Disability in Brazil:
Experiences, Arts, Activisms
Washington University in St. Louis
April 11, 2022
This virtual panel features four presentations by disabled Brazilian scholars, artists, and activists working towards disability visibility and justice. Drawing from their own research and artistic-activist practices, panelists will address the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, and disability in Brazilian disability worlds; “disability” as a historical category in the Brazilian context; and the political and aesthetic potentialities of disabled people’s self-representations in Brazil’s social and cultural diversity. This panel promises to reveal productive points of convergence and divergence in disability studies in Brazil and the United States, and will generate dialogue on how U.S.-based disability scholars, artists, and activists might learn from work being done in the Global South.
This event is open to all WashU faculty, students, and staff and will be recorded and later made publicly available. Presentations will be in Portuguese with simultaneous translation to English. CART captioning in English will be provided. The presentations will be followed by a question-and-answer session open to all attendees.
This event is presented by the WashU Latin American Studies Program (LASP) and the Brazilian Anthropological Association Disability and Accessibility Committee (CODEA-ABA). It is currently co-sponsored by:
- WashU Latin American Studies Program
- WashU Center for the Humanities
- “Realities of Disability in Brazil” Working Group (Wenner-Gren Foundation)
- WashU Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
- WashU Center for Diversity and Inclusion
- WashU Department of Anthropology
- WashU Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Equity
Anahí Guedes de Mello
“Who Writes on Behalf of Disability in Brazilian Social Thought?”
“Race and Disability in Brazil in the film White Out, Black In“
Bruna Teixeira, Malta Lee, and Olga Aureliano (Retratos Defiças Project – Ateliê Ambrosina)
“Retratos Defiças [Crip Portraits]: the Art and Trajectory of Crip Bodies Portrayed or Described in their Particular Worlds”
“Disabled People’s Aesthetics of Nudity: Political and Anti-normative Bodies”
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About the panelists:
Anahí Guedes de Mello holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) and is a researcher in the Anis Bioethics Institute. She is also the coordinator of the Brazilian Anthropological Association Disability and Accessibility Committee (CODEA-ABA) and member of the “Critical Studies in Disability” working group of the Latin-American Social Sciences Council (CLACSO). Her current research interests include auto-ethnography and the interface between feminist anthropology, disability studies, and queer and crip studies.
Marco Gavério is a social scientist and PhD candidate in sociology at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar), where he also holds an M.A. in sociology. His research uses sociological perspectives to investigate disability as a sociocultural and historical category, observing how this category emerges in correlation with theorizations and practices of/on the body, sexuality, and more recently, health.
Bruna Teixeira, Malta Lee, and Olga Aureliano (Retratos Defiças Project)
Bruna Teixeira is a multimedia artist and anthropologist who works with audiovisual, visual, and editorial production in the state of Alagoas. She is a consultant and researcher in human rights and [dos pensamentos da imagem], creating and carrying out activist projects that reflect gender, sexuality, and bodily diversity in society. She is the founder of the art-feminist NGO Ateliê Ambrosina, where she leads various efforts of Lesbian, Bisexual, and Trans protagonism, exemplified in the projects “Cookies and Coffee – Lesbian Artivism in Maceió” (Bolacha com Café – Artivismo Lésbico em Maceió; Fundo Elas/2018), and “Bumba Minha Vaca” (Aldir Blanc/2021), and she coordinates the projects “Ambrosina House for the Empowerment of Girls and Young Women of Pontal da Barra, Maceió, Alagoas” (ROHFC Foundation/2018-22) and “Retratos Defiças” (Western University; 2021-22). She is a micro-entrepreneur at Wire Shoes – Written and Visual Arts (Sapatilhas de Arame – Artes Escritas e Visuais), which is currently managing two queer film art projects (“Menines de Mirian” and “Susanna e os Velhos”) and the short “Deficiência” besides pursuing solo projects in painting, drawing, graphic novels, and rotoscopy.
Malta Lee is a visually impaired crip with monocular low vision and type I diabetes, a composer, a member of the NGO Ateliê Ambrosina, producer for Retratos Defiças, and a student in psychology. She is Black, Indigenous, skinny, and has short, curly hair.
Olga Aureliano da Silva is a monocular, hearing oral-deaf woman from Viçosa, Alagoas, who is currently studying advertising and living in Maceió. Since 2017 she has worked on the production team for the children’s musical group Banda Cazuadinha in Alagoas. In 2019 she was invited to mediate a visual art project being developed by Bruna Teixeira called “Olga’s Rails” (Os Trilhos de Olga), which brings together seven of Bruna’s surrealist photo-collages about the contemporary world and the memories of their work together as co-creators in the research that inspired the beginning of their story. Currently, she works with Retratos Defiças and Ateliê Ambrosina as a local producer and transcriber.
Fábio Passos (https://www.fabiopassos.com/) is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the Federal University of Piauí, affiliated with the Graduate Program in Philosophy. Currently he is also a visiting postdoctoral researcher in visual arts at the Federal University of Paraíba. Two lines of inquiry form the backdrop against which he elaborates his artistic creations: through the poetics of drawing, he problematizes the (in)visibility of non-hegemonic bodies, such as the naked bodies of disabled people. His experience as an artist, researcher, and disabled person makes it possible for him to problematize, in his artistic work, what he lives daily: the occlusion of disabled people’s bodies, fundamentally in their aesthetic dimension.