Braziliarty CIC and the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) at the University of London present a photographic exhibition in celebration of the 130 years of the abolition of slavery in Brazil by Lita Cerqueira showing images of the beauty and freedom of Brazilian people in Bahia.
We need to keep the dialogue about racism going because despite the abolition of slavery, race and colour discrimination is still an issue in our societies. Labour of Freedom connects the UK and Brazil, once again, because Britain has influenced the Abolition of Slavery in Brazil that was the last country in the Western world to abolish slavery. By the time it was abolished, in 1888 (55 years after the U.K.) an estimated four million slaves had been imported from Africa to Brazil, 40% of the total number of slaves brought to the Americas.
In a country where racism is still a social and economic issue, the work of a black woman photographer shows the expressions of freedom showing afro-Brazilians working in freedom. The images were taken between 1976 and 2010 along the career of Lita Cerqueira known by capturing the afro-Brazilian culture for 45 years.
This exhibition has an important timing as Brazil goes through a chaotic political turmoil and every 23 minutes a young black person in Brazil, in 2016 for example, 23.100 young black people between 15 to 29 years old are murdered [ Report by Lindbergh Farias (PT-RJ), 2016]. It is also a year of election in Brazil and we hope to ignite these conversations raising awareness.
The panel discussion will invite academics and influential people defending the black community in London and it will be recorded and shared online.
The objective is to raise the discussion and make sure we keep the discussion of racism alive in many areas of the globe, moreover, the exhibition aims to celebrate the beauty and joy of the Afro-Brazilian community.
We are thankful to the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) at the University of London for hosting the exhibition free of charge in their premises. However, we need to raise funds for:
Images transport: £350
Panellists transport aid: £130
Images frames and material for setting up the exhibition: £150
Flight for the photographer from Brazil: £ 750
Rewards production and posting: £120
Lita Cerqueira is a women photographer in Brazil, born in Salvador in 1952. The capital of Bahia is the epicentre of Afro-Brazilian culture and Lita has caught a golden era of the Tropicalia movement during the 70’s. As an actress she worked with important directors such as Neville de Almeida, Nelson Pereira dos Santos and Glauber Rocha, who received great praise in national network, among others and took part in series dedicated to architecture on colonial cities such as Salvador, Porto Seguro, Parati, and also modern cities, such as São Paulo.
From 1973 she began to dedicate exclusively to photography. Her sensitive gaze was transformed, in particular, to the condition of the African population in Brazil. In 1976 she held the first solo exhibition, with his series "Popular Festas na Bahia” and "The Architecture of Salvador Centro Histórico". But diligent for great time concerts she will quickly enter the scene photograph and provide a valuable archive containing images of Maria Bethânia, Gal Costa, Rita Lee, Joao Gilberto, Jorge Ben, Dorival Caymmi, Luis Melodia, Chico Buarque, Toninho Horta, Ney Mato Grosso, Milton Nascimento, Alceu Valança, Cazuza, Egberto Gismonti, Hermeto Pascoal, Nara Leão, Carlinhos Brown, Cassia Heller, among others. But it was with Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso that Lita created a relationship of friendship and today brings together a series of photos of the daily life of the artists, collecting interesting stories of the journey of these emblematic characters in Brazilian music.
In January 1993, Lita was successful in Brazil and Europe with the launch of her first collection of "human types" postcards and unpublished photos by Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, João Gilberto, Chico Buarque, Milton Nascimento, Carlinhos Brown, Peter Tosh.
Over the years, Lita's images have been published in several books, magazines, and album covers. Lita has exhibited in Brazil and France, Italy, Germany and the US.