currently, femicide is rising in Brazil. Black women in the states going missing and are never found at an alarming rate. The beauty and necessity of the march is overwhelming in a lot of ways. Visually stunning because Salvador is a black country with beautiful natural light. So everything is lit to the gawds. ap3

example 1. I took this during the sunset, very little editing.

The sentiment of the march, empowering black women through aesthetic is simple yet controversial. Some people wonder how hair can empower? Even Black men have criticized the movement, writing it off as solely aesthetic, silly and non important. Black “conscience” men with dreadlocked hair have called it non important. What makes it non important to black liberation? Because it’s feminine? Since when is an aesthetic non important. Didn’t the Napoleon shoot the nose off the sphinx to manipulate the image and history of the Egyptian people? How and why did white people become the beauty standard for the entire world? If aesthetic weren’t important why would they work so hard to manipulate how we see ourselves?

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“secure women scare them”  a message and a meditation.

That’s why the II Marcha do Empoderamento Crespo de Salvador is so timely. There is power in controlling your aesthetic and your narrative. It’s empowering to walk and dance and march through the city with signs declaring your love of self as a black woman. We already know if we don’t, no one else will.

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And most importantly, we do it for our girl children. Who live in a world bent on destroying them. We make sure they know how beautiful and worthy they are.

We do it for our boys as well. Because they suffer from a lack of self love as well and our daughters have to deal with the insidious ways that will manifest.

This march was one of the best I’ve been to in Salvador, and there are a lot of marches. There was music, dancing and so many pictures. People showed up to be seen and accounted for, and I’m so here for it. Brazil and the States share a similar hatred of women and black people, so a march designed to celebrate and empower the exsistence of black women is quite literally one of the most audacious and revolutionary acts one could participate in. Especially as the world enters into a regime of racist right wing leadership. Porte Alegre, a state in Brazil, is even voting on overturning it’s Black Conscience day.  But if we as a people can continue to come together and march in celebration of the natural black women, we gon be alright.

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