Photo credits: “Amazona”. Oil and oily stick on magazine/paper.
By Luisa Ritter Zimmer, Berlin 2022
“AMAZONA or a dance of resistances”
Studio + Research Program with Andressa Cantergiani
Frame: Fellowship Weltoffenes Berlin 2022
Organized by: neue häute e.V., and hosted at Ana Conda am Ufer Café/Bar/Collective research Space (Uferstr.23, c/o Uferstudios. 13357 Berlin)
In cooperation with: insurgencias.net : Berlin-based platform for socially conscious artistic practices and activistic positions from Latin America in Berlin
Project coordinator: Paz Ponce Pérez-Bustamante.
Project advisors: Paz Ponce & Sheena McGrandles (neue häute e.V.)
A year with Andressa Cantergiani
andressa cantergiani – Brazilian transdisciplinar and multimedia artist
Lives in Berlin. PhD in Visual Poetics from PPGAV/UFRGS [BR]. PhD Sandwich University of Applied Sciences and Arts- Hoschulle Hanover[DE]. Master’s Degree in Communication and Semiotics PUC/SP[BR]. Graduated in Performing Arts from DAD/UFRGS[BR]. Performing Arts UDKBerlin (Sommer University of Arts Program). Member of INSURGENCIAS.NET Berlin/DE. Artist represented at Mamute`s Gallery. Manager of BRONZE Residence and Península`s Gallery in Porto Alegre[BR]. Curator and educator of International Performance program PPPP [Peninsula Public Performance Program] awarded twice by the FAC#Juntospelacultura RS[BR].Prize FUNARTE/MINC exchange culture/ PT/BR. Prize CDEA- Center for European and German Culture[BR]. Transdisciplinary projects in different spaces around the world such as Iberê Camargo Foundation/RS/BR, MAC-Contemporary Art Museum/RS[BR]. Bispo do Rosário Contemporary Art Museum/RJ[BR], Terra Una Residence/MG[BR]. She has works in private collections and public collections of MARGS-RS, MAC-RS and AMARP-RS.
She is currently developing the Amazonas project through the Weltoffenes Fellowship in collaboration with the neue häute e.V. & insurgencias.net Berlin [DE]. Participated in the exhibition Museo de la Democracia, 2021, at NGBK Berlin [DE].
Introduction to the research topic
The term Amazona has one of the most controversial etymologies in Greek mythology; there are numerous theories regarding its origin. From the Iranian gentile *ha-mazan-, which would originally mean “warriors”. Another theory says that the term means “without breast” in Greek, since, according to some versions of the myth, the Amazons cut off one of their breasts to better handle their bows. Amazōn is the Ionian form for the word ha-mazan of Iranian origin, whose meaning is “fighting together”. The common root of the ancient word Ama has the meaning of Mother in the strictest sense and in the figurative sense denotes matriarchal culture, still existing in China. In the village of Moso, it means “Mother”, and the same root in North Africa where matriarchy also existed, who called themselves Amazigue.
Amazonas is also the name of the great Brazilian river that crosses the state also of the same name. Due to the numerous Icamiabas mujeres guerreras que dominaban el arco y las flechas, who attacked the Spanish invader Francisco de Orellana in the 16th century. In this Eurocentric vision of the indigenous peoples, the women warriors of the native peoples of Brazil were reminiscent of the Amazons of Greek mythology. From this imaginary projection, the river was baptised, an act that can lead us to reflect on the forms of colonisation and cultural extractivism.
It is from the contradiction that unites its hybrid meanings and the existence of women warriors around the world beyond myths that emerges the desire to extrapolate and desecrate Western myths to create a project where the struggle becomes a practice of self-care through self-defense. AMAZONA is a reverse appropriation, it is the theft of a colonising term to resignify and create other grammars of struggles. “A”, also means no. One way of negating colonial violence is to put it back, to usurp the term in a counter-cultural way, and to tear it up, but, do we still have to tear out our own breasts to be able to fight? What parts of ourselves are we sacrificing to perform better? As women, as daughters, as sisters, as mothers, as artists, as citizens?
Objectives and methods
AMAZONA or the dance of resistance project has two main objectives: one of them is to create a community that carries out social, educational and community practices around the theme of combating gender violence. The other is to carry out performative research on diverse women warriors and self-defense practices for women and self-care to create a new performance piece and video performance in collaboration with other researchers.
Struggle and self-defense will be the base material for the creation of a re-signified body grammar and movement system for this new choreographic and video performance. The performance will be performed by 10 bodies to be selected during the research project in order to form a dance of resistance.
The project and its participatory dimension are articulated on the basis of an intersectional feminist approach*, to not exclude any struggle in addressing the fight against gender discrimination, necessarily taking into account issues of race and social class and respecting always the place of speech. The collaborators of the project are agents active on #intersectional feminism in Latin America in & outside the arts. This topic will be contextualised seeking analogous local groups to engage with the project and the Latin-American perspective of this work.
Structure of the participatory program
- Online & offline community meetings with Andressa Cantergiani
- Practical performative exercises in order to create an intimacy with one’s own body and with the group
- Safe-space to talk and exchange self experiences
- Exchange of theoretical, conceptual and historical references of the project
- A program of talks with guests working with #intersectional feminism in Latin America
- Workshop of self-defense practices with guests who work on martial arts techniques and methodologies aimed at self-defense for women and LGBT+ people
Who can join?
Local women/immigrant women, lgtbqia
With an interest in sharing vulnerabilities and work some healing forms in a collective. People with a perception of how this violence transverses their bodies and has a desire to share vulnerability together and learn how could we use the self-defense like a self-care political practice, inside and outside the arts
Meetings are in Ana Conda am Ufer, c/o Uferstudios, Uferstr.23, 13357 Berlin
How to participate?
Send us an email to AMAZONA@neuehaeute.org