detail of the work
Rivane Neunschwander, detail of the work "Damned, joyful and devout tropics 7", 2020

DSince March 2020, while we were isolating ourselves as a form of security in the face of an epidemic unprecedented in our generation, we have followed the closing of our daily spaces of meeting: bakeries, bars, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, museums, galleries, bookstores, hairdressers. Thus, each one of us organized his work looking for solutions to a completely unexpected reality. 

At the same time, in the world and in Brazil specifically, crimes of omission and attacks on life were intensified: rivers, mangroves, forests, animals, women, blacks, immigrants, cultural institutions, in short, everything that does not represent an immediate socioeconomic retribution or that generates some kind of immediate profit. Solutions for health and science began to be questioned at the expense of supposed fiscal and financial gains. 

We had the feeling that the floodgates of a dam filled with backwardness and hatred had opened and, almost as in a fictional movie, monsters of all kinds, capable of updating the atrocities that were once part of our colonial history, came out in a stampede. 

The cover of this edition, a detail of the work Damned, joyful and devout tropics 7, 2020, by artist Rivane Neuenschwander, is almost a synthesis of what the unconscious and art can express, against fear and violence.

When we started discussions about the realization of our VI International Seminar in May of this year, together with the directors of the Goethe-Institut, our partners in the project, the urgency of defending nature and man became pressing. We feel the need for art to be part of the reflection on the notion of the world we want to inhabit. 

In this sense, we were able to facilitate a virtual meeting, where the cast of guests - artists, philosophers, scientists, environmental leaders and curators -, who have been working in this complex scenario for a long time, had the opportunity to talk about their activities in their different countries and performance places.

“When we break the flows of the Earth, we harm it, because it is a whole, it has a consciousness of its own and we cannot cut it out as a mosaic, as we are doing. For hundreds of years, our shamans have warned us to take care of nature, we are nature”, said the young indigenous activist and artist Naiara Tukano wisely. 

Thus, we made the meeting a place where we managed to feel less alone, as a defense method. Word and art have been fundamental weapons for reflection, comfort and attack. 

Andrea Giunta, researcher and curator at Mercosur Biennial 12, who had to delve into adapting the event with the project's curators, said at the Seminar: “Art has the ability to be an archive, an archive of experiences that were created at different times. And with this file we can ask the questions of the present.”

This edition is full of articles that show ideas and productions by artists and curators who work in dialogue with their surroundings; works that reflect an attitude of immersion in their time; works that express the need to abandon the self-centered subject, to think about the importance of learning from the other, of apprehending the other. 

PS: We are very happy to know, at the end of this edition, that arte!brasileiros had been recognized by ABCA, with the Antônio Bento Award 2019, as the best dissemination vehicle in the art and culture media. We will remain committed to the quality and consistency of our work.

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