AFROFUTURISTIC REPORTER

Alyssa Gandini | Araraquara, Brazil That is the title that Aniké Pellegrini, a 19 year old black Brazilian feminist, adopted for herself after a shared Uber ride with artist and content creator Bibi Caetano (@bibi.caetano) about 3 years ago. But Aniké has been "doing the run", literally translated from Brazilian Portuguese as "no corre", even before that. The name just fitted perfectly! Today I am glad to present you this amazing woman who, not only has her own column on a Brazilian teenage magazine (CAPRICHO - @capricho), is a content creator for at least 6 Instagram accounts and projects which make black voices be heard, but also has been to Girl Up’s 2019 International Summit as a representative for a Brazilian NGO called Plano de menina which focuses, much like Girl Up, on young girls and their future. She currently studies Modern Languages at Belo Horizonte (UFMG) and has already accomplished so much! So stay tuned and let’s get to know a little bit more about her! "What does it mean to be an Afrofuturistic Reporter?", you might ask. The reporter part comes from the interviews that she does and the daily content that she talks about, things that affect our lives everyday, entertainment, news and general information. Now Afrofuturism has all to do with the point of view. For centuries black lives have been neglected and today, many people still have the wrong impression that people of color can only talk about their fight and are only included as "teachers" of anti-racist movements. As if that’s all they can talk about. Aniké thinks that by adopting an Afrofuturistic bias, we can change history, by changing the way black people see each other and are seen by others in our society. According to her you don't need to be Afrofuturistic to make an impact, that was her way of doing so. She says "I can talk, for example, about a silly movie like The kissing booth. When I bring Afrofuturism in it I can question why don’t we have a black movie that is as silly?" She argues that we still have so many negative stereotypes of black people in entertainment and when we ask questions like the one above, that is what it means to be Afrofuturistic. "Being diverse is not giving to black people what white people don’t want to talk about, like the black agenda", she says. Aniké defends that as a black woman she can also talk about the trivial stuff in life and she loves to do so. "I am an Afrofuturisic Reporter and if someone says otherwise, they can get in line. Call my customer service!", she says laughing playfully. One of her most recent projects was Mina do Corre (literally translating to: "The girl doing the run"), which was a segment where she would interview black women from all around Brazil who are references for this generation of black content creators. Who are these women behind cameras? What is their work like? What are the amazing things that they do? The program is as diverse as possible when it came to the regions from which these women came from (north to south), as well as the subjects which they would talk about. It brings light subjects like "morning rituals" to more complex and heavy ones like "the discussion about mental health for black people in Brazil". Some of their notable interviewees were: Suyane Ynaya (today she is Elle's fashion director) and Aisha Mbikila (model, dj, producer, creative director). The project was adapted to the pandemic, so all the interviews were online on IG. And it was a hit success! Mina do corre was conducted inside a black owned creative company called Ocupretar (@ocupretar) which takes care of all kinds of content and conventions that focus on black creators, artists and entrepreneurs. Aniké is part of the team and she, alongside other incredible professionals launched their very own independent magazine. "When you are a black person, not every content, tool or knowledge is given to you on a platter (...) If I ask something like this (about how to make a magazine) to a person, first they will wonder why does this black girl want to know this? And secondly, they do not want our ascension, simple as that." Aniké explains that the process of doing this magazine was completely "learning on the job". They joined forces and their knowledge to create something they are really proud of. During the week when the Black Lives Matter protests hatched in the USA, Aniké was invited to take over the IG profile of a famous Brazilian Chef, Bel Coelho (@belcoelho). She describes the experience as really nice, but also tiring, since producing content about something she lives everyday is rather exhausting. "Racism, although it affects negative and directly the black population, is a problem of whiteness. (...) We, black people know what we live everyday, we already know the possible solutions. We point them out." She appreciated and enjoyed the experience, but also wonders if she actually made a difference in the lives of the people who follow the Chef. Even so, Aniké really enjoys producing content for IG and finds it really fun. “The person I am in the digital world is 100% a reflection of who I am in the physical world. I did not create an image”. She says that the things she does on her IG are what she consumes, what she likes to create and that other people will have these interests too. Do you think that the anti-racist movement is getting better for black girls in Brazil? What is your vision for this? What is your vision for the world on this matter? To these vast and complicated questions, Aniké gave me a rather wise answer. She said that more than worrying about how the world or how Brazil is dealing with all this, she actually worries about her close ones and focuses on the issues she can help solve in her own microcosmos, for example. She says that what she worries about is if her friends or family will get home safe, if they are not going to be wrongly arrested or even worse. "If each person takes care of their own microcosmos, can’t we change the Macro?" she says thoughtfully. Aniké was so kind to tell me a little bit about herself and her life and I am so happy to bring the amazings things we discussed to you. Make sure you check her IG (@keke_bp)! I leave here my appreciation to her. Thank you Keké! SOME IG ACCOUNTS YOU MIGHT WANT TO CHECK OUT! @alaye.ag @clubedapreta

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© 2020 by Maryam and Nivaal Rehman