This year - for the first time in Brazilian history - carnival was cancelled due to the pandemic. And with it, so was the vast majority of income earned by those musicians, dancers, and all artists who depend on carnival for their livelihood; it’s during this month-long period of marathon performances (starting as early as January for the carnival ‘warm ups) that Brazilian artists earn the majority of the money that will support them - and their families - for the entire year.
Different to the UK - and whatever we may think of the support (or lack thereof) our cultural sector has received during these difficult times - Brazilian artists receive a meager £40 A MONTH (and yes, that’s still laughable in the Brazilian cost of living!).
We have done and to do all we can to support out local community, but given how much groups like ours in the UK carnival sector borrow from, are inspired by, and benefit from our connection with Brazilian culture, we are launching a fundraiser for projects & independent artists who work in the communities in Brazil; to support and give back to our roots.
Why now? As other much needed fundraisers were launched in early 2020 at he beginning of the pandemic, nearly a whole year has passed and those artists are struggling deeply with the first carnival season ever cancelled (carnaval 2020 DID happen, and Katumba were there as part of our Exchange for Change programme). Many artists are trying to get jobs elsewhere, with very little opportunities available and putting themselves at covid risk. Suicide rates have peaked amidst the sector and so has poverty.
We will also be launching a programme of online workshops with some of these artists - and will share far and wide so you can support them by not only donating, but paying for the beautiful services they provide and the richness they bring to our lives - making them feel valued and compensated for their art.
All money raised will be spent on essential products such as food and hygiene products to help families who are struggling at this difficult time. Due to the current extremely high exchange rate, just a small amount of £ or € goes a very long way in Brazil right now.
We thank all those who are able to donate to help keep these people safe and well!
This is an ever-evolving conversation, and so a complete list of benefitting organisations will not be published in advance as we want to be open to supporting a number of artists/organisations.
We thank you in advance for your trust that 100% of the donations will go to well-deserving organisations.
If you would like more information about this fundraiser, we will be happy to answer any enquiries via our website here.
Thank you in advance for your support! Obrigada and Axé (ashe)
Juliana Pinheiro Landim
(Brazilian artist, musician, mover with the UK as her adopted country)
Project Cover- Katumba visiting Oju Obá as part of our Exchange for Change programme, in Pernambuco at the Afro Cultural Centre Sítio Pai Adão – Ilê Obá Ogunté which houses the living culture of the first Pernambuco Terreiro (house of worship of African rituals).
Pictured Here-Favela in which a dance project 'Bloco Afro Raizes' engages young man, many ostracized by their sexuality and at-risk.