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Everyday is a Saint Day

Ricardo Teles | Brazil

Diptych – Left; Mister Luis waits the arrival of the procession at the Arturos community church. Contagem, Minas Gerais State. Right: The Iemanjá Spiritual house in Codo, Maranhão state.

Black slavery lasted 350 years in Brazil. It was the most perverse, long-lasting and lucrative business in the New World.

As a result, Africans found themselves in a dire situation. Banzo, as silent suicide was called, and the quilombos, fugitive slave communities that originated mass revolts, were some of the alternatives that demonstrate the denial of engagement to comply with the status quo.

However, perhaps the most common and effective form of resistance was Afro-Brazilian cults and celebrations. Instead of self-destruction, they sought to face the harshest conditions with the disposition to endure. The method they used was meant to transform the self-destructive impulse into discourse, thus controlling the threats with faith and building a new social and cultural identity.

Nowadays, this culture influences all races and layers of the multifaced Brazilian society, although it continues to be often persecuted by prejudices and religious intolerance.

Ricardo Teles - rteles@uol.com.br

+55 11 991865710

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