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Act I , performance at Bananal Arte e Cultura Contemporânea, São Paulo/SP.

What is the place for our bodies in the city, on the streets, and at carnivals? When is a woman's body considered public or private? What is the quality of these bodies in these two places? What do they face and when do they delight? Who is entitled to festive anonymity and who is responsible for this possibility of collective pleasure?


These and many other questions accompanied the construction process of the performance AS* PAPANGUS, idealized by the artist Bruna Amaro. Divided into two acts that took place in São Paulo, April 2022, and Berlin, May 2022, a group of more than 50 women participated in this process. For both acts, meetings were proposed that preceded the performance with the objective of thinking and structuring what motivates and strengthens them to be on the streets in a festive procession. The costumes and masks used by the two groups have as an initial reference the figure of the Papangus - which had its origin in the city of Bezerros, Pernambuco - but it brings a new perspective thinking about these flag bodies as an expression of desires and presence in a society that violates them daily.


Brazil currently occupies the 5th place where women are killed the most in the world, the 1st when they are trans women. The base of figures on gender violence in the country and its increase by 20% during the carnival period was one of the triggers for the artist to think about creating a suspended but present moment in which women could live the streets, their bodies, and your wishes. 

In the costumes sewn by the artist and her mother, Eliana Amaro dos Santos, the performers were invited to think of words-desires/statements, which were hand-embroidered by each of them. The costumes used in São Paulo were taken to Berlin to compose the video installation AS* PAPANGUS - our carnival, our body, our fight. As in São Paulo, the participants from Berlin were invited to choose and embroider their words-desires/statements. The costumes today carry words in Portuguese, English, German, Kurdish, Azerbaijani and Korean. 

The performance is an exercise in the construction of a new imaginary, where a group of women proposes a physical presence contrary to the sexualization of their bodies, and fills the public space in a collective and festive way. It has also revealed itself as a tool for connecting women around the world and for sharing the places where their bodies are differentiated and connected.

foto: Maria Clara Loureiro

For the exhibition in Berlin, the artist and the curator Dami Choi also prepared a series of content related to gender violence in Brazil that was shared on the institution's social media and created a space in the exhibition where articles and books are available for consultation by visitors.

In 2022 the AS* PAPANGUS performance was a project commissioned by the institution Oyoun | Kultur NeuDenken gUG and was supported by the Goethe Institut. In the year 2023, it took place autonomously from the organization of women interested in occupying the streets of Barra Funda, a neighborhood of São Paulo, on the pre-carnival Saturday once again.

1 - As Papangus, Bruna Amaro.jpg

As papangus, 2020

watercolor and ink on cotton paper,
30 x 42cm