Yohana Junker

On Art, Religion, and the Poetics of Resistance

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Marielle Franco: Co-Creating the Future with Our Ancestors

Join me for the opening night of SOMARTS exhibition “Honoring Our Ancestors by Fighting for the Future: Día de los Muertos 2018,” which will run from October 13–November 9, 2018. The exhibition unveiling, Friday, October 12, 2018, 6–9pm, $12–$15 sliding scale admission, features performances by La Mezcla and a Dia de los Muertos inspired artist market.

This year, Coletivo Desbordar and I will create the installation “Marielle Franco: Co-Creating the Future with Our Ancestors,” to honor our Brazilian ancestor Marielle Franco. Franco was a council woman, elected by the city of Rio de Janeiro, who was brutally executed on March 14th, 2018, after leaving a black women’s empowerment event. As a black, lesbian, single mother—born and raised in the Maré favela—she worked against racism, inequality, and homophobia in a country mired by the consequences of white supremacy, hetero-patriarchy, feminicide, and neo-capitalism. An altar to honor her life, values, and work stands as an artistic memorialization of the unutterable crime against her as well as to the lives of our ancestors that have been lost. With this poetic gesture, we hope to come together to mourn these losses and partake in momentary memorials that confer visibility to crimes that may otherwise go unnoticed or forgotten. We also hope to become implicated the fight for our future to live with dignity, safety, and freedom.

Coletivo Desbordar is a feminist, anti-racist, and anti-capitalist group of Brazilian immigrants in the Bay Area that envision a world of free bodies and open borders. Through direct actions, media campaigns, study groups, support groups, and workshops, we aim to show transnational solidarity with leftist, feminist, and intersectional social movements in Brazil and Latin America. Our collective is comprised of several creative women who work at the intersection of political activism, education, and creativity. We are committed to a praxis being and acting in the world as an experience of convivencia, of living and learning en conjunto. Our artistic practice is an attempt to give visibility to persons and communities that have been silenced and erased, trusting that an embodied encounter with the arts can co-create another possible world.