Blogging for Brazil

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Hey all, and mainly hey myself ’cause that tends to be how blogs by total nobodies roll. I plan to keep this little online journal to track the days and weeks and also my creative processes / progress while on my arts residency at the Instituto Sacatar, Itaparica, Salvador, Brazil (phew!).

Just to sum up: I am heading to the Island of Itaparica in Brazil for an arts residency. I will write poetry and attempt my first foray into visual arts. It’s a program funded by UNESCO for emerging artists. There will be five other artists there from around the world at the same time. It’s two months long. I.am.excited.and.I.am.nervous.

So anyway. I’ve found in the past that blogging allows for some kind of strange hinterland of self-expression. I never feel like anyone is actually going to read what I write on (in?) my blog, and so I feel liberated and write as crazily, as grammatically badly, and with as many annoyingly over-used adverbs as I please. It kind of allows me to say what I want but with just enough pressure provided by the idea that someone, somewhere out there, may actually read it some day. When Aliens visit earth in 7000 years, will they think my blog is cool? The main question that haunts me while I write.

It’s a week and a half till I head off to Brazil. I am up in the Far North of New Zealand at my Dad’s house loitering around regressing to my 16 year old self – petulant, moody, untidy and really really unhelpful. It’s horrible. Sorry Dad. When you die I’ll say some really nice things at your funeral. x

I’ve just been reading the Institute Sacatar’s handbook – all the dos and do nots while visiting the island of Itaparica. Itaparica is off the coast of Brazil and belongs to the city of Salvador. Salvador is a strongly black part of Brazil with rich culture and blah blah blah. Anyway, my favorite section in the handbook is simply titled Animals – rainy season frogs, morning monkeys that scream, ‘occasional’ spiders, dogs that don’t know where outside ends and your room begins and crabs that wander into the institute off the beach (Institute Sacatar borders the beach).

One, according to the section, must be content to share one’s space with many other living creatures. Ok …. that’s cool. I think. I don’t like the sound of ‘occasional’ anythings tho. It hints at unexpectedness. At sudden shapes in your periphery while showering. Of waking in the night to see a dark shape draping itself over your mosquito net. Of things in shoes. Of things that come on karmically predestined days to teach you lessons about nature or something. Of things on shoulders that require you to turn around and stare the thing right in the many beady eyes, seeing your own many distorted and horrified faces reflected back at you before the thing suckers itself to your face, Alien style. So. Yaaahhhh. Exciting.

Nah, I am horribly excited, loving the idea of dogs, monkeys, crabs, toads and peacocks and only [adverb] scared that I won’t produce anything of value. But I guess it’s all a process, and it’s all ok.

This is the city I am going to, although Itaparica itself is a 45 minute ferry ride from the coast of Salvador. And this is the website for the Institute Sacatar. And finally this is a link to the UNESCO-aschberg bursary for artists website, in case anyone is interested in applying!

I plan to write and post photos to this site on a pretty regular basis and share with The Facebook while on my residency. x Mags