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The “Audacity” of Visibility: Preta-Rara’s Feminist Praxis

  • Author(s): Perrine, Alida Louisa
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license
Abstract

In this article, I examine the formidable array of artistic production and advocacy work by Preta-Rara, a feminist rapper from São Paulo, Brazil, especially her use of social media and her music, in which she mobilizes feminist discourses to challenge racist and sexist imagery of black women that proliferate in mainstream representations. Preta-Rara’s self-expression through the visibility of her body directly contests traditional notions of the place and purpose of black women’s bodies that have been reinforced and reconfigured through popular representations over the past century. I utilize Preta-Rara’s own term audácia (audacity)as a way to understand the way she frames her own subjectivity, and further as a way to approach other black women performers’ interventions in the public sphere. In this way, Preta-Rara herself provides a theoretical framework of audacious existence as a way for us to understand her choices and experiences.Using this lens, I illustrate the importance of Preta-Rara’s use of her own body in her music and her social media profiles as a source of pride, an expression of joy, and a fount of artistic creativity. In this way, I use audacity to understand how Preta-Rara subverts expectations for her body to perform poorly paid manual labor, and instead uses her body as a site of cultural resistance that affirms herself and black women and girls who listen to her music and follow her activities on social media.

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