In this edition of the Diaspora podcast, we chat with Alex Simiema. Alex is from Goiás, in Brazil, he lived in Natal, Brasília, and also in California, London, France, residing today in Lisbon, and Austria. A nomad? An explorer? Or this is a certain inquietude of an artist’s soul?
He is a poet and visual artist. From the straight lines of his poetry to the curves of his paintings, he has always been concerned with how the classic could fit in modern times and understand what is his participation in this process. A lover of urban art and a fan of contemporary knitting, he is the creative director of Brasil Mata Viva, a nature preservation movement of which he is also a founder.
Currently, he is a candidate for a place at the Austrian Academy of Fine Arts, participates in art contests around the world, and prepares his first exhibition open to the Lisbon public.
“Some people say that my colors scream. I want my paintings to shout out loud.”
In this conversation, Alex tells us about his artistic routine and processes, and how is important to him that his arts are explicit Brazilian. BRAZILIAN, with capital letters; even with all his experience outside Brazil, with all the mixture of an ex-pat and with an impeccable English speaking; Alex wants to show the identity and beauty of Brazil and Brazilians to the world.
“I would like to believe that Brazil is not a root, Brazil is wings.”
He knows that the possibility of losing its identity is one of the fears we have as an immigrant, but Alex was always a mixture: a descendant of Lebanese, was born and raised in the Potiguar and Nordestina cultures, and exposed to classical and folk music and literature since he is a child.
“What I mostly take from this exposition to the world is that I have to learn to respect the others and recognise the cultural differences”
In his arts, he seeks to portray his engagement with nature and its preservation, as an extension of his environmental activism. Alex tells us about the project Brasil Mata Viva, a project that seeks to control and preserve nature without the rural producers be directly affected.
We end our conversation in Portuguese language reading his poem “Carta aberta, jamais enviada,” swapping language to English from 1:00 hour time of our podcast.
Our chat with English speakers is about Alex’s works in the art and in environmental activism, also about the places he lived and his experiences in them, including Lisbon, during the isolation due to COVID-19, and where he is exhibiting his arts made during the quarentine. “Desconfinar-te” is at Mitó house.
During the quarantine, Alex saw a “Lisbon without a soul”, but he used artistic instruments to bring to life some images of people who have passed by him at some point pre-pandemic, also bringing reflections on the inquietude of life.
Join us in this conversation!