Corpo em Casa; instaLAR-se: silêncios, marcas e tensões

Experimental theater aims to trouble the relationship between audience and performer. Through breaking the fourth wall, the audience no longer passively observes the spectacle but becomes apart of the scene. Last night, at Casarão Barababá in Santo Antonio, hairy vaginas slowly made their way across a quaint living room. They rolled over spectators and trembled on hardwood floors. Bare breasts laid squished on a tiled kitchen floor as arms grasped at audience members who tried to stifle nervous laughter. 13938184_1771955066414373_393073765558646240_o

Playing on the functions of women’s bodies in the home. Four naked women literally inverted themselves and walked around a home, vagina first. I tried not to stare at the diverse looking labia that greeted me, chased me and silently hovered around the space.

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In the hallway, two women tried to get through the mundane ritual of getting ready for the day, despite a violent tick that continually disrupted the ritual. Simple things like putting on lipstick and mascara turned into something else resulting in black and red stained faces. It was hard to watch and I let the show feeling achey in my bones as if I was the one with the uncontrollable movement in my body.

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The first room featured a thin young man, caught in a web of red string that bundled thickly at his crotch. He is preoccupied with organizing the sting and each pull creates another web that entangles his limbs. All the pieces of string are connected from the thick bundle tied around his crotch.  Of the three pieces, this one didn’t take much for me to interpret.

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There was a ominous buzzing and cracking sound in the house that would play for minutes at a time. The audience was told to walk around and explore everything, as experimental theater is big on interaction.  It lasted for about an hour and you left the space wondering what just happened.

I’ve seen and been a part of quite a few experimental theater pieces and I’m a fan of simultaneous pieces being performed where audience members can come and go as they please. This was a good solid show. Although this genre of theater tends to rebuke narrative, the use of mundane rituals like putting on clothes and the theme of nudity really made me feel like I was in actual home and being privy to some really personal random weird shit. It was also really interesting to see four different women be naked and walk around on the hands, extending their vaginas into the air. Made me think of how society relegated women to just their vagina, but what would actually happen if we took ownership of those organs and led our walks through life from our vagina?

Corpo em Casa runs every thursday night until November. Next months installation is entitled “Há violência no Silêncio?”. You can read more about the group here. 

Women, Art and Activism

This past Tuesday, Coletiva Muitas, hosted a discussion about feminism, art and activism.  Performance artists Laís Machado and Mônica Santana, photographer and poet Helemozão and visual artist Marie Tharont came together and provided the back stories of their success as female bodied artists in Salvador, Brasil.
IMG_3772  I’ve only been back in Brazil for 2 weeks so the language is a barrier but my general understanding of the discussion was despite the difference in medium these women worked in they all had to battle patriarchy to bring their visions to life. For all the women except Marie Tharont who is French, racism is/was a glaring obstacle as well.

IMG_3779 IMG_3778 IMG_3777Every woman’s story was invaluable and unique. Topics ranged from the lack of finances to societies reaction to the female voice and how we as women have to continue to fight to be heard in the creative industries. I’m looking forward to more discussions from Coletivas Muitas.

How to go to the Olympics without actually going to the Olympics

Step 1. Buy tickets to Rio for the closing weekend. Find a nice spot to stay at, preferably Santa Theresa or something close to the center.

Step 2. Buy tickets to a game. Depending on the event, prices can be as low as 20 USD.

Step 3. Get into town on Thursday night and go partying all night with your amazing host. Samba in the rain and drink way too much beer, but make sure you also eat an entire plate of carne de sol at midnight to curb the urge to vomit.

Step 4. Wake up early the next day, because your internal clock is still off from traveling four days straight prior to getting to Rio. Spend the morning getting ready but still manage to leave the house at 12:45, never mind the fact that your games is about 2 hours away and started at 12.

Steps 5-10. Spend most of the days learning the exquisite transportation system of Rio because you are jet lagged, hungover and lost.

My plan when returning to Rio for the Olympics was grand. I would get commissioned to write about the infrastructure of the city, which many people thought would crumble under the sheer amount of people in town for the games. I would take pictures of bridges close to collapsing on tourists and general report on what so many though would be general fuckery. But like most things, that plan didn’t pan out. Instead I found myself sleeping peacefully on the train as I attempted to get into the Olympic park.

Rio is a huge fucking place. Like- this city has a population of over 6 million people already. So dumping a few million more would inconvenience and disrupt everything right? Not exactly. While traffic was insane, this is a city that hosts the month long celebration of Carnaval. If any place is capable of hosting the Olympics it’s certainly Rio.

