Frame from Estás vendo coisas [You Are Seeing Things], 2016

Bárbara Wagner
1980, Brasília, Brazil. Lives in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

Brazilian Brega is a style of music, dance, cultural scene and creative economy from the periphery of Recife, in the northeast of Brazil. Broken up into two trends, Funk and Romantic, it consists of networks of MCs, DJs, dancers, producers, entrepreneurs, and followers. Its hits – erotic, ironic, whining and, in some cases, even chauvinistic – extrapolate the socioeconomic boundaries of neighborhoods and participate in the soundscape of a city that is convulsive in its differences. Taking a documentary approach, Mestres de Cerimônias [Masters of Cerimony] (2016) records the making of brega music videos, a powerful element for the propagation of imagery on the border of precarity and ostentation. Brega becomes the voice and self-esteem in the face of the dominating parameters of identity and taste. Bárbara Wagner, in partnership with Benjamin de Burca, deconstructs this phenomenon in the film Estás vendo coisas [You Are Seeing Things](2016), in order to analyze it by revealing its uniqueness, its circulation, as well as existing relationships between its agents. The Planeta Show nightclub hosted the experiment of a collective, photographed and filmed portrait, which, as such, challenges photography’s accuracy. The result, while still documentary, is partially obscured by the artificial studio lighting, dressing room, stage and screen, with characters who play themselves.