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In Portuguese, ‘atropelar’ is the act of running over something or someone; in Brazilian graffiti culture, the term is used to describe the act of running over someone else’s visual intervention by spraying on top of it. It is considered a sign of disrespect, an invitation to further conflict, in an ongoing battle of visual marks and linguistic encounters. In colloquial Brazilian Portuguese, the term can be used to describe the act of talking over someone – an act of silencing that is often gendered or racialized.

As part of the 2018 Walk&Talk Festival, Luiza and I travelled to three locations across the island of São Miguel, marking each site with an evolving visual 'billboard' of pasted words and images. As we moved from one location to the next, a copy of the previous billboard was taken with us, becoming the canvas for the following intervention.  We wanted to highlight the complex colonial narratives that criss-cross and overlap in the Azores islands. Our acts of “atropelos” were designed to turn each act of dissent into positive, affirmative interventions, eventually building a series of overlapping inscriptions that addressed various systems of power that have marked the history of the Azores.

The first poster links the epic poem Os Lusíadas, written by Luís de Camões, to the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a monument to Portuguese colonialism erected in 1960 and located in Lisbon, positioned to point toward the sea.

In Portuguese, ‘atropelar’ is the act of running over something or someone; in Brazilian graffiti culture, the term is used to describe the act of running over someone else’s visual intervention by spraying on top of it. It is considered a sign of disrespect, an invitation to further conflict, in an ongoing battle of visual marks and linguistic encounters. In colloquial Brazilian Portuguese, the term can be used to describe the act of talking over someone – an act of silencing that is often gendered or racialized.

As part of the 2018 Walk&Talk Festival, Luiza and I travelled to three locations across the island of São Miguel, marking each site with an evolving visual 'billboard' of pasted words and images. As we moved from one location to the next, a copy of the previous billboard was taken with us, becoming the canvas for the following intervention.  We wanted to highlight the complex colonial narratives that criss-cross and overlap in the Azores islands. Our acts of “atropelos” were designed to turn each act of dissent into positive, affirmative interventions, eventually building a series of overlapping inscriptions that addressed various systems of power that have marked the history of the Azores.

The second poster, our first act of atropelo, runs over these symbols of Portuguese colonialism with lyrics by Brazilian musician MC Carol, where she rejects the hegemonic narrative of a ‘discovery’ of Brazil; this was the first poster pasted in the island of São Miguel, in a location that faces Lisbon across the sea.

Lucas Odahara’s Atropelo is based on a Marian devotion that him and his mother often appeals to: Our Lady Untier of Knots. The devotion stems from a German painting by Johann Georg Melchior Schmidtner , ca. 1700, and is known in Brazil for solving everyday problems. For this image, a prayer is written for the untying of history’s knots. The images are part of Lucas’ current visual research at the Gemaeldegalerie in Berlin in the search for knots in their painting collections as a way to re-navigate art history.

The prayer, translated:

Our Lady Untier of knots,

Our Lady Untier of knots, Is it from unknot to unknot that history is unmade? Mom said that a knot is the end of the future passing by the rising start of the past without intention to stop. Unknot is the unopposite: the end of the past surpassing the pace of the future. Which ties that untied can decolonize an endangered body? Our Lady Untier of Knots, guide my untying, which I promise, bare no unintentions.

Lucas Odahara

Full of Loops

Full of Loops takes the ‘Old Time’ portrait studio as its starting point. Having visited and photographed one such portrait studio, Jennifer Martin was interested in the inherent problems of such places in which race and gender are usually stereotyped for an experience of ‘fairground fun’.

