by Antonio Araujo, Founder and artistic director of MITsp
A Festival not only entertains, but provokes, agitates, convulses. It creates outburst and produces bleeding. It confronts, as the nature of art always doubt the right, the solid, the smooth and the round. When it shows, it is more about the blind spots. If it hides, it is only provisionally, as a dramaturgical effect to what will be later revealed.
A Festival doesn’t wish to save anything or anyone. Perhaps, at best, it will help save us from ourselves. But we don’t need to be saved by any country, family or religion. Damnation can be an option. Mainly because asexual and abstinent paradises are the very image of hell. Conversely, we want gluttony. How many gods are yet to be created to mask oppression and expropriation mechanisms? On the other hand, when our gods exist, they push us to life, to party, to the game. They intoxicate us until we laugh out loud at our pointless tragedy-comedy.
A Festival has no nation. The participating countries are the artists themselves: the country Andréia Pires, the country Tiago Rodrigues, the country Janaina Leite, the country João Fiadeiro, among many others in this 7th edition of MITsp. All of them constituted by a cartography without borders, full of edges and folds, cliffs and surfaces. In our non-delimited territories, we despise the idea of people, so dear to the new authoritarian populists. We are a heterogeneous crowd and we believe in sharing the common. We also reject the idea of a homeland, as it creates a strained and false belonging that threatens our bastard freedom. We are prodigal children, pink-sheep, jilted or unwanted – but our brothers, we are the ones who choose them. In the lands we occupy, we don’t sing anthems or raise flags, so that the nationalism cancer dies of starvation and quits multiplying. Therefore, our art will never be national or heroic.
In fact, a Festival has no heroes, it is built, little by little, by countless people. Workers like any other, even if they are denied or made invisible to that status. We must understand that the cicada and the ant inhabit the same bodies. And, for not having heroes, a festival is a vulnerable organism. It can end at any time, because those who work on it also feel exhausted, become weak, get sick in the face of continually adverse contexts.
A Festival is not binary, but transdisciplinary and also transgender. That’s why it’s against the conninvence and the invisibility of daily transphobia. It’s urgent to denaturalize violence and the cult of ignorance to which we are being subjected by those in charge of this country. We must fight any political power that seeks to imprison our bodies and libidos. Our desires are as fluid as our genders. We are proudly out of the box. And we don’t cut corners. Thus, no moralistic crusade will convert us.
A Festival has no bibles or tablets of law. It is the exercise of contradiction, failure, groping in the dark, uncertainty, discomfort. And although the hunting season in Brazil for artists is in full swing, in the end, we will wreck rifles and revolvers. As there is no Index that makes us banned for a long time. The new religious inquisitions won’t resist and will be excreted through the holy holes. And the hypocritical conservative manipulations, which they call “curatorship”, which is actually “censorship”, will be unmasked.
That a Festival, perhaps this one, can help us to leave Hamlet’s inaction towards fighting barbarism. May the shows presented in it help us to overcome collective depression, anesthesia, indifference and dangerous complacency. Let it offer antidotes against paralysis and other states of catatonia. Economics cannot be a justification for obscurantism. Under no circumstances. Therefore, let our bodies be involved, let our voices be activated, let our senses be enlarged and that all this could be shown.
The third bell just sounded. Welcome all to the action!