Museu dos meninos, ‘Museum of Children’, is a transdisciplinary arts project that involves mapping the collection and preservation of narratives and memories of Afro-Brazilian youth between the ages of 15 and 29. These young men live in the Complexo do Alemão, an area composed of many favelas in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Male youth are the main victims of what amounts to a genocide of the Afro-Brazilian population. 82 youngsters are killed every day in Brazil, and more than 30,000 per year. 77% of the assassinated are black and 93.3% of these are male. There is clearly an extermination of young black males going on in Brazil and it is urgent that these lives are acknowledged and, if possible, preserved.
This artistic project is composed of two different dimensions. One is the creation of a virtual museum with 30 video depositions of these youths. The other is a series of urban interventions in ruined housing complexes from which residents have been evicted by the Brazilian government.
Museums are spaces where narratives are preserved and recreated. That being the case, this project does not pretend to tell a story, but rather to recreate poetic narratives alongside history. Museu dos Meninos emerges from the deeply felt need among these young people to talk and manifest themselves as human beings. It is a space where they can say: we have a history, we exist, and we resist. The fact that we remain alive is our resistance.