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Interview with

Maria Celeste Ferreira

Foto Maria Celeste.jpg

The Quilombo Space is a showcase of independent artists and cultural producers from Brazil’s urban periphery. In Brazil, the quilombo was a maroon community where formerly enslaved Africans and their descendents settled, and forged a new society, resisting their exploitation and dehumanization. Today, the term quilombo symbolizes hope, solidarity, freedom, and autonomy for subaltern peoples of Brazil and around the world. Quilombo Space is curated and hosted by Flávio Lima, director of Casarti, A Casa do Artista Independente, a cultural center that supports the arts in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro. Join Flávio as he interviews musicians, filmmakers, poets and artists who are changing the cultural landscape of Brazil today.

Maria Celeste Ferreira, who goes by Celeste,  says that she is a first-generation Carioca, meaning she is the first in her family to be born in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Besides that, she highlights that from a young age, she learned to observe the differences among regions within the city. 

She graduated with a degree in History from the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), and Celeste has vast experience teaching in both public and private schools, located mainly in the suburbs of the city. Dealing with students while participating in movements dedicated to preserving cultural heritage, she eventually joined the Institute Histórico e Geográfico da Baixada de Irajá (IHGBI). As a member of this Institute, Celeste decided to pursue a master’s degree from the same University. 

The fact that certain properties aren’t represented in the history of a city (one which was for a long time the capital of the country) inspired Celeste to research and talk about the preservation and maintenance of the church in her neighborhood: a building from the 17th century and the Cine Vaz Lobo, inaugurated in 1941, and hosted a visit from the President of the Republic at the time. 

In this conversation, Celeste talks about this experience. 

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