Yemayá (also spelled Yemoja, Iemoja, or Yemaya) is one of the most powerful orishas in Santeria. She is the mother of all living things, rules over motherhood and owns all the waters of the Earth. She gave birth to the stars, the moon, the sun and most of the orishas. Yemaya makes her residence in life-giving portion of the ocean (although some of her roads can be found in lagoons or lakes in the forest). Yemaya’s aché is nurturing, protective and fruitful. Yemaya is just as much a loving mother orisha as she is a fierce warrior that kills anyone who threatens her children.
Uma abordagem etnográfica e experimental sobre as múltiplas manifestações culturais de Exu, orixá/deus da religião afro-brasileira candomblé. A realização desse documentário subverte as formas tradicionais de realização documental e parte de oficinas de capacitação em audiovisual com adeptos do candomblé, considerando a intimidade dessas pessoas com os aspectos relacionados a Exu, sejam eles materiais ou espirituais. Ao trazer membros da religião para a captação das imagens, objetiva-se tornar a representação mais interessante e verdadeira. Depoimentos de Mãe Beata de Iemanjá, ialorixá do Rio de Janeiro, e outras pessoas que vivem o candomblé.
This video was made as part of an installation of videos called Transatlantic Saudades, a project I work on with the support of the UNESCO/Aschberg bursaries program, the Instituto Sacatar artists residency in Brazil and was first exhibited in partnership with the Goethe-Institute in Johannesburg.
Working through the idea of fragmentation, I play with the opaque hard-to-pin-downness of memory through a series of vignettes, which play together in space as an installation of various pockets of memory, where things that have been subsumed continually return to the surface.
"When something is born out of such prolonged and sustained degradation of human dignity, can the resulting structures not bear traces of the permeating and pervasive traumas? A question that started forming in my mind a few weeks into my stay in Bahia and has remained with me ever since. And a question as applicable to my home in South Africa as it is to my experience of Brazil.
In this project I explore the breadth and limits of links between myself, my personal lived memories, the communal memories I claim in an African context and the degree to which I can claim a kinship to the communal pool of racialised memory I encountered in Bahia. This project plays between memories of a personal lived encounter in Bahia, which mirrors my own social positioning in South Africa, in order to create a lapse or slippages between the two spaces. It becomes a conflation of different experiences of marginality, expressed through specificities of the personal in different contexts.
The idea of memory is used as a vehicle through which to connect the personal experiential with broader historical narratives and while doing so disrupting those histories that were shaped over centuries on the Atlantic and have come to sit so firmly on my skin."
Candomblé is a video piece depicting a ritual session of the Afro-Brazilian religion of Candomblé in Rio de Janeiro in 1977. The artist got an special authorization by the ‘father-of-saint’ to tape the event. The work shows the “Orixás” (African gods) manifesting themselves through the priesthood and the initiated, during trances. The artist uses the medium as language to show the relationship between the concrect and the abstract. Candomblé was presented during the XIV São Paulo International Biennial, in 1977, and at the Columbia Univerity’s Works by Women in Film and Video International Festival, in 1979.