Women of Samba
100 Years


"Space is globalized, not as a global whole, but as a metaphor." All places are world-wide, but there is no world-wide space, and it is people who globalize themselves."(Milton Santos, 1993).


On the tambourines, an Indian woman and a man from Martinique, on the acoustic bass an Italian, on the Berimbau an Argentine. The voices of the Brazilian female choir, specially trained for the exhibition, mix with the sound of the strings and agogô played by their countrymen, while in the audience men and women from Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Australia, England, Canada, United States, Japan, Italy, Indonesia, China and Colombia dance the samba and play capoeira among paintings, drawings and photos that portray grand masters of these genres, interspersed with African fabrics used by their ancestors. Samba is not only a musical genre, it is a way of thinking about living, it is a living culture. Magnet Gallery was the space chosen not only to display but above all to create art, collectively. It was a space where women had a central role, deconstructing the macho image propagated in the media about samba and the carioca carnival.


Like Milton Santos, the Afro-Brazilian geographer, I believe that the fundamental role of contemporary art is to boost what he conceptualized as ‘Another Globalization’. Globalize knowledge and its use. In the network of human relations and geographic spaces, value the singular amidst the totality. Solidarity gave birth to Samba, and Samba gives birth to Solidarity. 

Womb of Samba

Samba was born in “Pequena África”, a neighbourhood surrounding the wharf of Valongo, through which close to 2 million enslaved Africans entered Rio de Janeiro. Specifically, Samba was born in the house of Tio Ciata of Oshun (Hilária Batista de Almeida) who arrived in Rio de Janeiro from Bahia in 1876 at the age of 22.

´Pelo Telefone’, was the first samba song to be recorded, in 1916 by Donga. It was composed in Tia Ciata´s house.


From atop the Pedra do Sal, whose stairs were carved by African slaves, all the ships sailing into port could be seen. It was a meeting place for Samba and Afro-Brazilian religious rituals. Today it is part of the urban quilombo of Pedra do Sal where Samba circles are still performed today.

Photo by Anita Ekman for the Cartola Cultural Centre. 2010.

Anita Ekman

Photo Exihbition  By Mariane Gonçalves




Artist Exhibiting - Anita Ekman

Artist Guest (African textiles) - Watiri Boylen 

Curator - Anita Ekman

Concept - Anita Ekman & Julia Calasso 

Artistic Director - Julia Calasso 

Producers  - Anita Ekman & Julia Calasso 


Singers & Musicians - 

Luciana Carvalho, Laura Souza, Juliana Tenucci, Julia Calasso, Lalita Ramona, Fernanda Vilela, Jairo Nascimento, Nelson Cardoso,  Luiz Sasson, Marcelo Garcia, Damiano Ospina, Stefano Vespucci, João Oliveira, Tiago Ucella, Igor Delagrave


Mariane Gonçalves 

Special Thanks to the Magnet's family and friends - Michael Silver, Susanne Silver, Daniel Silver, Gary Chan. Thank you for the Capoeira community in Melbourne and Freg J. Stokes