Recent and remarkable episodes of Brazilian structural racism, which generated anti-racist resistance, had artistic interventions by the Ecuadorian mosaicist Javier Guerrero. The artist created a plaque with a portrait of the Congolese immigrant Moïse Kabagambe, who was raped and murdered at the Tropicália kiosk, in Rio de Janeiro, on January 24th. The work came into the hands of Moïse’s family.
On June 25, as part of the fight against the impeachment of former councilor Renato Freitas (PT), in conjunction with the mandate and the Diocesan Curia, Guerrero installed a plaque in the Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Homens Pretos de São Benedito Church. . There was the site of the protest, in February, against the murder of Moïse. The entry of the protesters into the church after the mass served as a pretext for the process that ended with the impeachment of Freitas.
“Renato showed consistency in defending the black population, homeless people in the center and periphery. He represents us. My works are suffered. I suffer because I give myself completely. For the first time in 32 years in Brazil I felt represented in the Chamber”, says Guerrero, moved.
In the case of Javier’s work, the artist combines technique with the social vision of art, as well as recovers the left’s imagination, through a series of portraits of revolutionary men and women from each country in Latin America and the Caribbean. .
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Born in Riobamba, south of Ecuador, Guerrero participated in the political-military struggle in the 1980s in the country. He was arrested and tortured. As a political exile, he settled in Curitiba in the 1990s. His work portrays Latin American history, pain and symbols.
Guerrero is one of the few plastic artists in Brazil whose production responds to the agenda of class struggle and popular movements. Resuming the tradition of Mexican and Nicaraguan muralism, his works are made or exhibited in public places.
As a result, panels emerged, for example, at the time of global solidarity with the Commune of Oaxaca (Mexico – 2006); later he made the panel of popular communicator Anderson Leandro, brutally murdered in 2012. His works also began to denounce the privatization of Petrobras and hunger, at the time of Lula’s arrest, in 2018.
“Reality forces me to do this (political works), not fish and flowers, for example. García Márquez used to say that he wanted socialism as soon as possible so he could write something that wasn’t just tragedies”, he compares.
Source: BdF Paraná
Editing: Frédi Vasconcelos and Lia Bianchini