The metro was clean and heavily air conditioned in preparation for the crowds of people in transit.  IMG_5185

views from the 4th line train

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the views to my right

I was surrounded by Latino bros, and fighting sleep when we started to approached Barra, one of the many Olympics parks.

 

 

Not sure if you can see it out of the window, but it was pretty. Kinda of like a Disney land of sports. However, you could only get into an Olympic Park if you had tickets to a game. And my game was at Deodoro. Which was about a hour away from Barra. Upon learning this I sat on the curb and garnered the energy to take another journey.

By this time, I had came too far to not get into a park. I was not about to waste my 20 dollars. So I got up and descended back into the train station

I will say, the majority of the people I saw going to the games were white. Nationalities varied, but most people I saw who were dark were working. From the athletes to the train workers, the Olympics is an event reliant on black labor, but than again, what isn’t?  There was also the HEAVY military police presence, which more than the threat of getting robbed, hindered me from taking photos with my professional camera.

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A part of me felt conflicted for supporting an institution that paid the janitors less than two dollars an hour. But it was hard to hold that anger when all the people who worked for the Olympics transit were working class Brazilians and so. fucking. nice.

 

Except this one person who sat on the phone and ignored me until a white guy came up and asked for help, then she got off the phone…bitch. IMG_5181

Aside from that, it was like Disney in the sense that almost everyone who wore Olympic paraphernalia was on duty and eager to assist. They also all wore these shoes. IMG_5194 (1)

On my ride to what I thought was Deodoro I fell asleep next to the most pleasant woman who worked as a nurse for the Games and was on her way to see her first game after her shift ended.

 

 

Our ride was very smooth. More than anything I was really impressed with the trains. They were plentiful, clean and always running with many attendants in bright green vests waiting to assist. Unfortunately, all of that help didn’t save me from getting to my stop too late to enter the park from the station. I finally got to Deodoro, (by accident, I was actually trying to go home) and the entrance from the train closed. I would have had to take the train to the next stop, get off and take a bus through another neighborhood to get to the entrance. All of this was told to me by new friend Arturo. IMG_5195

But sadly Arturo’s clear directions couldn’t save me from the wave of sleep that hit me once I got on the train. I woke up at the last stop and easily found my way back to Santa Theresa. So in short, my coverage of the Rio Olympics are limited to the intricate and impressive transportation services they had. This isn’t to say that the Olympics didn’t displace people, and discriminate against the poor. All of that certainly happened.  It may even be the sign of successful Olympics. However, many people wondered if Brazil, a brown country, (despite it’s own delusions) a developing country, could pull off such a big event. And they did. Brazil proved that they’re are able to be a complicated country and present a shiny veneer for rich tourists just like Atlanta or London or any other “developed” country.

Also, Uber is here now. So, it’s lit.

 

 

 

 

 

Voltar

Returns are always so dramatic. Perhaps it’s because they seem spontaneous. If you’re anything like me, you feel torn in between where you are now, where you were yesterday and where you dream of going tomorrow. This makes returns all the more…fun. I bought a one way ticket to Brazil in May. I found a ticket to Salvador, Bahia, Brazil for 268 dollars after receiving news that the media production gig I was freelancing with would not turn into a “real job”. I was teary eyed and angry as I searched Student Universe for the flight that would take me back to where I was a few months ago. It would take me back to being a somewhat consistent blogger in a constant battle with myself and whatever it means to be an entrepreneur, thousands of miles from where I was. I bought a ticket to a land that wasn’t so foreign to me anymore, out of anger. Out of longing. Out of hopelessness. It was eerily similar to when I bought my ticket home from Brazil, the first time. I had just gotten fired from my job and was sad, lonely, and scared. So I went home to Baltimore because I thought I was missing something. Something other than family and friends. There was a lifestyle that I thought would suit me better and I attempted it. I came home and had a few internships and worked odd job and raised my credit score and did awesome things and took advantage of awesome opportunities. And when a major one fell through I did what felt right to me. I left. Maybe that makes me a quitter, maybe that makes me a runner, maybe that makes me lucky. Either way, I’m back in Brazil. Pursing the dream, again. Being a tad reckless, again. Writing and creating work in the hopes that you’ll be inspired, again. Asking you to support me, again. Betting on myself, again.  Doing it all, again. Join me.