Brazilian girls learn to break through taboos with photos and
By creating images of their living environments, girls think
about the role patterns with which they grew up. That is the idea
a new initiative. Why is a man at the sink such a strange thing?
And a woman at the sink - is that normal or is that repression?
Girls from a slum in Rio de Janeiro learn the ins and outs of
camera techniques and creating reports in series of workshops.
Workshops for over twenty girls between the ages of 15 and 19 started
at the end of August. It is a collaborative project by the Brazilian
organisations CARABrasil and Espaço Feminino. This is the
first time such a course has been given in Rio especially for girls.
Other subjects with which the participants are sent into the field
are health and sexuality, for example. Anouk Piket is a co-founder
of CARABrasil, along with Marcelus Pequeno. She is just back from
the Netherlands where she was raising funds: ‘Most Brazilian
girls know that they should use a condom when having sex, but the
men don’t want it because the more children a man has, the
more status he has. So the women are left behind with a baby, while
the father moves on to the next girlfriend. The objective of the
course is to make girls aware that they do not have to put up with
such behaviour.’ At the end of December, after the course
ends, the video material will be shown to other young people in
the neighbourhood. The objective is to prompt discussions among
them about subjects that are rarely discussed in the regular Brazilian
In addition to the photo and video course CARABrasil organises
other audio-visual activities for young people in the neighbourhood
together with local organisations. For example there is a radio
program on the local station Madame Satã. In the photo is
Mosca, a person who formerly lived on the streets, who is now the
manager of the radio station. The point of departure is always to
bring young people into contact with one another, to provide structure,
and to work on their self-esteem. Anouk Piket: ‘The large
newspapers and television stations continually portray these young
people as drug dealers and criminals. This makes them feel inferior.
We want to show the young people from the slums that they have the
power to influence their own lives by giving them a basic knowledge
of how to create media.’