Photographic series, video-poem, clothing, analogue collage
Images: Guilherme Malaquias (still) Shai Andrade (motion)
Video edit: Will Cardoso | Soundtrack: Johnny Batizta
Model: Nana Vieira
Artistic immersion project made in Salvador, Bahia, in collaboration with the artists Guilherme Malaquias, Shai Andrade and the model Nana Vieira. Atlantica is inspired by Brazilian historian, teacher, poet and activist Beatriz Nascimento through the movie "Ori" (131 min, 1989) by Betraiz and Rachel Gerber, and the book “Eu sou atlântica: sobre a trajetória de vida de Beatriz Nascimento”, ("I am Atlantica: on the life and trajectory of Beatriz Nascimento") by Alex Ratts and Beatriz Nascimento.
Through Atlantic, I reflect on Beatriz's work and the movement of the waters, as the line that traces my own path, where I create my own displacement as an optional way, and I choose the diaspora as home. The crossing over this sea connects my artistic and intellectual production in Brazil, Europe and Africa. I speak of Africa, without necessarily treading on the soil of that continent, but because it is this (in)visible territory that I transit to arrive at the place of Atlantica.
From one Atlantic to other
From one Africa to another
With mixtures of this reflux
full to ethnicities
I become diaspora
Days and days
I aspire, I breathe, I stop
I look at myself, I see myself
From Oió* to Iyá**
My turban is immense because it carries many stories
De um Atlântico a outro
De uma África a outra
Multi, Afro, Trans
Com mesclas desse refluxo
cheio de etnias me torno diaspora
Dias e dias
Aspiro, respiro, paro
Me olho, me vejo
De Oió a Iyá
Meu turbante é imenso
porque carrega muitas histórias
When I think about the relationships of love, admiration versus repulsion, and fear of the sea, I understand that I make a binary connection that is present in innumerable bodies. Throwing yourself into the sea has already been/is, for many, the need to break free. Even today we see this way is used for those who seek refuge. The terror of the sea can be an experience inherited from the forefathers because memories can be transmitted to later generations through genetic switches. This biological transmission of ancestral memory is often ignored or underestimated. The attempt to connect with my ancestral memory brings much of what has guided my work and research with Turbante-se.
*The Empire of Oió (Yoruba: Ọ̀yọ́; c. 1400 - 1835) was a West African empire located in what is now southwestern Nigeria and southeastern Benin. The empire was founded by the Yoruba in the 15th century and grew to the point where it became one of the largest states in West Africa.
** In the Yoruba language of West Africa, and on the worship of Ifá Iyá means "Mother". This influenced the title and hierarchy of the candomblé Ketu in Brazil.
What´s in this in-between place? What are the powers that waters and those well-thought transits, (which relate to the past) create for a black woman like me, who has reached other places from the time of now? Beyond the crossing, traversing the sea has been a way of making many possibilities palpable.
Atlantica is also a place of self-permission for my experimentation in various aspects. Experimenting through collages, poems, writing, and the challenge of dressing bodies from the perspective of the mix.
By Thais Muniz Photo: Shai Andrade
By Thais Muniz