Imagine a work that encourages reflection on the process of listening and understanding the discourse of women, this is the proposal of the work "Atucse" (listening backwards), which is part of the AIRE project - Art with Indigenous in Electronic Residencies. The work consists of a video in which the images of the artists are accompanied by inverted audio, in which it is not possible to understand the speeches. The idea is to awaken a reflection on how the female voices are distorted, misinterpreted or even silenced, symbolizing the difficulty of listening in a patriarchal society. The artists who acted in co-creation were: Angela Berlinde from Portugal; Anna Campagnac, Carina Desana, Naine Terena, Sheilla Souza and Valéria Scornaienchi from Brazil; aruma (Sandra De Berduccy) from Bolivia; Mariela Tulián and Shiraigo Mocoví from Argentina.
The artist Carina Desana, comments that in this work the inspirations are the voices of many women, which are silenced and distorted. "Bringing adaptations by technology through videos to present songs, poetry or phrases that are not understood and ignored for many years, which kills thousands of women of all nations until today!". Desana ends with a striking question that calls for reflection, "What if they had been listening to us 20 years ago? What could we have prevented?"
For Sheila Souza, an artist who is also part of the Coletivo Kókir, she explains that "the idea is to reflect on the incomprehension of our speech, thoughts, desires and needs. Which are the result of machismo and violent attitudes, which still kill, hurt and disrespect women in different cultures all over the planet".
About the possibility of participating in a collective creative process at a distance, Sheila reveals that it is "an old dream coming true: meeting sisters and brothers from neighbouring countries, creating together, strengthening networks between indigenous peoples who until then never had the chance to meet. AIRE is a gift. Especially in this moment of asphyxia in all senses in Brazil".
The collective creation using the mediation of digital technologies is a challenge and promotes different perceptions about the artistic making, the artist Aruma (Sandra De Berduccy) reveals that "it is undoubtedly a new experience, everyone has different challenges to overcome, in my case I had already left creation using only the computer. Being a weaver I always use my hands and the materiality of the fibres to create. So getting back to creating images this time with a tablet or mobile is a challenge. Just as it is a challenge to use digital platforms that I didn't know and didn't have time to explore."
With the Covid-19 pandemic, the necessary distancing and the use of masks for protection, we perceive the whole world in a kind of collective asphyxia, in which the possibility of breathing through art, brings hope for better days. The AIRE meetings provide this synergy and reflection. Sheila Souza says that "air is elevation, circulation, renewal, direction... communication that vibrates in our body when it echoes sounds in our throat. It is the sacred tuning of the tones that come out of our body/flute, in the ancestral wisdom of the Guarani people. The air is always light and the good winds are giving way to the sharing of much richness in this meeting.“
For the artist aruma, the air that is so essential for our survival, is more valued in the face of this pandemic context. "AIRE“ has become as important a word as breathing for all beings. We now feel it and value it when we take off our masks, or when we return from the city. We fill our lungs with it, we celebrate that we breathe. Those who are surrounded by nature have the privilege of being able to simply breathe pure air, without fear."
Still on the relationship with AIR(E) in this pandemic context, artist Valeria Scornaienchi, comments. "In this moment of pandemic, thinking about air is a paradox between life and death. If on the one hand it is what connects me with something divine and with cosmic consciousness, it is also what disconnects when people are more severely affected by COVID, and have difficulties breathing. To understand breathing is to know that we are immersed in a medium that penetrates us with the same intensity that we penetrate it. There is a symbiosis in this relationship with the air. Connecting with the breath is one of the most efficient forms of consciousness. To broaden our perceptions of the world. Simply breathing. To perceive the air we need to understand that it generates a movement, a displacement, a subtle gesture where it passes, the wind, because we can only see the traces where it is passing, or where it has passed. A breathing body is a free, loose, fluid body through which vital energy never stops flowing".
Text: Dayanne Pereira; Translation: MZF