Each vinyl print originates from Shutterstock images of costumed models. Their constructions align with the binary narrative of their particular character. The vinyl prints are arranged in pieces, they cover each other, cling, and peel from the wall. The faces of each figure are scratched out; the viewer confronts only the character—the cowboy, cowgirl, bandito, native girl, and the submissive slave girl. There is no ability to stand behind these figures, to put one's face through a hole and take up that role for the banal, narcissistic exercise of dressing oneself as hero or sex symbol for the camera. There is also no possibility of judging the individual model whose identity is now obscured. Instead, the characters become confronting, they confront each other as well as the viewer.

www.jennifer-martin.co.uk

Rasha Kahil

My Atropelo seeks to reclaim ownership of the artist’s body, devoid of any layer of meaning ascribed by the Other. ‬

As a female Lebanese artist, ‬my body often becomes a battleground for stereotyped colonial narratives of gender and race, ‬intrinsically cattle-branded as Arab, ‬Westernized, ‬Oriental or Secular, ‬independently of the artwork itself. ‬The level of ‘Arabness’ of ‬my body, ‬my voice and my work is often used, ‬and by all parties, ‬as a measuring tool of my belonging, ‬alternatively leading to my appropriation or rejection by one or the other. The collaged layering of multiple cut-out photographs of my body—self-portrait material used as studies for one of my past projects—is used to amplify the voice of resistance presented through the statements in Arabic script. ‬

“I am not your Westerner” ‬/ “I am not your Lebanese” ‬/ “I am not your body” ‬/ “I am not your woman” ‬/ “I am not your Arab”

My intervention is an attempt at denaturalising my own body and subsequently reclaiming it as my own.‬

www.rashakahil.com


Dissenting and affirmative, the atropelo competes with the established history, but maybe it also competes with itself, because it is in flux.

It uses whitewashing and ripping as a means to create new ground.

The laughing/crying camel symbolises the exotic Orient, the one from the Delacroix paintings and the tourist rides to the pyramids.

My questions are:
How do I acknowledge my heritage without becoming defined by it?
and
How do I engage wih the Other despite my ignorance of the Other?


Sorawit Songsataya

Digital technology, while having many advantages, is also a tool of the Empire – created by the empire not only for social but also economic reasons. This tool has the power to render us as its own propaganda, keep us in its malls, and sell a more desirable versions of ourselves back to us. How can digital modality be a weapon for us to strip away the very fabric that cover our true selves and our communities? In what way can we use these digitised tools to build new images and subjectivities, away from the commodification and oppression of our identities?

http://1109895.me/


While Maori art is a popular home decoration in Aotearoa (New Zealand), a very small percentage is authentic. In fact a majority is made by pakeha (non Maori) businesses/souvenir shops. In galleries it is rare to see Maori art made by Maori artists, sold at the same value. This creates a huge disconnection between Maori and our art. Pushing us out of the galleries and away from exhibition work. In effort to reclaim and reconnect with the colours of the Maori and pacific world, I visualise Te Ao Maori through the eyes of early colonial documentation. Rendering their depiction of Maori with a new more colourful new gaze. 

Te Ariki Alistair Taniwha


"This work is part of a six-piece series called "Gold of the Amazon".
The cow arrived to the margins of the forest and is going deeper. Magnificent and terrifying, this is what lies beyond the mining and the devastation, another feeling of 'atropelo'. The cow climbed above the trees, above man who lives under the trees."

http://www.jaideresbell.com.br/


Umber Majeed
Dil (Heart) is an image produced from a larger research project, “Atomi Daamaki Wali Mohabbat (The Atomically Explosive Love)”. Using state and familial archives, the project rearticulates the history of nuclear power in Pakistan, the first ‘Muslim nuclear state’ through a feminist lens. The excerpted quote is an English translation from, “Jawab e Shikwa (Response to the Complaint)” by Allama Iqbal, a prominent, deceased poet, philosopher and politician. My grandfather, Pirzada Waheed, an amateur analog photographer used this quote to accompany a photograph that he gifted to Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of the nuclear project in Pakistan. His imagery juxtaposed analog film techniques, flora imagery, and state-religiosity to depict an explosive blast of national beauty. Dil (Heart) illustrates the persistent atropelos specific to the digital interface over subjectivists outside of the patriarchal state.

www.umbermajeed.com




About atropelos.com

Walk&Talk

Rourke and Prado

Lucas Odahara

Jennifer Martin

Rasha Kahil

Flore Nové-Josserand

Sorawit Songsataya

Te Ariki Alistair Taniwha

Jaider Esbell

Umber Majeed


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