Neemias
Santana

Neemias Santana is a dance artist from Salvador da Bahia (Brazil). Graduated in Dance at the Federal University of Bahia, specializing in Contemporary Dance. Acts as a dancer, choreographer and teacher (SINUOSE training method). Co-founder of Nii/Colaboratorio, a platform that brings together dance artists, with projects of creation, training and research. He’s part of the Yanka Rudzka Project – SEMENTE (2016/17), POLYPHONIES (2018), directed by Joanna Lesnierowska and Janusz Orlik (Poland).

I would like to send you some good news from Brasil, some warm message, but as we have to share what occupied our hearts lately, all I can share with you now is the turbulence of nowadays in this part of the world. We are not completely hopeless, but we are full of anger and frustration. Sorry for not having many smiles this time.
What I choose to offer is a song that has been quite constant in my mind last week. It’s a song from 90s’ by Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, two of the most important and symbolic artists in my country. And despite being called Haiti, it speaks precisely about Brasil. About the aesthetics and nuances of the social structure and the formation of my people.

Sharing what moves me right now is the sincerest and most precious thing I could offer you.
So… here it goes, as good as I could translate it:

Haiti
When you are invited to go up in the forecourt of the Casa de Jorge Amado Foundation
To see the line of soldiers from above, almost all blacks
Spanking the heads of black rascals
Of mulatto thieves
And others almost white ones
Treated as blacks
Just to show to the others almost black (and they almost all are black)
And to the almost whites poor as blacks
How do blacks, poor and mulattos
And almost whites almost blacks from being so poor are treated

And it doesn’t matter if the eyes of the whole world, for a moment, may be looking to the square
Where enslaved ones were punished
And today the Batuque, a drum beat with the purity of uniformed boys
From high school on parade day
And the epic greatness from the formation of a nation
Attracts us, dazzles us and stimulates us
It doesn’t matter at all
Neither the design of the old houses, nor the lens of the Fantastic
Not even Paul Simon’s music album
No one
No one is a citizen
And if you go to the Pelourinho street parties
And if you do not go
Think about Haiti
Pray for Haiti
Haiti is here
Haiti is not here

And on TV, if you see a congressman panicking
Badly disingenuous
Before any, but really any, any, any educational plan
That seems easy
That looks easy and fast
Which pose as threat of to democratize the primary education
And if that same congressman defends the adoption of death penalty
And the venerable Cardinal says he sees so much spirit in the fetus
And none in the marginal
What if, when crossing the signal, the usual old red signal
Notice a man peeing on the street corner over a shiny Leblon garbage bag
And when you hear the smiling silence of São Paulo in the face of the slaughter

111 defenseless prisoners
But prisoners are almost all black
Or almost black
Or almost whites almost blacks from being so poor
And poor are like rotten
And everyone knows how blacks are treated
And when you go for a walk in the Caribbean
And when you go fuck without a condom
And to present your intelligent participation in the blockade against Cuba
Think about Haiti
Pray for Haiti
Haiti is here
Haiti is not here