Parades, parties, holidays, and public sculptures are rituals that are used by societies to remember their history. The “Counter-Memories” project will challenge these mechanisms of memory and oblivion from the experience of two communities: Tenondé Porã of the Mbya Guarani community, a semi-urban village of more than 2,000 people living in the south end of São Paulo, and Cracolandia, a marginal downtown neighborhood known as “crack land.”
In the case of Tenondé Porã, the Terreyro Coreográfico collective aims to rescue, by means of dance, the memory related to the cultivation of Guarani maize. Meanwhile, “Craco Resists,” under the artistic direction of Raphael Escobar, consists in producing music that gives visibility to the story of the inhabitants of this neighborhood.
This action is compounded by the "Counter-Calendar", a digital project devised by Clara Ianni and Benjamin Seroussi, which seeks to commemorate milestones and events that belong to the collective memory of South America and are different from traditional holidays.
If most holidays are the product of hegemonic narratives, what are the memories and experiences that we can evoke to build different stories? What milestones are important to build other stories? What events are important to invent other presents? What kind of date deserves to be remembered or forgotten?
This initiative is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese at contracalendario.net.
participó en residencias artísticas como Red Bull Station, São Paulo (2016); “Muros: territorios compartidos, Salvador de Bahía (2013), y “Obras en construcción”, Casa das Caldeiras, São Paulo (2011).
Since 2014 we have been working in Sampã, mainly in the neighborhood of Bixiga and in the shoals of the Libertas Viaduct (formerly known as Julio de Mesquita Filho). We inhabit and cultivate public space with choreography, dance, discussions, seminars, film samples, reading groups, plantings, etc. Our first gesture in this area opens the way for the Anhangabaú da Feliz Cidade urban project, designed by Lina Bo Bardi and Edson Elito with the Teatro Oficina Uzyna Uzona company, to give back to the shoals their public, popular, cultural, and insurgent character.
“Craco Resists” is a movement created by inhabitants and visitors of the region known as Cracolandia, with the aim of resisting the stigmatization of this part of the city and the almost exclusionist treatment given by the police to a more complex issue. The association with artist Raphael Escobar, in collaboration with DJ CIA, is given by the strengthening of the role of music as a way of creating different narratives from this area, as well as a possible source of income for its participants, which include artists like Meianoite, Cauex, and Denis.
General Osorio Square
Samba organized by visitors of Cracolandia at the General Osorio square, on the street known by many as “samba street.” In this place, in the 1930s, the black population that lived in the region used to form rodas de samba (samba circles). In the 1940s, musical instrument stores took over the area, which helped to preserve the historic rodas.
“Samba na Lata,” a street party, serves as a tool of autonomy for these visitors from the region today known as Cracolandia. As a way to earn money thanks to samba, during a roda, an aluminum can will be passed around for the audience to make a spontaneous contribution, and thus remember to practice of “passing the hat.”
Passing the hat is an ancient practice that demonstrates that humans are collaboratively related to each other since time immemorial, with no impositions whatsoever; furthermore, in this practice, the audience’s right to not contribute if they so wish for whatever reason is respected. This strengthens the economy, contributes to a better distribution of income, and invests in the vital work that art has to offer: promoting growth and love. Thus, “Samba na Lata” was founded with the desire to show that Cracolandia is made up of many subjectivities and that those who compose samba can make a living from their art and their wishes.
Julio Prestes Square
On Black Awareness Day (December 15), Cracolandia will have a concert where a song written by the visitors of the region will be released and produced by DJ CIA (member of the RZO group). Moreover, various guests who performed over the last years will be participating.
Cracolandia must be understood as an urban stockade in the center of São Paulo, where those excluded in various forms get together in a community to protect one another. The vast majority of those who live and pass through these streets are black and mestizo. They will be that voice that will resonate that day to show that not even segregation and the oppression of the State can erase these subjectivities and their many stories.
The Kalipety village of the Mbya Guarani community is a semi-urban community with more than two thousand inhabitants settled in the south end of São Paulo. This village emerged from the movement where traditional lands were taken back, and it was recognized as such in 2016. The Choreographic Terreyro has been working with this community to rescue their memory through collective assemblies and the choreography of a ritual in Anhangabaú, a public park located in the center of the city.
Multiplying the seeds of Guarani maize and the traditional planting methods of the Mbya Guarani communities as an act of ‘cosmopolitic re-existence.’ These seeds have the ancient force of not letting themselves be polluted by transgenic seeds and of traditional planting techniques, which preserve and respect the life and time of the soil. Both elements have the force of awakening a ‘cosmochoreopolitical’ understanding of reality.
With this choreography/mobilization/workshop, all of us together, Guarani and Jurua (non-indigenous) people, will celebrate and cultivate Guarani maize, a symbol of vitality, health, food, but mainly of preservation of the ancestral Mbya Guarani knowledge. This is done to strengthen their re-existence and the fight for the demarcation of territories and the guarantee of the right to land.
The Kalipety community is part of the Tenondé Porã Mbya Guarani indigenous land, located in the south end of São Paulo, in the district of Parelheiros, 40 kilometers from the center of the city. Local authorities granted an extension of 26 hectares in the mid-1980s to just over 25 Guarani Mbya families. Currently there are more than 180 families living there.
The Choreographic Terreyro is a meeting point for architects, choreographers, dancers, and poets. They all work as a chorus, i.e., they give voice to the spirits of the places in line with their public being and the sacred feeling of belonging to the earth through the use of choreography, celebrations, ‘dis-seminars,’ courses, and urban and architectural projects.
This action starts in the Anhangabaú Valley (in front of the Praça das Artes building); continues towards the Praça de Sé and then by the Teatro Oficina. It ends at the Baixio do Viaduto Libertas, on Major Diogo Street number 353.
The Choreographic Terreyro will lead a procession of singing and dancing along with the inhabitants of the Kalipety and Tenondé Porã villages and the choirs that will join in at the sacred tree planted at the center of the Anhangabaú Valley. The ritual will move from that point to the Praça de Sé, where participants will plant the Guarani seeds. This will be done to remember the strong indigenous presence in that square, which was the site of one of the first indigenous insurgencies against the Portuguese invaders. Then the action will continue up to the Teatro Oficina to join forces in the re-existence of this workshop, as the Silvio Santos Group aims to build three 100-meter high towers by the work of art created by Lina Bo Bardi. The walk will end at the Baixio do Viaduto Libertas, where the public life of this generous space has promoted since 2014, with a Roda de Xondaro, the Guarani dance of the warrior-guardians.
This is the second act of the choreographic rite of celebration of the Guarani seeds, which refuse to be genetically altered and thus carry ancestral indigenous wisdom, a symbol of the re-existence of the Mbya Guarani in Sampã. The first act of the rite took place on October 22, with a collective planting event in the Kalipety Mbya Village in Parelheiros Sampã. Now, the celebration of the Guarani seeds is reaching the center of the city.
Casa do Povo
This conversation aims to bring together various participants to attend the recording made by Pavio. In this occasion, special guests will be called to respond to the project as a whole and discuss the importance of oblivion in the construction of memories.