Saturday 26 May 2018

Can there be political democracy without cultural democracy?

Artemrede, Project Odisseias, "Histórias em Viagem"
This is the english translation of my article "Haverá democracia política sem democracia cultural? O lugar das 'periferias' em Portugal", published in Revista Observatório 24 | Arte, Cultura e Educação na América Latina, ITAÚ Cultural. Read here

Sunday 20 May 2018

Cultural appropriation: less gatekeepers, more critical thinkers

"La Japonaise" by Claude Monet, Museum of Fine Arts Boston (image taken from

For Nandia

My first contact with the concept of cultural appropriation happened in July 2015 because of “Kimono Wednesdays” at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (MFA). On the occasion of the display of Claude Monet’s “La Japonaise” (a painting of the artist’s wife, surrounded by fans, wearing a blond wig and a bright red kimono), visitors were invited to put on a kimono similar to the one shown on the painting and share their photos on social media. According to the museum, this was a way of engaging with the painting. For some people, though, the activity lacked any context regarding the garment, becoming just “fun”; others criticized it for reinforcing stereotypes and exoticizing Asian Americans; for others, it was blatant racism; (read Seph Rodney’s article). 

Saturday 5 May 2018

“Lindonéia, the suburb’s Gioconda”: my first visit to the Pinacoteca of São Paulo

"Lindonéia, the suburb's Gioconda", Rubens Gerchman, Pinacoteca de São Paulo  (Photo: Maria Vlachou)

“Na frente do espelho
Sem que ninguém a visse
Lindonéia desaparecida
Despedaçados, atropelados
Cachorros mortos nas ruas
Policiais vigiando
O sol batendo nas frutas
Ai, meu amor
A solidão vai me matar de dor (...)”

Caetano Veloso, “Lindonéia”

One thing I noticed right from my first visits to the museums of São Paulo (Brazil) was that long introductory texts are greatly appreciated. The exhibition "Brazilian Vanguard of the 1960s – the Roger Wright Collection", at the Pinacoteca of São Paulo, was no exception.