The actresses and partners Marieta Severo and Andréa Beltrão are now celebrating the 15th anniversary of Poeira, a theater they founded in Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro. But running the space in the midst of the “culture war” waged by the Bolsonaro government is a challenge, the duo says in an interview with leaf. They say that the political environment personally affects artists, discouraging any creativity.
“The word ‘democracy’ has never been talked about so much, why? Because it is being threatened every single day. We have to remember every day what democracy is, seeing institutions crumbling from within. This year is the year to scream, scream , try to convince, try to see who these 20% of the population are. What is your soul to support this? I’m afraid”, says Severo.
The theater was one of many affected by Petrobras’ sponsorship cuts in 2019. The realization of projects, which promoted courses by renowned playwrights from Brazil and abroad, became even more difficult, according to the duo.
At the time of the incident, Bolsonarist networks celebrated the supposed “end of the mamata”. Severo, 75 years old, says that comments like this are not motivated only by ignorance. “It’s bad intentions. They managed to stick this taint on us. Their tantrum continued. The only reason it’s not revealed is because they protect themselves.”
“We made all the Poeira with our money. But we don’t have any problem with the Rouanet Law, we only have it in favor. All countries in the world have tax incentives for the cultural industry, which generates millions and employs millions”, says Severo .
“This Department of Culture that is there doesn’t understand anything”, she continues. Without blinking an eye, the actresses declare their vote for Lula in the October elections.
In addition to the investment of the owners, the box office of the plays manages to equal the cost of maintaining the Poeira, but according to Beltrão and Severo there is rarely a profit. Just before the pandemic, the partners financed new workshops. Now, they will be sponsored by Banco Itaú for the pedagogical projects, which at one time received José Sanchis Sinisterra, an exponent of Spanish theater, and the French director Ariane Mnouchkine, founder of the Théâtre du Soleil.