Brasília street paper Revista Traços’s ‘Spokespersons for Culture’ have their lives reflected back to them through drama

Since its inception, the Revista Traços magazine has been reflecting the art side of the Brazilian capital of Brasília through the people that sell it, in turn opening a window of opportunity for people facing extreme vulnerability. Across the world, street paper sellers are often known as “vendors”, or “salespeople”, or simply “sellers”, or a translation thereof. Those who sell Revista Traços are described as ‘Spokespersons for Culture’ – on the street, they are the people who present the cultural diversity of Brasília to its people and represent the positive social impact art and culture can have on a community. Now, to honour their cultural spokespeople, Traços invited artists to dramatically retell their life stories through the webseries ‘Traços da Gente’.

The seven episodes of ‘Traços da Gente’ show the stories of seven different ‘Spokespersons for Culture’. They were homeless or extremely vulnerable and by becoming part of the program of income generation and autonomy gain of Traços, they were able to change their lives. In each episode, an actor or artist powerfully replays – through spoken word and with dramatic effect – the life of the featured ‘Spokesperson for Culture’.

The series’ cast and behind-the-camera crew is made up of well-known names in Brasília’s art scene. With a screenplay and direction by journalist and cultural producer Rhenan Soares, the series is based on profiles written by fellow journalist and writer José Rezende Jr., who runs the section titled ‘3×4’ in the Traços magazine which is dedicated to the lives of the ‘Spokespersons for Culture’.

“The series is a compilation of what can happen to any of our lives when the state neglects the basics and society compounds its social problems,” comments Soares. He interviewed all the protagonists before writing the scripts and proposed a “stage game” with each actor and actress, so that they could build the narrative of the story and the interpretation of each character. On stage, scenes of the spaces where these people took shelter when they were on the streets were used as background. “Some of the artists who accepted the invitation to the series already knew the ‘Spokespersons for Culture’ featured [through meeting them in the streets and buying the magazine],” he details.

‘Traços da Gente’ can be seen on:

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