[07] Holy Clown: Between Tradition and Latin American Neoliberal Fascism


To jump, escape, glide, transcend, laugh, guide, play, show, disturb, sing, play, exceed, transform, dance: actions that manifest themselves in the celebrations of the various cultures that cross us, creating a world of dynamic forms that deliberately distance us from the serious, the fixed, and the normative. We also focus on our everyday experiences both as researchers in the academic world and as participants in the making of the artistic scene, amidst the social noise of a topsy-turvy world. In this context and based on our experiences, we propose to question the intersections and hybridizations between sacred performances, artistic scenes, and the transfigured body that expresses itself and creates the scene. Characters from old traditions are recuperated and reconfigured in a difficult political moment, characterized by new forms of the old Latin American dictatorships. We invite artists, activists, and academics to participate in the research and study of events and performances that mobilize and shake our society in search of new forms of social, political, and cultural expression.

Format and structure:

The participants will discuss and develop relevant activities in connection with the specific work group themes, using visual, sound, and/or embodied practice.

List of what applications to the work group should include:

Proponents should submit a 200-word abstract of the essay/performance/project that they intend to share with the group, which should be relevant to the theme proposed by the working group conveners, and therefore will allow us to expand our reflections.

Ideal number of participants:

Maximum of 20 participants.

Languages spoken/understood by the conveners:

Portuguese, English and Spanish.


Zeca Ligiéro is a writer, professor, theater director, and visual artist. He holds a Masters and a PhD from NYU and finished his postdoctoral studies at Yale University and Paris VII. Ligiéro is a tenured professor in the graduate program of Theater Arts (PPGAC) at UNIRIO – Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, founder and coordinator of NEPAA (Center for Afro-Amerindian Performance Studies), and a “Scientific Researcher from Our State” - Faperj. He is an expert in Afro-Brazilian  performance and experimental theater. His publications include Divine Inspiration from Benin to Bahia (USA), Iniciación al Candomblé  (Colombia), Malandro Divino, Carmen Miranda: uma performance afro-brasileira, Teatro e Dança como experiência comunitária and Corpo a Corpo: estudos das performances brasileiras (Brazil). He was the coordinator of Performance e Antropologia de Richard Schechner and co-coordinator of Augusto Boal: arte, pedagogia e política.

Ausonia Bernardes holds a BA in Dance from the School of Dance at Universidade Federal da Bahia; an MA in Musical Education from Conservatório Brasileiro de Música, Rio de Janeiro; and a PhD from the Theater Graduate Program at Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UNI-RIO). Bernardes was the assistant dean and academic coordinator of Faculdade Angel Vianna (FAV), Rio de Janeiro, since its foundation in 2000 until 2011. She teaches Danca, Temporality, and History at FAV since 2009. She is also a researcher at the Center for Afro-Amerindian Performance Studies (NEPAA) at UNIRIO. Her areas of interest are corporeality and staging preparation, dance history, performance studies, and Afro-Brazilian dances.