May, 2010

Upcoming fashion stars Retalhos Cariocas have been making waves in Rio’s São Cristovão neighbourhood since 2008. This weekend the label, run by six friends, was displaying its wares at Rio-A-Porter, the  business wing of the city’s bi-annual fashion show, for the first time.  The business operates out of the residents association in the Barreira do Vasco community, a stone’s throw away from the stadium of Vasco football team and uses recycled fabrics donated by factories in the region to make accessories, footwear and coming soon, a clothes collection. The colourful and exuberant work of Retalhos Cariocas typifies the best aspects of life in Rio and is sure to go a long way. Watch this space!

The Ladies from Cantagalo. Camila (far right) and friends.

17 years after the killings of 21 innocent civilians by police AfroReggae is working to bring police, criminals and young people together to discuss issues related to crime and violence in the “Papo de Responsa” project.

Caetano Veloso, godfather of the AfroReggae band, who came to Vigário Geral in 1995 for the “band’s baptism”, stopped by to say hello.

And he joined forces with Gilberto Gil to sing “Haiti” alongside AfroReggae.

Percussionists and the AfroReggae theatre troupe represented all five of AfroReggae’s ‘nuclei’ from across the city.

VIP guests, the chef Chupetinha and film maker Estevão Ciavatta.

Vitor Onofre, AfroReggae coordinator in Vigário Geral, celebrates in front of the Waly Salomão building with baby Yasmin.

Vigário Geral meets Northern Ireland via northeast England in a project called Together Apart, that brings together breakdancing/bboying and live percussion in an exchange project devised by People’s Palace Projects in conjunction with AfroReggae . The Bad Taste Cru, a collective that originates from Omagh in Northern Ireland (now based in Newcastle) provide the moves while the guys from Vigário provide the beats. This project, presented yesterday at Rio’s João Caetano Theatre, has loads of potential. Congrats to all involved, it would be great to see more. The Bad Taste Cru describe themselves as “one big family of Bboys, skaters, writers, MCs, friends, film makers, outcasts, geeks and weirdos” who “share a common bond through a love of hip hop culture and being misfits and outcasts from our peer groups”. Fairplay to you BTC!

Vigário Geral will be celebrating the opening of an entirely state of the art building on 26 May. Named after the great poet and inspiration for AfroReggae, Waly Salomão, this Cultural Centre offers state of the art facilities in dance, theatre, and music and is a great testament to the work of AfroReggae in the community over the past 17 years. Parabens!

Last night saw a packed World Premiere of Te Vejo Maré, the full length version of Ben Holman’s documentary that is currently being serialised by the UK’s Guardian newspaper. The event took place at the Botafogo Unibanco Arteplex, one of Rio’s best cinemas, where fans sat in aisles and stairwells to see the film. Photos: Top – Ben Holman, Associate Producer Renata Fornari and Retalhos Cariocas; Middle – Ben and Renata;  Bottom: Sinval, Dona Mirian and Viviane, all from Fight for Peace in Maré.