The Olympic Games open in the Brazilian city, Rio de Janeiro this summer, and at home in Brent, an exciting new exhibition called Brazil to Brent opens in the Exhibition Space on the second floor at The Library at Willesden Green.
The exhibition asks what it means to be Brazilian in Brent. Julia Evangelista, is an artist working with Brent Museum and Archives to develop the exhibition:
“Well, the whole point of 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 cafés, 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 cafés, 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."
Brazil to Brent is being developed by Brent’s Heritage team, in collaboration with Battersea Arts Centre and Brazilian artist, Julia Evangelista, from Seethrough Theatre.
The exhibition and workshops run from 1 July to 18 September 2016.
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