J: Thank you for this very important message, for reinforcing it in the lives of young, young women, because I have to say this each and every day in order to continue on, to remember. And you reinforcing this is super important for us, and being a model, right, an example of a warrior woman that lives through art, which I think is the dream of many women.
M: Thank you so much also, Jamie, because in reality, art is for you to live well. You have to be balanced. Both spiritually and financially. You have to be able to live well. Because sometimes people think about wanting [things], oh I want the newest car of the year, I want this, but seriously, you just need to be, to have a house, maybe a car, you simply must work. Period. Live well. Calmly. You need your peace of spirit.
J: Simplicity goes a long way.
M: Certainly, certainly, Dr. Jamie Lee. Because in reality you realize it is dissatisfaction with yourself. You will never be one hundred percent well. Because you are always seeking materials. There is a cultural nature about it. Even filtering it through that person’s head that they’re weak, they’re this or that. They have to know they need this, and they don’t need anything else except to be well with themselves.
J: I think we’re already talking about these challenges from the pandemic, and I wanted to know because I’m not in Salvador. I left Salvador in two thousand..at the end of 2018. I returned to launch my book in 2019. I had to close the physical office of the House, which I now understand was important because before the pandemic, I didn’t know I would arrive, and it would be much more difficult to try to deal with this during this moment.
M: Yes, but your lemanjá took you out of that situation. Did you know that?
J: I agree. I think it was very important.
M: It was incredible. It was so incredible. Incredible.
J: We are seeing how to restart this project with more organization, more purpose.
M: You gained a lot of experience. So, that experience will give you guys strength to continue on. As everything is continuing, right, this exposure, this presentation in relation to the House of Sustainable Arts.
J: Yes. The idea for the podcast is to cultivate the networks that were built while working at the artistic residence in the neighborhood Dois de Julho, but we received people from all over the world, from all over Salvador, from Bahia. So, it was an exchange, a very strong cultural exchange that I as a doctoral researcher committed to make these translations, these bridges. So, I wanted to know how you see the future of Salvador’s cultural scene and the changes and how we can take action in all of it.
M: Salvador is a city that lives solely off tourism. We don’t have big businesses here; we don’t have big factories. So, it’s a city that lives off tourism and services, and it all stopped. But I believe that the bounce-back, when all of this is over, will take some time. But I believe that Salvador will be a spotlight. Because many people, because of the fact that Salvador is a coastal city. It is a city that is a museum open to the sky. Many people will want to experience Salvador. So, I believe in the near future. At this moment it is extremely complicated. It’s very difficult. There are many people begging, and you see many beggars, many children out on the street. You see that the crime rates increased by a lot. But that is a consequence of the situation that we are experiencing. I don’t believe this is happening in just Salvador, but rather it’s a general issue.
J: Yes, it is a general issue.
M: It’s a hard time indeed. I believe in a better future. I do believe.
J: We have to believe. So, Maristella, do you have any questions for me? I want to think about how we can support another from the front.
M: Yes, I thought, Dr. Jamie Lee, when all of this passes, I think that there will be many people who will feel the need to learn about this culture, this mixture, right. You lived here in Salvador, you know what it’s like, what this process is like, this cultural diversity that is so great. Because when you talk about Brazil, people associate it with soccer, capoeira, dance, but we have...
M: Yes, samba. But we have another type of culture. We have a very great diversity. So many people will want to see Salvador. So, from this moment on we can all at once partner together. And bring these people to experience ceramics, to have experiments with other kinds of art, which would be very interesting at the House of Sustainable Arts. Or, we also have the space at Ateliê Mão Terra.
J: Yes. The atelier is strong and steady in Salvador and Maristella dos Anjos: entrepreneurial artist, resilient, an inspiration for all of us. So, I am certainly committed to building those bridges to bring people from here to get to know your atelier, your work. We have a website to go along with this podcast where you’ll find biographies and exhibitions of the artists. You can contact me. I will have the translation of this interview in English as well to offer access to their work for the English-speaking world, which is a big world. It is also important to have representation on social media. So, I’m here to facilitate that. I’m very grateful. I wanted to have a little cup of coffee at your atelier, feel the clay, the kiln, to see the process of your next work because it is very, very important in my life to have you as my friend.
M: My dear friend, let me take this opportunity to thank you. And to thank the universe as well for bringing you into my world. For bringing all of you guys, you, your partner Jonatas Campelo, and I wish you all a big axé. The best, all the good that can exist in this universe, I wish it to everyone. It has been an immense pleasure.
J: Thank you. So with that, we’ll end our first episode of Brazil Culture Connections. Check out our Instagram and website. Check out also
M: The Instagram handle is AtelieMãoTerraSalvador.
J: Salvador. Don’t forget it! Salvador. Please share this episode on your social media and join me for the next one. Thank you!
M: Thank you so much, Jamie. Big hugs and kisses, and many axé.
J: See you next time.
M: See you next time.
J: This episode was recorded by Jamie Lee Andreson in Pennsylvania, USA and Maristella dos Anjos in Salvador, Brazil. We thank the technical support offered by Jonatas Borges Campelo and Maristella’s nephews, Danilo do Anjos Campelo and Isaac dos Anjos Matos, who helped with the equipment for recording. The editing was done by me. I thank the help from our team at Brazil Culture Connections: the interns from Pennsylvania State University, Amanda Talbot and Madeline Tenny. The music is called Brazilian Capoeira Dance by Akashic Records with fair use. Expect another episode next month and follow us on our social media. Thank you very much. Muito obrigada.