Redemption Mariana Luiza

Co-commissioned by IDFA DocLab

1911, Brazil unveiled its ambitious national project during the Universal Congress of Races in London. The Brazilian population would be primarily white within a century or three generations. Completely exterminating blacks and mestizos from its composition. Featuring a black grandmother, a mestizo mother, a white father and their light-skinned infant at the centre of the frame, the painting Ham's Redemption (A Redenção de Cam) was exhibited during the congress as a symbol of the racial whitening ideology in Brazil. "The black passing into white, in the third generation, by the effect of crossing races".

More than 110 years later, creator Mariana Luiza - who identifies as Black - critiques Brazil's racial whitening policy and offers a poetic, counter-colonial answer to this painting in an immersive installation. Redemption transforms space, image, sound and scent into a labyrinth. At the start of the journey, the space is flooded with archive footage. As the exploration continues, we find ourselves in a dark and deep hollow of Kalunga, or the centre of the earth. We see an alternative destination for Ham's Redemption and meet the cosmovision of the Bantu civilizational presence in Brazil. Here, the experience of time is no longer linear; contrary to what the Bantu believe, it curves and repeats.

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