“Apesar de você amanhã há de ser outro dia” (in spite of you, tomorrow will be another day), those lyrics resonated in the streets in Brazil in 1970 during the military dictatorship. This song, full of messages and implicit meanings, was composed by Chico Buarque (Rio de Janeiro, 1944), Brazilian guitarist, composer and poet, whose music reacted directly against military oppression. For some reason, these lyrics appear to be present these days.
History repeats itself. The more things change, the more they stay the same. The world seems to be crumbling at the hands of a vicious capitalist system, political negligence at an international scale and more recently, a deadly virus. Each day, we endure economic, political, environmental and social devastations that create overwhelming and unacceptable conditions. Nevertheless, in this tense global context, people are raising their voices and joining socio-political movements that champion free speech, feminism, anti-racism, and environmental activism. A new generation is connected to both past and present ideas in order to dismantle entrenched power structures, find alternative methods and build fairer systems as well as new ways of thinking. In recent years, Brazil has been submitted under the leadership of an ultra-conservative far-right government with a destructive agenda represented by President Jair Bolsonaro. Since his investiture in 2019, the country has been living under threats and hate speech resulting in a dangerous escalation of violence, cultural censorship, invasions of indigenous reserves, deforestation of Amazonia, homophobia-and the list goes on…As a result, a large part of the population has expressed anger: denouncing, criticizing and fighting against this oppressive power. In the streets, in cultural spaces, in the public sphere and in the private sphere, Brazilians have mobilized using words, poetry and actions.
This exhibition participates in this dynamic, gathering together a group of artists from Brazil who are currently based in France. Through painting, sculpture, drawing, music and performance, they respond to the imposition of power using their own poetic strategies. The show is also an invitation to underline the importance of creating collective spaces to discuss issues that segregate us, in order to overcome the ‘divide and conquer’ tactics of patriarchal power, by collaborating and supporting each other towards creative forms of resilience and solidarity. This allows us to gain new perspectives and create a stronger movement for social change. After all, how we come together is defined by how we understand and enact our responsibilities to, and relationships with, each other.
When toxic policies besiege our societies and ourselves, as citizens and individuals, deliberate dialogue becomes a fundamental tool that can be used to rebuild trust and share our perspectives. These dynamics can be attested to in the period of uncertainty that we are dealing with. Fifty years on, Apesar de voce’s nostalgic melody by Chico Buarque reminds us of a past that is once again present, and which we must resist.