Art+ Panorama of trans visual artists in Brazil is a project that can be understood as a digital catalog or a virtual bridge to the creations of Brazilian transgender visual artists.

Resulting from the open call “TransAções: Mapeamento de artistas trans no Brasil” [“TransActions: Mapping of trans artists in Brazil”] – which happened during pandemic times in 2020, organized by the Goethe-Institut in Salvador – Art+ aims to be a space for visibility, references, inspiration, connections, opportunities, learning, and dialogue between/with/about contemporary transgender visual Brazilian artists.

Art+ was initially conceived and developed in the context of the Goethe Institut Salvador’s Vila Sul residency program, between May and June of 2020, by the social educator, curator, and art critic Renata Martins. At the time, through a national open call promoted through a partnership between Casa Aurora (LGBTQI+ Welcoming and Cultural Center) and ANTRA (Associação Nacional de Travestis e Transexuais [National Association of Travestis and Transexuals]), digital portfolios of more then 90 transvestigender artists from all regions of the country were gathered. The portfolios contained a wide variety of mediums and artistic languages. In addition to the artworks, there were original texts which analyzed and reflected upon their creative and artistic processes. 

The richness, the strength, and the quality of all of that visual and written material collected in the first round of submissions impressed everyone involved in that process so much that it served as motivation and impulse for a first action: the realization of the virtual exhibition “TransAção” [“TransAction”], in the context of the Latitudes International Festival, organized by the Goethe Institut in June of 2020. For that exhibition, a group formed by Renata Carvalho (MONART – National Movement of Trans Artists) and representatives of Casa Aurora (João Hugo and Sellena Ramos) and from the Goethe-Institut Salvador (Leonel Henckes and Renata Martins) selected 14 artists to have their works displayed digitally, in addition to receiving a fee for their participation in the exhibition.

Upon the end of the open call “TransAções: Mapeamento de artistas trans no Brasil” [“TransActions: Mapping of trans artists in Brazil”], we organized all of the material received. It was months working with a team formed by LGBTQIA+ and allied professionals, editing together with transvestigender artists their bios, selecting jointly the artworks to be displayed, and, most importantly, creating a channel of communication with lots of respect, admiration, humor, and knowledge.

Through our dialogue and reflections, it became clear that for our next steps it would be necessary to abandon the name “TransAções: Mapeamento de artistas trans no Brasil” [“TransActions: Mapping of trans artists in Brazil”] – due to all the possible connotations of the term “transaction”, which can potentially hurt trans people, as well as due to the mention of the ethnographic notion of “mapping”, which echoes the colonial history of categorization of vulnerable and so-call subaltern territories.

Through a collective process, then, we opted for Art+ Panorama of trans visual artists in Brazil. And here we have it, artworks of 71 transvestigender visual artists from 38 cities and towns in Brazil!

From the original texts with analyses and reflections on the creative and artistic processes of the artists participating in Art +, it was clear that certain topics about gender identity became important themes not only for transvestigender people but also for allies. So, in order to promote a space for an exchange of knowledge and reflection, we also have contributions by Digg Franco (political-cultural organizer, founder and president of Casa Chama) on transmasculinity in our socio-cultural context; Gabi Furst (a trans, non-binary person and journalist), on the role of collectives and transvestigender artists’ cultural associations and Pri Bertucci (social artist, CEO of DIVERSITY BBOX, and founder of SSEX BBOX) about the importance of inclusive and gender-neutral language.

We hope that Art+ Panorama of trans visual artists in Brazil can be a go-to platform for people interested in visual art and who dedicate themselves to them as curators, professionals and artists, as well as a space to establish contacts and create opportunities for all who are involved in it. 

Much gratitude to all of those who have participated in this beautiful process:

Daniel Veiga
Digg Franco
Ed Marte
Felix Toro
Friederike Möschel
Gabi Furst
Geo Nunes
Joana Filipi
João Hugo
Keila Simpson
Leonel Henckes
Manfred Stoffl
Pri Bertucci
Renata Carvalho
Sellena Ramos
Van Marcelino                                                                                                                                                   

 Renata Martins
Bonn, November 18th, 2021.