Born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Benjamin Abras is an Afro-Brazilian artist and performer whose work explores black culture and the restrictions placed upon the body in social space. 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 and dance, often working alongside the community.
Abras has pedagogical experience as a dance and theatre trainer in the context of the ARENA da Cultura project in Minas Gerais. He has also taught introductory music courses as part of the Winter Festival of Federal University of Minas Gerais, as well as being a Capoeira de Angola teacher within the Cultural association Eu sou Angoleiro.
Abras has faced threats in Brazil in the form of harassment calls, a having well his house broken into. This follows the murder of several of his friends and associates over a period of decades as part of a 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) Resident hosted by AR in cooperation with a local network. As always, this AR Residency is curated by Perpetuum Mobile.
The AR Secretariat is generously funded by Kone Foundation.
Background image, courtesy: https://www.dancedeets.com/events/1506112476091168/afro-brazilian-dance-workshop-with-benjamin-abras-br