After the far-right president tweeted a video of their transgressive street performance, the two queer artists fled So Paulo but now theyre pushing back
Queer people have been afraid since the president was elected, says Paulx Castello. He has been demonising us from the start but this was different. Here we were personally under attack. The artist, who has a mohican, is now instantly recognisable to most Brazilians. In March, he featured in a sexually explicit video that was tweeted by Jair Bolsonaro, the countrys far-right president. The 40-second clip, filmed at a gay street party during the So Paulo carnival, showed Castello standing on a taxi shelter, exposing his backside and being urinated on.
I dont feel comfortable showing it, Bolsonaro told his 3.5 million followers, but we have to expose the truth so the population are aware of their priorities. This is what Brazilian carnival street parties have turned into. The next day, the far-right leader stayed on the offensive, tweeting: What is a golden shower?
In their first interview since Bolsonaros attack, Castello and Jeffe, the other man in the video, say their actions which were captured on a mobile phone and posted to Twitter by an anonymous user were actually part of a three-hour guerrilla performance by a six-person art collective. They take the name Ediy, which means arse in Pajub, Brazilian Portuguese gay slang.
We want to perform in public places, Jeffe says. Places where this sort of thing is not expected. We refer to it as hacking the imagination. But there is a context to the performance that the presidents video removed. Walking through the crowds, they would intermittently stop to interact with each other, their gestures alternating between sensual dance and sexual acts. In the video, Castello twerks for the crowd with his finger in his anus. Urination features heavily in the rest of the work.
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