Student Work

  • Fine Arts (MFA)

    Anna Parisi

    Raízes (Roots)

    Raízes (Roots) is a steel-and-iron sculpture designed to reveal unknown or hidden facts regarding the reality of racist oppression in Brazil. It combines personal accounts with ideas of Whitening, as proposed by Gilberto Freyre in his book The Masters and the Slaves. The rusty magnifying glasses in the structure act as a lens for viewing, a metaphor for revealing or concealing structural violence and the state apparatuses. Brazilian roots have always been tainted by powerful machinery that segregated black bodies (specifically of women) and created a system of castes that still persists to this day. Raízes  speaks of erasure, marginalization, and invisibility. It emphasizes the need for visibility and representation regarding people of color in the country. Although small in scale, it screams about the ongoing oppression and its effects on racialized and female-coded bodies. Raízes offers the viewer an opportunity to observe the dialogue between the personal and the public, the micro and macro of how politics and hegemonic racist ideology affect racial identities in the most intimate and personal sphere. It investigates the private by mirroring the historical erasure of race and the corrosion of identity from the social structures of Brazilian society.