I was born and raised in an environment disconnected from art. Back home, that was not a priority. Today, I even understand why. After all, how to give importance to something that is not well known? Or rather, how to prioritise art without having access to it?
And that’s how I grew up: with very little access to cultural spaces. As a child my artistic experiences came from the music played on a small radio on the kitchen’s table. I remember that when I was six years old I had a great desire to dance ballet, which remained until seven, eight, nine years old… I did not dream of being a famous dancer, I just wanted to know what it felt like to learn to dance that. When I realised that it was inaccessible to me, I started asking the school friends who were taking weekly ballet classes to explain to me each movement. And that’s how I was able to get a little into this world. There was even a day when a classmate, sympathetic to my intense curiosity, allowed me to experience her ballerina slippers.
Oh, how I loved the feeling of dancing with a pink square-toed slippers and white ankle straps! For a few minutes I tried to steady myself, realising that this dance would be too hard for me. My large feet from walking barefoot through the streets did not fit the delicate shape of those shoes. Gradually the urge to do ballet faded, and of course, like every child, I soon found another excitement to replace the old one. My new dream was to learn to play the guitar, but the needs at home were different and the guitar, like ballet, was not on the list. I quickly put that aside and learned to be content to hear someone play the guitar. I loved it when I met someone who strummed some notes, among loads of fun, school tasks and some repressions that were already part of the routine. The fact is that, despite the restrictions on artistic consumption, I had a lot of access to raw creativity.
As a teenager, when my universe became boring because I was no longer excited about routine things, I discovered a little book stored among old notebooks. At that moment, a new world opened before my eyes. I marvelled at characters who showed me unimaginable realities for a simple girl. The Lost Island, by Brazilian writer Maria José Dupré, made me spend hours between the narrated adventures. When I found myself, the story ended and when I came across without those presences, I felt a huge emptiness. Then I started looking for other books, because I needed to find new lines to go through with my eyes. But books in that house were not a priority either. I can’t say for sure when those wishes were just memories of my childhood, what I do know is that, with each new year of life, I felt an uncontrollable need to see and live a little beyond those urgencies. Then how it would be?
For me, there was only one way: art. I was inadvertently entering spaces that allowed me to connect with some fragments of it. Currently, I live with literature, theatre, dance, music, bohemia, photography, gastronomy, contemporary art, poetry readings, social movements and conversations around the corners. I confess that in all these fittings I have never been the main character. I preferred to stay away from the audience except at the theatre. The stage was always free to greet me before an audience that made my heart race through an indescribable mix of anxiety and pleasure. I believe it must be something similar that artists feel when sharing their work. What a wonderful experience!
Today, as an adult, here at home art has become a priority. I follow my path searching for places where my eyes can fit. I wander the streets, wishing my ears to be surprised by some symphony that goes beyond everyday demands, hunting for moments where my body can vibrate upon hearing an electrifying sound or a ravishing voice. In this home now, we find in the arts the opportunity to feel any emotion beyond what we cultivate within us. This is how I can experience much more than the everyday banality that wants to put us down. And if we now prioritise art, it is not because we have resources for show off, but because we learn to appreciate the pulsing of corners, encounters and movements, all in curious pursuit.
I am not an artist, I am Geizi Carla dos Santos, a mere spectator of the small and often opportunities to witness the shows that life offers. I learned from a young age that even though I am not the flavour of the month, I can always delight in the art that others offer to me. And it was buzzing around here and there that I found this Diaspora, a space where art overflows linguistic barriers and crosses geographical borders!
Art, poetry, music or everything that doesn’t fit into the heart can be found here.
It was in my place, silently observing the artists who perform here, that I felt this urge to express a little of what I experience through these arts. In this way, I will share here different sensations based on those looks. And in this place of so many possibilities, you will always find art in generous doses, for it is in everything and always will be a Priority!
Translated by Paola Benevides