Founded nearly 15 years ago, the Museu Afro Brasil, a renowned reference for research on the African perspective in the formation of Brazilian identity, culture and heritage, and the only one of its kind in Latin America, is facing a real threat of closure due to lack of funding. A decree by the São Paulo state government imposing cuts of almost 23% on funds earmarked for cultural facilities in 2019 has left the group of just over 60 employees fearing the worst.
No one wants to see such an important space for the Afro-Brazilian discussion, in a country with such a strong black presence in its formation, cease to exist, say staff. As soon as they heard the news, they mobilized together with representatives from other cultural institutions to protest and pressure the government to reverse the decision. They also went to the streets to condemn the government’s disregard for culture, as well as to the legislature to discuss, in a public hearing, the consequences that such cuts could have.