Salvador may have the highest proportion of Afro-Brazilians in the country, but there was little representation of young Black Brazilian culture – at least that’s what Yasmin Reis and Luma Nascimento decided. Their response was to create Circuito Rolezinho, a series of events for young people in Salvador that offers workshops and events around film, dance, food and self-care.
Rolezinho Circuito runs out of Reis’ father’s music store in Pelourinho, downtown Salvador, and is named after the rolezinhos or mall meet-ups organised by young people from the economically impoverished periferia of São Paulo in 2013.
“It’s about leaving your comfort zone and being provocative,” says Reis.
Video: Usina Films
How would you define Circuito Rolezinho?
Yasmin Reys: Circuito Rolezinho is a new way of thinking about the reality of being young, black and alive in Brazil.
And what is it like to be young black in Brazil, in Bahia?
Luma Nascimento: I believe that being young black in Bahia, in Salvador is a kind of resistance. We see the statistics very focused on eradication and death – being alive and contradicting these numbers is a resistance movement.
How is Circuito Rolezinho trying to change those statistics?
Yasmin: We try to do this through Afrofuturism, which is a movement that rescues our histories with new ways of telling it. That’s what Circuito Rolezinho does, it acts as a new narrative and occupies spaces and possible futures for this youth.
Luma: We thought we could counteract these statistics by creating new possibilities of representation. We have a lot of cultural events in Salvador, but with little representation. In a city that more than 80% of the population is black, it’s a bit contradictory.
So how are you doing it, exactly?
Yasmin: Circuito Rolezinho happens in Pelourinho, Salvador downtown. We run extended activities – 20 hour events that cover conversation, dance and gastronomy workshops, movie sessions and self-care activities.
What do you intend going forward with the project?
Yasmin: The next step is to bring together people who are fragmented. Bring the possibility of saying ‘you don’t need to be part of those statistic’. You can show other aspects of yourself. It’s about leaving your comfort zone and being provocative.