Our Pink Houses exist to both change girls’ lives and also empower them to be change in their own communities.
That’s exactly what happened when all five of our Pink Houses, as well as our other projects in three towns in the Brumadinho area, opened their doors to local people for the Transforma Exhibition, a week in which the houses were turned into spaces where music, dance, photography and art installations put across a powerful message against child sexual exploitation.
The girls themselves were the protagonists, who came up with the ideas, designed the sets, explaining the meaning to visitors and took part in the dance and drama as guests watched, many leaving deeply impacted by what they saw and heard.
This year the exhibition was inspired by a poem by famous Brazilian poet Cora Coralina, which describes taking rocks that are meant to crush us to build something solid and meaningful, and on which to plant flowers and create something beautiful. The message was one which struck a chord with our girls, who are turning the traumas and suffering of the past to look forward to a life of hope and purpose.
In Medina, one of the girls, Emily Camily, performed a dramatic interpretation of a girl crushed by rocks, waking up to find hope as she pulls a flower from her clothes.
You can see her powerful performance here.
And here’s a video of the reaction of local people as they watched.
You can also watch a video round-up of the exhibition here.
The four day exhibition was seen by 2,148 people, with many sharing on social media how they had been moved and how the girls had inspired them to think differently and help fight abuse and exploitation in their communities.
After council representatives in Medina and Catuji visited they both send videographers to film the exhibition so they could show it to more people online and on the large public screens in their town squares.
Local newspaper Diario de Teofilo Otoni, from the city closest to Catuji, even included an opinion piece praising the exhibition and the work of the Pink Houses:
“In a region where unfortunately the numbers of child abuse are high, especially on the highways (according to data from Unicef), it is of utmost importance to support and give visibility to projects like Meninadança.
The organisation seeks to make children aware of the ways adults abuse their bodies, and how to protect themselves, speak up, and not be afraid to denounce abusers. In a profound and brilliant way, they work with the social, historical and artistic, in order to raise awareness in an engaging way.
For more and more Meninadanças in our Valleys, so that, in a near future, this newspaper will have fewer sad stories of abuses committed against children to tell in our pages.”
Here are more photos from the exhibition:
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