One day, an Amazonian graffiti artist, Rais Campos, had a dream that he was painting on the walls with a large indigenous tapestry. So he wrote down the idea and decided to turn it into reality. And after the graffiti mats debuted at an exhibition in Manaus, they have now gained space and notoriety for the second time in the US, where the artist is showing seven works at RiverRunFestival, in Washington, D.C., a festival highlighting the importance of rivers. around the world. The event started last Tuesday (4) and will run through April 17, at the Kennedy Center Cultural Center.
“This is the second time I’ve been showing here. I’m bringing a bigger work and it’s so huge. People really enjoy it. Few people know the Amazon, many who go to Brazil know São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and never set foot in the world’s largest jungle, but many They are curious and delighted with the work of the artisans, the original work, the work of the ancestors who have been managing products that carry their identity for generations,” says Raiz.
During his first exhibition of graffiti mats, which took place in 2019, at the Galeria de Largo, in the capital of Amazonas, Rais received an invitation to go to the United States to participate in a festival that spoke about indigenous cultures from around the world. He accepts.
“And now with this other festival that talks about rivers around the world, invite me again to bring this work and make a larger exhibition. I bring seven mats, and this is the result of this dream that I had, that in partnership with the Artisan Association of Novo Airão, we achieve a lot in this sense he says.
The production of works begins with the artisans of Novo Airão – AM. They go to the forest to remove all the materials and start all the preparation till the end.
“It is a work that comes entirely from the jungle and goes through this whole process until it reaches me. And I transfer the images of the Amazon, indigenous peoples, animals, plants and fruits onto the mat, with transparency and precision, so that the ink does not cover the original drawings on the mats. This is my intention: not to cover them up, to keep the drawings and create this The mixture of arts, which we call “graffiti”, which is graffiti art combined with original drawings”, highlights the graffiti artist.
Raed stresses the importance of the theme of this festival. For him, talking about rivers is absolutely essential. Perhaps people in the city don’t feel climate change so much, but working with the craftsmen, they’ve made it clear that they’re already feeling the effects of climate change in the world on a daily basis. In the past, they were able to predict the seasons and this is very important for harvesting materials and harvesting food. As the climate changes, times get crazier, seasons get longer or shorter and unpredictable, and this daily affects the way of life of the traditional peoples found in the forest,” the artist laments.
The rug is also done only once. Craftsmen can collect materials during the dry season, as everything is submerged during a flood. “So we really need to take care of the rivers to keep the mats working, to keep the Aboriginal communities going, to keep the population alive,” adds Rice.
The artist takes sculptures of animals such as the endangered jaguar to the exhibition. An animal that also lives from rivers. “I came here to tell you a little bit about what happened in Brazil as well, with regard to the issue of illegal mining in the last government, which pollutes rivers, which pollutes rivers and kills fish and indigenous people, and [falar sobre o] So much so that we need to pay attention to choosing government that is in the interest of nature, taking care of forests and rivers,” Campos comments.
In addition to displaying mats, Raiz will also begin painting two live murals. “I’m going to draw a little bit about the culture of the Yanomami and the power they have, and about the relationship they have with the river. And the people out there in the middle of the forest, who depend on the river, who take care of that river and who have been so threatened by illegal mining and illegal logging. So I want to pay tribute. These people, ”the artist concludes.
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