In 2015, the 19th edition of the Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil | Southern Panoramas held its first exhibition of commissioned projects. Solange Farkas, the Festival’s chief curator, presents the initiative whereby proposals from four upcoming artists from the global South were selected from among hundreds of open call entries. Carlos Monroy (Colombia), Cristiano Lenhardt (Brazil), Keli-Safia Maksud (Kenya) and Ting-Ting Cheng (Taiwan) — showcase the outcome of their research work at Galpão VB, in the inaugural exhibition of Associação Cultural Videobrasil’s headquarters in São Paulo.

Carlos Monroy’s installation links the rise of the lambada dance style and Bolivian immigration in Brazil — the musical genre’s best-known song, Chorando se foi, is an unauthorized version of the traditional Bolivian song Llorando se fue. Cristiano Lenhardt’s film opposes the rationality of modernism (citing how organized Brasília is) and the “disorder” associated with characters such as the Saci and other mythical creatures, some of which were invented by Lenhardt himself. Ting-Ting Cheng’s installation gathers books that reference inexistent places. Subjectivity is a key aspect of the piece: are virtual places from collective imagination or non-officially recognized territories valid? In Keli-Safia Maksud’s piece, print fabrics symbolize an attempt to grasp a vast, diverse “Africa.” Her installation discusses transit and Europe-Africa history and how they influence the formation of identities. The 19th Festival’s guest curators Bernardo José de Souza, Bitu Cassundé, João Laia and Júlia Rebouças offer readings of the artworks they oversaw through their production stages.