C&AL: When and how did the idea to create the Afro Project come about?
DA: The Afro Project was born out of a desire to bring together content that is entirely geared toward the discussion of themes of Afro-Brazilian art and to do so in a single space. The focus is on the works of Black artists, so that their names become even better known to the public—whether in the context of the arts or not. It was three years ago that the Afro Project started to take shape, when the outline was mapped out for what the platform is today. In 2018, I put that content on social media and started publishing a little about what I had been researching. The following year, I put out a public call for portfolios from emerging artists from all over the country. By the time I launched the site in June of 2020, I had received 157 files. That’s when I understood that I would not be able to find such artists in books, catalogs and texts that I knew. It was essential to include them in the Project, putting them next to artists of previous decades and centuries, to suggest a parallel between narratives, themes, techniques and dates.
The project of the website, which took a year to develop, is carried out independently. This long process was extremely important for us to create a platform that is easily accessible and navigable. After it was launched, a great number of artists wanted to participate in this collective action. This response is really significant. Currently, I am organizing new content that is coming in nonstop, broadening the initial mapping with new names from all over the country.