Thank GOD for this extra day... we earned one more day for Black History Month and I was able to get this post in on time. A couple of months ago, I was given the opportunity to participate in a mentorship program for young designers in Orlando. The purpose of this program is to give artists like myself the chance to work one-on-one with an expert in the field for 5 months and to produce a piece that will be presented at a showcase. The one criteria was: do whatever you want. This gave me anxiety at first because I had NO guidelines to follow. But my mentor helped me decide what I wanted to do by simply asking what is important to me.
Immediately, I thought about a project I've desired to pursue for quite some time. For those who don't know, I'm originally from Brazil and I am of African descent. I've been in countless conversations with well-versed individuals who admitted to me that they were not aware that Afro-Brazilians existed (literally never heard of the term). With that, I decided to use art to bring awareness to the rich African culture of Brazil. I started a project called: Black in Brazil. I'm currently working on a magazine that contains real Afro-Brazilians and their stories, along with an overview of slavery in Brazil and the incredible African influence on the country's culture.
The showcase will be held on April 22, 2016, which means I have very little time to accomplish my goals with this project but I'm positive I will get there. I was able to collaborate with some amazing people who did not hesitate to share their story and be totally transparent with me. I'm very thankful for this opportunity and hope to pursue it beyond this program. Due to the fact that all participants are Brazilian, their stories are in Portuguese. After the showcase is over, an English version of the magazine will be released.
I'm excited to share a very small snippet of what the magazine will look like! Keep up with my project online and receive updates on people featured, facts about the Afro-Brazilians culture, and more!