AfroCariocas is a soon to be released documentary about the black experience in Rio de Janeiro. The film documents the thoughts and experiences about being black in Brazil through the eyes of several natives of the city of Rio de Janeiro (cariocas) and one Nigerian student studying in Rio.
The documentary of filmmaker Aristoteles Kandimba takes on many of the same themes that we discuss here on the Black Women of Brazil blog including perceptions of racism, a pervasive rejection of an African aesthetic (hair, skin color, etc.) that dominates Brazilian society, black invisibility and the hegemonic ideal of whiteness that is at the root of so many anti-black sentiments in the country. Below are just a few thought-provoking comments made by the women featured in the film. At the bottom of the page be sure to check out the five and a half minute trailer of the documentary complete with English subtitles.
The women of the documentary AfroCariocas
“There is an aesthetic search of some men in that when you let your kinky hair grow out you stop being a woman” – Mariana Alves
“When you are with a man that admires your hair he plays in your hair in a different way” – Meri Santiago
“What I see nowadays in American rap music videos is that they like to put black women and black beauty in their videos and here in Brazil we don’t see this” – Letícia Enne, banker
“I was questioned recently in my school about giving African history classes and having straight hair” – Janaína Oliveira
” ‘Aunt Karla, you aren’t embarrassed wearing your hair this way?’ I said ‘No’! I am proud of wearing my hair this way” – Karla da Silva (singer)
“I went to the Samaritano Hospital to visit a doctor and as I entered together with various other people I was the only one stopped and interrogated. They asked me ‘what are you doing here?’. I thought this was strange.” – Isioma Okolo (left), student of medicine
“When I did the dance of the Orixas, no one told me about the Oyo Kingdom, no one told me that the Orixas were kings and queens that existed in the past.” – Ana Beatriz Almeida, dancer
“You come to school, right? Every year it’s the same story…They’ll make fun of my hair” – Tatá Barcellos
Meri Santiago (center) stylist
The women of AfroCariocas
Trailer of AfroCariocas