Indigenous voices echo through the corridors of art and culture departments in Brazil. Behind this profusion of cultural products related to indigenous issues, there is a constant critical-restlessness: how can we demystify the vast range of cultures unknown to most Brazilians?
The chance to represent and include people who still do not occupy the space they deserve in campaigns and projects presents a great challenge. But it is precisely because it is so challenging that it is such a powerful opportunity to rethink creativity in Brazil. For those who see opportunity in this context, it is essential to understand that we need more than just inclusive discourse – we need inclusive practice, forging ties with the people who actually live these under-represented realities.
This first step in researching other national aesthetic references is to expand the scenarios of study – that is, to recognize the streets, slums, hills, farms, streams, and forests. The answer to society’s wishes may just be in the rediscovery of everyday life, the familiar, and the ancestral. From this point of view, that which was peripheral becomes aspirational.
In its strength as a record and story of our culture, music is a language that helps us understand Brazilian behavior and conditions. In Brazil, music blurs the boundaries between the traditional and the cutting edge. Brazilian artistic expression, beyond the obvious social and geographical connections, brings unknown worlds closer together. The sound allows us to really feel the power of decentralization.
One of the calls of the 32nd São Paulo Biennial is to unlearn: to reflect and revise what it means to know and to value. A stroll through the exhibition space reveals the places that inspired artists in their works: in the countryside, on the river banks, and in plantations. The exhibition covers Brazil, the Americas, Africa, and so many of us who are uncertain and living in this contemporary world.
How do we know where our food comes from? How can we live in harmony alongside people who are different to us? How can we practice sustainability in everyday life? Indigenous villages, riparian, quilombola, and backcountry communities, rural plantations, hybrid countryside, urban outskirts, the ignored populational centers: the answers to these questions arise in the everyday practices of those who understand that it is necessary to invent and express themselves in new ways . When the so-called peripheries reach the consumption behavior of Brazilians, it is time to ask ourselves: who influences who?