June Festival will pay tribute to Raquel Trindade

The be.Living June Festival is almost here, a moment so exciting and anticipated by the children and by our entire school community! An invaluable opportunity to share, play, and come together to celebrate Brazilian culture.

A hallmark of our June Festival, as many are aware, is the tribute we pay to an artist or movement of popular culture, as our Elementary School Pedagogical Coordinator Gabriela Fernandes explains.

“More than a traditional June festival, the ‘be.Living June Festival’ has become a great cultural event. For quite some time, we have selected certain honorees in order to introduce the children to renowned figures from this vast cultural repertoire. We have gone through several names, and from time to time we have taken a hard look at the potency of cultural manifestations coming from women and African descendants.”

This year, the festival takes the name of “Batuques, folguedos e memória: aprender e celebrando com Raquel Trindade”. For those who do not know, the honoree is the daughter of the poet Solano Trindade, and was an important cultural activist, visual artist, dancer, choreographer, essayist and teacher. She passed away in 2018 at the age of 82 and is remembered as a griot, a wise keeper of the teachings of the Afro-Brazilian diaspora.

Honorees are selected through extensive research conducted by our Brazilian culture team, led by teachers Amanda Ribeiro and Vinícius Medrado. Raquel Trindade was chosen this year for her significance in the Maracatu culture, as well as for her multi-faceted artistry, engaging in various fields while drawing inspiration from the Brazilian Afro-cultural struggle. Through her, we also recount the story of poet Solano Trindade, who is her father,” says Gabi.

The coordinator explains that, first and foremost, a sensitization process is conducted with all the teachers at the school, while the Arts teacher Bruna delves into a research that, in addition to conceptual and cultural issues, investigates the techniques and characteristics present in the artist’s works.

“Through this investigation, the children not only learn about the history of the honoree, but also gain an understanding of her art through images and prints presented in art classes, and through dance in music classes.” According to Gabriela, each class created a banner that connected the class to both Raquel Trindade and the cultural experience that each group will encounter. “Each year is researching a specific cultural manifestation from a certain region of Brazil: Y1 will present ‘Bumba meu boi’, Y2 will present ‘Coco’, Y3 will present ‘Caboclinho’, Y4 will present ‘Jongo’, and Y5 will present the ‘Cavalo Marinho’ manifestation. The children are actively involved in all aspects of preparing for the party, including the choreography for the dances.”

In Early Childhood Education, the little ones are also preparing tributes to Raquel Trindade, after being introduced to the artist and her works during Brazilian culture classes. “In the Music and Things From Here classes, the teachers presented paintings by Raquel depicting Brazilian dances such as the maracatu and the congada. They also brought two books that feature the biography of Raquel Trindade and, through play and dance, the children were able to gain a glimpse into Raquel’s life” – says Patrícia Dominguez, coordinator of Early Childhood Education.

And as usual, the school also invites the families to actively participate in the celebration. “Each year we send an item for families to decorate, creating a festive decoration for the event. The idea is that every child and family in the school participates, leaving their mark on the tradition June Festival. This year, we sent a canvas in honor of Raquel’s artistic production, a painter who created numerous works of art on canvas. It was an invitation to build something together as a family. The children took home all the knowledge they had gained in art classes, sharing with their families the references of Raquel’s paintings, the possibilities of techniques, and her life story. Extremely beautiful works are coming in! All the works will be showcased on the day of the celebration, adorning and filling our community’s June Festival with art!” – concludes Gabriela Fernandes.

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