Before you start the Popul/Arte series, get to know what motivates and inspires Artists-in-Residence, Negráfrica.
Negráfrica is a group of five black artists living in various regions of Brazil. Each of us specializes in different mediums such as comics, photography, painting, drawing and poetry. We use experimental art to create tangible objects that carry emotion and history. In October 2019, we made a zine called Renascimento about our childhood, and during the pandemic we started a podcast. Our platform provides a space for Black, non-white and queer artists to talk about their creative lives.
How do you envision Popul/Arte making the university more accessible to people? Why is this important?
We see the internet as a place to make art and knowledge more accessible. Most people still don't have access to attending a university because of social inequality. Everybody doesn’t have the “privilege” to focus only on their studies because they are needing to work to provide a place to live and put food on the table. It is important for opportunities like "Popul/Arte" to share knowledge outside of academic spaces to make it accessible, where everyone can learn from scholars and creatives.
Is there a pivotal experience that brought you to your art?
We were lucky to have met each other with instant chemistry. Each one of us has an individual interest in various art forms. We intersect in our collective desire to change the perception of what it means to be a Black female artist. Overall, Negráfrica is a space where we are free to experiment and create new narratives. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we started a podcast as a place to explore our experiences and talk to other artists. We’ve been exploring the internet and social media, as a communication vehicle to share our knowledge about art, production and research. The podcast is also an accessible means to spread concepts to an audience that may not be familiar with the definitions and artistic concepts of Brazil. Our goal is to continue democratizing knowledge through our projects.
What do you hope participants will take away from Popul/Arte?