Spirit of Rio at the Library at Willesden Green

28 July 2016

Timed to coincide with the Rio Olympics the Library at Willesden Green is celebrating all things Brazilian with a colourful new exhibition, Brazil to Brent.


As well as marking the 2016 Olympics the exhibition also celebrates the Brazilian community here in Brent and asks what it means to be Brazilian in Brent today.


Julia Evangelista, the artist who worked with Brent Museum and Archives to develop the exhibition said:


"This project was to give Brazilians a chance to celebrate themselves, and to say in their own words what it means to be Brazilian. One of the most important things that the people we talked to stressed was the diversity of Brazil, many emphasised that there are numerous sub-cultures, and much more to the country than just samba and carnival.


A theme that came up again and again was the importance of community. In Brazil, people spend a lot of time together. It's a very inclusive society, from the many games and sports that we play, that involve the young and the old, to the music, and the food we eat, we do things with other people and build ties this way. Relationships are very important.


Likewise, in Brent, Brazilians have kept this social aspect of their culture. For instance, in Brazil many shops, not just cafes, will have tables and chairs for customers to sit and chat. Well, if you go to Brazilian shops in Brent you'll see the same thing at hairdressers and butchers! We like everyone to mingle.


Brazilians have really adopted Brent as their home, it's even called "Little Brazil", by some. People will travel especially to Willesden just to buy the Brazilian meat and delicacies that they can't find elsewhere in London. And the Brazilian community has integrated well into Brent; our cafes, hairdressers and boutiques have visits from all different kinds of people.


I would encourage everyone to come along and have a look at what's going on at this exhibition. It is very much a collaborative project, which will grow from people's input. Between July and September this year there will be a chance to try dance, music, listen to stories, and attend a family workshop and even puppetry. Everyone is welcome and we really hope to see many people taking part, getting to know the people they live and work amongst".


You can visit the exhibition in the library's temporary exhibition space on the 2nd floor, entrance is free and it is open every day except bank holidays until 18 September 2016.