Vulcanica Pokaropa

Presidente Bernardes – SP, 1993

Travesti with a BA degree in Photography and an MA degree in Theater from the State University of Santa Catarina, Vulcânica Pokaropa also works in the fields of visual arts, circus, performance, poetry, social education, and cultural production.

With her academic research about the presence of transsexual, travesti, and non-binary persons in performance and theater as a starting point, Vulcanica Pokaropa conceived and produced the audiovisual series “Desaquenda”. The series brings a national mapping of the theater and performance productions of trans people and reflects on their artistic processes as well as on class, race, gender, background, creation processes, trans-fake, life, death, and activism. Selected in 2019 for the 36th Panorama of Brazilian Art: Sertão of the Art Museum of São Paulo (MAM), the series was exhibited in an individual show at the Meyer Filho Memorial, in Florianópolis (SC) – as a result of the Contemporary Art Award of the Alliance Française. In 2020, three videos of “Desaquenda” were incorporated into MAM’s collection – which made Vulcânica Pokaropa the first trans person to have their work in that institution’s collection. In 2021, another three videos were acquired for the collection of MAC Curitiba.

In 2020, she created the series of paintings “Retribuição” [“In Return”], in which she questions and inverts the massacre of trans people’s lives that the State and its far-right representatives allow to happen and endorse. Developed during the period of social isolation, this work came from her anima’s tiredness, brought upon by “seeing the number of injustices that have been happening to us historically, that we have to carry this violence that has always been imposed on us, and seeing no end to it. A family may be shocked when they see images like the ones I paint and that are exhibited around, but isn’t moved by the fact that Brazil is the country that most kills travestis and transsexuals in the world. It’s about this hypocrisy that my work speaks.”, Vulcanica Pokaropa analyzes. In that same year, “Retribuição” [“In Return”] was exhibited at Centro Cultural São Paulo, at the TRANSvisual show.

In 2020 and 2021, she also developed the series of paintings and sculptures “Intercessão” [“Intercession”], in which she deepened her research into Catholic art, recreating images so that transsexual and travesti bodies appear sanctified. This work was shown at Jaqueline Martins Gallery (São Paulo) and Karla Osório Gallery (Brasília) and, as a result of it having been awarded a special mention of the Vozes Agudas Prize, this series of paintings was also both at the Moreira Salles Institute during the “Programa Convida” program, and at the exhibition “O dia antes da queda” (São Paulo), with support from Apexart NY.

Vulcanica Pokaropa is also a member of the Cia. Fundo Mundo, a circus troupe that consists exclusively of transsexuals, travestis, and non-binary people, and researches comedy and circus history from a trans perspective.


“A cura é travesti” [“The cure is travesti”] (2020). Acrylic paint, oil paint, glass stainer, and fabric dye on canvas. Dimensions: 50cm x 60cm.

“Vingança” [“Vengeance”] (2020). From the series “Retribuição” [“In Return”]. Oil paint and acrylic paint. Dimensions: 83cm x 56cm.

“#3 Rosa Luz @ Desaquenda”. Video. Direction, Editing, and Text: Vulcânica Pokaropa. Duration: 07’ 19”. Available here.