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!

 

 

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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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. 

Festival Latinidades Recap Day 4

Saturday was my last day at the Latinidades Festival and the most exciting. Featuring a play area for kids and a fair vending clothing and beauty products especially for black women, the festival felt like a family affair. There was a fashion show and a children’s space showing the cutest Afro Brazilian children’s show.

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I got to interview Karol Conka, my favorite care free black girl rapper. Her song “Voce Nao Vai” was a big part of the reason I decided to start a blog during my time in Brasil. It’s basically like the prelude to “BBHMM”. ANYWAY…she came through the festival and spoke to everyone and was just a Brazilian ray of sunshine. I adored watching the older women fawn over here. Karol is different because she’s genuine in who she is, she’s cute, bubbly adorable and smart. And a great way to start the long process of learning Portuguese.

I finally got to see “Pelo Malo” the film directed by Mariana Rondon, about a young boy who wants to be a singer but believes he needs to straighten his hair to do so. His mother is recently widowed and dealing with the evolving homosexuality she see’s in her son. The film is hypnotizing as it deals with many different social problems through the life of a 8 year old.

After the film I was able to hang out with the ladies of Tela Preta, a film collective from Bahia. We got ready to see Karol Conka headlining at the Parque Cidade. Her show was an epic way to celebrate everything that Latinidades accomplished with this years’ festival. When she bought a group of young black women on stage to dance with her for her song “Gandaia” I cried. It made me so proud to be black, to be a woman, to be happy in my skin, to be a lover of girl culture and what that means. It was a great time. kc6

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Festival Latinidades Recap Day 3

all pictures in the post were taken by Latinidades staff.

Today was full of awesome panels and awesome shorts.

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“As Minas do Rap” directed by Juliana Vicente (the founder of Preta Porte Filmes, who was featured yesterday) spoke about the history and experience of female rappers in Brasil. Given that rap is still pretty young in Brasil, about 30 years, the film was able to got preety deep in a short time. Karol Conka, Tassia Reis and Negra Li were all featured.

“Cinzas, O Filme” directed by Larissa Fulana de Tal, a Salvador native and friend of mine also screened. It’s about the day in the life of a young black student, Toni. I won’t give it all away, as I plan to write a review of it. But it was a crowd favorite.

“Somos Krudas” directed by Mario Troncoso was a surprise favorite of mine. Perhaps it was the English subtitles, or maybe because it was about a queer music making couple from Cuba, but this timely short about the revolution within the revolution within the revolution bought tears to my eyes.

10432120_768191979956801_680096297349160789_n        At the panel discussion, “Aesthetic of the Periphery” I realized that the person with the luscious hair was in fact Rico Dalasam an up and coming queer rapper. He talked about his relationship with the “Periphery” (the favela, the hood, the ghetto, etc) and how it influences who he is. This panel was about the ways alternative images can help show the “Periphery” as more than just a space full of despair and horror.

The film “I love Kuduro” was an illuminating documentary about the Angolian music craze that’s sweeping the world. In this stylish and beautifully composited film we learn the history of Kuduro and how it’s bought a country out of war and into the future.

11224060_768262209949778_527334986708184189_n“Slam Das Pretas” a slam poetry event featuring Afro Latina lesbians from all over Brazil was definitely a crowd pleaser. I could hear the audiences reactions from inside the movie theater.

The night ended with a performance from Tassia Reis. I was introduced to her music in the film “Minas do Rap” that was shown earlier in the day, and was intrigued. She even gave me a hug when I was filming DJ Tamy. Imagine my surprise when I realized that the show that I was to tired to attend, was her show. BLOWN.

In short, yesterday was another great day at Festival Latinidades10410451_768282723281060_278853915898888240_n

Festival Latinidades Recap Day 2

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Today was a day of panel and short films. I woke up too late to see the short film I was eagerly anticipating, “Caixa D’Agua-Qui-Lombo e Esse?” by Everlane Moraes. (Who was recently accepted in the Cuban School of film and is raising money to buy here plane ticket, support her here.) But I was in time to catch an inspiring panel on the Representation of Black Women in Cinema. Juliana Vicente director, producer and founder of “Preta Porte Films” spoke about the importance of black women taking back our image through creating them ourselves. She agreed to speak on camera on what exactly she meant, when she said more black women need to become producers.