Audiovisual productions in Brazil are still mostly directed and have white people in their casts. The information is contained in the survey released by Gemma, Group of Multidisciplinary Studies of Affirmative Action of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ).
According to the study, 84% of the directors analyzed between the years 2002 and 2012 were white men; 13% were white women; and 2% black men. At the time, the percentage was no black woman. Thus, contrary to this research, a production from Belém, capital of the State of Pará, breaks with these data.
WebSérie Pretas is produced and carried out by black women. In its emergency five-episode edition, the viewer learns the stories of these women and their difficulties during the pandemic. The project was covered by public notices of the Aldir Blanc Law in Pará, carried out by the State Secretariat for Culture (Secult).
The director of photography at Negritar Produções, Suane Barreirinhas, explains that the idea came from experiences they themselves had and have in their daily lives:
“We decided to get together and make a webseries on the pandemic about things that happened in the pandemic with black women, which are stories very close to us, ours and that happened to close people who became unemployed, who faced racism and are also stories of women that support each other. That’s what we live for and we do it all vertically.”
Barreirinha explains that everything changes when he shoots the scenes vertically, and that this choice was also deliberate and aimed to escape ethnocentric patterns. “I live in the Vila da Barca Community, on the outskirts of Belém, Joyce Cursino [diretora] is from Jurunas, Tamara Mesquita [direção de Produção] from Terra Firme, both peripheral neighborhoods, to May Coelho [roteirista] it’s from Benevides, a municipality in the metropolitan region of Belém. So, we all know and live the difficulties that we recount in these episodes,” he says.
:: Color, gender and class: the challenges of the black woman ::
Suane also says that the work of Negritar Produções is not restricted to capturing images and sharing them, the producer is a space that seeks to cause social impact. “You may ask, but what does that mean? It means that we don’t go to the house of a person who is starving and when the recording is finished, we leave the person starving and leave. We try to make that person not go hungry anymore. We make our productions, but in line with our social actions”.
Suane is one of the few members of Negritar whose mother did not or does not work as a domestic worker. May Coelho, Joyce Cursino and Geovana Mourão [Making off e Still] they are the daughters of a maid. The journalist who writes the report, too.
“I always tell my mom that she is my strength and inspiration,” says Joyce. May Coelho says that her mother faced many difficulties during the pandemic, as did all the domestic ones. On the 4th of May 2020, in the middle of the lockdown it was published in the Official Gazette of the State of Pará the decision that maids could move freely, because the profession was essential.
::Read also: Daughter of a domestic worker victim of covid-19 in Pará reports the pain of being orphaned::
The webseries tells the story of Maria Felipa (Rosilene Cordeiro), an internationally recognized fiction writer, who takes on the mission of telling the stories of black Brazilian women and their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The character’s fate intersects with that of Nansi (Mayara Lopez), Carolina (Ângela Gabriela) and Enedina (Isadora Lourenço).
One of the episodes tells, precisely, the story of the mothers of several members of Negritar: the difficulties that domestic workers had in the pandemic, since in Pará, the service was considered essential during the pandemic.
There is also the story of a young quilombola who passes the entrance exam, but with the advent of the pandemic, she has no access to the internet and that of a black doctor and the prejudices faced by those who, in addition to being on the front line, need to deal with the structural racism.
For the director of the WebSeries, Joyce Cursino, this is a six-year dream, which finally takes shape. “The webseries showed how important it is to produce content with a 100% black team. The experience has positively enriched our lives. The vast majority of the girls haven’t yet
they had no experience on the recording set and never had the opportunity to be part of these spaces of prominence”, he says.
She says that, in addition, the project manages to generate income for the black population. “Our job is not just to produce, but to put black people on the audiovisual circuit. We want to go beyond the borders of social media, to the streets, to the communities and show who these women are who are producing. Including, going to the communities For this reason, Pretas na Pandemia will also be shown in schools and communities on the outskirts of Belém.
Launch of the WebSeries: November 20, 6:30 pm, by IGTV.
Edition: Vinícius Segalla