Brazil’s Black Queer Scene is a Beautiful Act of Resistance… Meet Afrobapho

When I planned my third trip to Brazil (if you can call spontaneously booking a flight on the orders of your best friend who’s worried about your mental and emotional wellbeing), I hadn’t expected to be so immersed in the black queer community. As someone who’s intrigued in exploring black identity and it’s intersections, surrounding myself with black people who identify as LGBTQ+ gave me a greater understanding of black pride than I’d experienced anywhere else… Brazil’s Black Queer scene is a beautiful act of resistance… See for yourself – meet Afrobapho!

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Afrobapho in Pelourinho, Salvador | Photo: Kai Lutterodt

“I created this collective as a way to have dialogue with our society about our dissident bodies, and our intersections among race, gender, and sexuality. Speaking through art as the universal language about what we’ve experienced, and building a space for seeing our bodies in urban spaces in a natural way, competing with other narratives in the streets because the streets also belong to us. We want to change the idea that we have to stay in ghettos. In fact, we have to explore those spaces because those belong to us too.” Alan Costa shared with me.

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Afrobapho in Pelourinho, Salvador | Photo: Kai Lutterodt

“The Collective was created in November 2015. In fact, we started as a discussion group on Facebook, and then I began to know people through them the social media groups. I met Teodora and Malaika. We decided to put our ideas out there, practice them, take the streets through performance presentations, through parties etc. The group is really formed by black queer who are engaged with art, artists and use their art to do their activism… the combination of art and activism.”

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Afrobapho | Photo: Kai Lutterodt

Follow Afrobapho on Instagram @afrobapho

Special thanks to Cintia Cruz (a badass queer feminist) for the translation.
Photos and video: Travelmaker Kai

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Kai with Afrobapho after the shoot | Photo: Cintia Cruz

What Brazil offered me, which I’d never seen before at home in London, or any other part of my travels, was a diverse representation of being black. Imagine seeing women that could be your aunties sharing their love story which spans over 30 years? Growing up, the thought of having aunties that could be lesbians was more unthinkable than being gay. Where I’d been robbed of witnessing an inclusive sense of blackness, my last trip to Brazil offered examples in bucketloads… I’ll be sharing more this pride month and beyond!

Happy Pride to all my LGBTQ+ chosen family across the globe! 🏳️‍🌈

As always, don’t forget to let me know your thoughts on this post in the comment box below!

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