We are pleased to welcome Benjamin Abras to our new AR–Tangiers residency hosted in collaboration with a network of local spaces and institutions including the Tangier Gnawa school of music and Atelier Kisseria. Abras will research local dance traditions working alongside the people of Tangiers, in line with ongoing research into movement and the body in social space.
Born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Benjamin Abras is an Afro-Brazilian visual artist, dancer and performer whose work explores black culture and the restrictions placed upon the black body. Through his work Abras aims to sensitize people to human rights issues as they relate to the black Brazilian community through the strength of contemporary black art. In his work as an actor, dancer, poet, writer and performer Abras aims to connect African culture with contemporary dance, often by working alongside communities.
Abras gained pedagogical experience as a dance and theatre trainer for the ARENA da Cultura project in Minas Gerais. He has also taught Capoeira de Angola within the Cultural association Eu sou Angoleiro and introductory music courses as part of the Winter Festival of the Federal University of Minas Gerais.
Abras was under threat in Brazil, he was subject to harassment in the form of repeated calls and having his house broken into. This followed the murder of several of his friends and associates over a period of decades as part of the sustained persecution of black Brazilians by the authorities.
Interview with Benjamin Abras, Malta Festival Poznań 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JidLJcs-KTM
Interview with Benjamin Abras, 2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHImNbjOAhU
Kalundu, 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pANwlHpZUoU&feature=youtu.be
Benjamin Abras is an Artists at Risk (AR)-ENSH Resident, currently hosted in cooperation with Art Veda at AR-Tunis. The AR-Network is curated by Perpetuum Mobile (PM) and is coordinated by the AR-Secretariat, co-funded by Kone Foundation. AR-The European Network of Safe Havens (AR-ENSH) is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.
Previously, Abras was funded by the AR Covid-19 Emergency Fund and Protect Defenders.EU. He was also an Artists-at-Risk (AR) Resident at AR-Tangiers hosted by AR in cooperation with a local network including the Tangier Gnawa school of music and Atelier Kisseria.
Background image courtesy: http://www.delfinafoundation.com/whats-on/performance-arawo-the-bodys-secret/