Three channel video, 2019
Vila Autódromo is a community on the periphery of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, that partially survived violent and protracted evictions undertaken by the city administration to clear land for the 2016 Olympic site.
The self-built neighbourhood was established in the 1960s, originally starting by labourers in the fishing and construction industries building a small village between nature reserves and the lagoon. The neighbourhood, coveted by real estate developers since the city has grown to envelop the region, was subjected to particularly brutal military police action during the development of the Olympic site.
Artists Cristina Ribas and Lucas S. Icó have been working with the community during and since their eviction, collecting a glossary of the struggle, and aiding in the birth of the Museu das Remoções – The Museum of Evictions, a grass roots organisation linking, supporting, and memorialising evicted communities in Rio.
In 2018 the Museu das Remoções, Cristina Ribas, Lucas S. Icó, myself, and members of the Vila community organised a number of workshops utilising techniques from Boals Theatre of the Oppressed to re-enact and memorialise the theatrical practices of the dispersed Vila Autódromo community. Engaging with collective acts of memory, play, and improvisation these workshops form the basis for theatrical re-telling, re-inscribing and re-orientating communal experience.
The central video of To Walk Around, To Walk Afar is derived from these theatrical workshops. Accompanying it are two partner videos, the first joining Denise Costa dos Santos, who lived in the community since childhood, on her daily walk up the local mountain and back again. This is her daily route where she collects recyclable materials from which she makes her living. She discusses moments from her memory, her perceptions and reactions to the environment, and her practice of walking as self care. The third video follows a circular path around the former site of the neighbourhood, reverting to partially tended forest surrounding the single surviving house.
Commissioned by Adeline Lépine, for the (Con)Vivências, at le Crac 19, Montbéliard, France. With Cristina Ribas and Lucas S. Icó. Researched and filmed whilst on the Mondriaan Fonds supported Capacete Residency in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.