In addition to meeting with like-minded collectives, Parasite 2.0 also held a workshop in Sāo Paulo together with Brazilian architecture practice Clube, where design and architecture students came together to envision future urban environments. Forecast Artistic Director Freo Majer, who held a workshop in Rio de Janeiro—a condensed format of Forecast, where he was joined by former Forecast mentor, artist Laura Lima—met with Parasite 2.0 and Seymour at the end of their work-stay to find out how the project developed.
Majer: What inspired you to choose Brazil as the location for this condensed work-stay with your mentor?
Parasite 2.0: The project we developed for Forecast, Nasty Temple, is based on finding new forms of collectivity within different environments, and we thought that it would be interesting to gather various collectives in a single occasion, including a collective from Brazil. What’s more, the second stop on our two-week work-stay is Sāo Paulo, which came out of our fascination with the Teatro Oficina, built by Italian-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi, and how this place was and is crucial to overturning certain hierarchies we find in the medium of theater.
The impressions we’ve gotten from Brazil are that a lot of contemporary issues are manifested here in an extreme way. At the same time, there’s a strong sense of collectivity, a connection to activism, and an engaged political background. It’s interesting to see how this sense of collectivity feeds back into society in everyday life. You can see it in the streets, as the base of the city itself.
Majer: What were your local hosts like, in Rio and Sāo Paulo?
Parasite 2.0: What we find very interesting about the collectives and organizations hosting us here—the Goethe-Institut (GI), Esponja, OPAVIVARÁ!, and Coletivo Em Silêncio—are the ways in which they form a collective image rather than highlight individuality.
The fact that GI is deeply connected to local associations, artists, and activists is also impressive: They’re in touch with different figures at different levels, from the museum director to the favela activist.
Another impressive aspect was to see how to create a space that becomes a focal point of a certain society within a city. Esponja in Sāo Paulo, for example, creates this important hot spot where people can come together and work within this reality.
Jerszy Seymour: It’s incredibly helpful to have people who know the terrain and make introductions. Esponja and Yusuf Etiman—who’s kindly hosting us here—enable us to have a connection to the inside workings of Sāo Paulo, its activist community, trans community, and alternative artist communities. It lets us investigate our subject in another context and also share with them.