Portraits Reports, Parque das Ruínas

The “Portraits Reports” exhibition, by the artist Panmela Castro, addresses a severe social problem in Brazil: violence against women. Panmela has already been a victim of this type of violence herself and became a symbol of the fight for women’s rights. Because of that, she is constantly receiving messages and reports of hundreds of people. These are reports about situations of violence, abuse cases, racism, abusive relationships, loneliness and the quarantine challenges. 

“Portraits Reports” happened at the Parque das Ruínas Cultural Center, at Santa Teresa, as a part of many actions promoted by the Secretary of Policies and Promotion of Women of Rio de Janeiro. The exhibition integrates the “16 days of activism for the end of violence against women” international campaign that started on November 25th – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – and ended on December 10th – Humans Rights International Day. The campaign had the goals of informing women about their rights and of promoting the confrontation of domestic violence. 

Panmela Castro, Parque das Ruínas, Gabriel Andrade, violência contra a mulher
Panmela Castro’s “Portraits Reports” exhibition at Parque das Ruínas, in Rio de Janeiro.
Image: Gabriel Andrade.

The Portraits Reports series started in 2019 from the many messages the artist started to receive from dozens of women from every part of the country. As an artist known for her activism, Panmela decided she would treat those stories and scars through her art.

Panmela Castro, violência contra a mulher, Parque das Ruínas, Retratos Relatos
View of Panmela Castro’s artworks at he “Portraits Reports” exhibition at Parque das Ruínas.
Image: Gabriel Andrade.

To the artist, this series of paintings are about “dororidade”, a type of pain that emerges from racism and machismo that turns into political power to transform what is there. By telling their stories, these people are taking the pain and transforming it into encouragement to other people,  encouragement for the end of violence and oppression in its various forms. But mainly, they are reinforcing the importance of mobilization strategies for preventing and confronting violence against women, a serious problem in Brazil, where, on average, one woman is a victim of femicide every 7 hours.

Panmela Castro , Retratos Relatos, Parque das Ruínas, Joyce Trindade , José Carlos, Monalyza Alvez
Opening of the exhibition. From left to right, Flávia Piana (Subsecretary of Culture in Rio de Janeiro), Panmela Castro, José Carlos (Parque das Ruínas) and Joyce Trindade (Municipal Secretary of Politics and Promotion of Women In Rio) and her chief of staff Monalyza Alves.
Panmela Castro, Parque das Ruínas, violência doméstica
Nilcéia Freire, from the Portraits Reports series. Acrylic, charcoal and spray on canvas, 2020.
Image: Gabriel Andrade.
Panmela Castro, Parque das Ruínas, Retratos Relatos, feminicídio
Dress from the series “Feminicídio”, by Panmela Castro, at the exhibition.
Acrylic and spray paint on voile dress, 2022.
Image: Gabriel Andrade.