Fight against racism opens debate in Latinities Festival

This year's theme at the largest festival of Latin American black

Published in 22/07/2015 - 21:09 By Marieta Cazarré reports from Agência Brasil - Brasília

Mãe Beth de Oxum, Iyalorixá do Ilê Axé Oxum Karê, musicista, cantora e compositora, na abertura da oitava edição do Festival Latinidades (Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil)

Mãe Beth de Oxum thrilled the audience when she sang and spoke out for cultural expressions from the Northeast state of Pernambuco. Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil

Latinities Festival, created in 2008 to celebrate the Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean Women’s Day, is the largest festival of black women in Latin America. The event started this Wednesday (July 22) in Brasília and lasts until Sunday (July 26). As this year's theme is Black Cinema, the idea is to discuss the role and representation of black women in cinema, and discuss public policies in the audiovisual sector. The event is sponsored by Petrobras and the Support Fund for Culture (FAC). The Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean Women’s Day is celebrated on July 25th.

The program is broad and includes performances, film sessions, conferences, exhibitions, workshops and concerts. The theme of the opening session was Culture and Education: Interactions in Combating Racism and in Enhancing Black Identities. The president of Palmares Foundation, Cida Abreu; iyalorisha (African-Brazilian religious priestess) and musician Mãe Beth de Oxum, and the coordinator of the Center for Labor Relations and Inequality Studies, Cida Bento, took part in the panel.

They discussed the importance of cinema in cherishing dreams and tracing stories of identification and in recognizing Brazilian black people. “Identity is formed by a crossroad between something that lies within ourselves, our innate traits, and somethings that comes from the outside,” said psychologist Cida Bento. “We carry it not only from this life, but from our ancestry. This identity is built through touching, physical contact, a feeling of belonging to a group”, she pointed out.

Mãe Beth de Oxum thrilled the audience when she sang and spoke out for cultural expressions from the Northeast state of Pernambuco. She also discussed a proposed bill to lower the age of criminal responsability. For her, young people must not be criminalized, because the State does not take good care of them. “We are raising the issue of black people genocide and showing how perverse and racist this bill is. To throw everyone in a common grave does not make anyone better; it is not a solution,” she said.

 

Translated by Amarílis Anchieta

 


Fonte: Fight against racism opens debate in Latinities Festival

Edition: Stênio Ribeiro / Olga Bardawil

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