By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – For three heavy-riffing days the Roque Pense urban festival will continue to spread its message of anti-sexism through live music and a series of workshops. Now in its second edition, the free festival, with its emphasis on women in rock ‘n’ roll, will also host discussions of feminist ideas, live graffiti and skateboarding.

Medialunas, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Porto Alegre’s Medialunas will perform their alternative rock on the second day of the Roque Pense Festival, photo courtesy of Festival Roque Pense.

Taking place in Mesquita, in Rio’s seemingly endless northern suburb the Baixada Fluminense, the event’s creator, Giordana Moreira, is adamant that the location simply adds to what they are trying to achieve. “Baixada Fluminense is a metropolitan area in the state of Rio de Janeiro. It’s near the [state] capital, but it does have poor conditions of human development, it’s true,” she told The Rio Times.

“But what people do not know is that here, there is a great story of alternative culture, particularly with rock. Here people sing the lyrics, fill the shows, love independent bands and celebrate rock.”

Moreira also explained that the idea for the festival’s creation began in 2010 when she and fellow fanzine creator Paulo Vítor wanted to celebrate Women’s Day with a rock concert where the bands had to have at least one female member. The idea eventually blossomed into a festival.

“We had to gather all the talent in the region and we had to create a more comprehensive proposal, including skaters, graffiti artists, cineclubistas (film club members) and activists,” said Moreira who has created and participated in a wealth of cultural projects. A collective was formed, and the first edition of the festival was held in Nova Iguaçu in 2012.

“It was amazing, there were 51 bands from different parts of Brazil who applied and more than fifty women involved in the project,” said Moreira. “Bands were formed just to sign up, and continue playing today.”

The second edition of festival will showcase twelve bands – each with at least one female member – selected from this year’s list of applicants. Friday, September 18th sees the shows get underway at 6PM with Rio-based rock and nu metal band Algoz, followed by Rio all-girl thrash-metal band Tevadom. Next, Rio’s female-fronted Visceral Leishmaniasis will play their brand of heavy death-metal and Rio’s Eve Desire will close out the first night with their symphonic heavy metal.

Far from Alaska, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Far from Alaska will bring rock directly from Natal on the third day of the festival, photo courtesy of Festival Roque Pense.

Rio’s punk rock/hardcore band, Dirty Mary, will start the second day of the festival at 5PM with Porto Alegre’s Medialunas’s alt-rock following them on stage. São Paulo natives Santa Claus then bring their electro-rock stylings before fellow Paulistanos Anti-Corpos close the night with their feminist hardcore sounds.

Rio band LuvBugs will start Sunday evening with their noisy and distorted rock ‘n roll (5PM) and Paraná outfit Subburbia follow with their blend of ‘hip’ rock. The penultimate Far From Alaska’s rock hails from Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, and seeing out the weekend is Paraná’s Uh La La with their fun and youthful rock’n’roll.

Daytime activities include roundtable discussions of the cultural and political participation of women in the region including an homage to early 20th-century feminist and education activist, Armanda Álvaro Alberto Friday, 2PM). Workshops for women discussing the techniques of cultural production begin at 1PM on Saturday, and live graffiti and the skateboarding jam session ‘Girls in Action’ gets underway on Sunday from 2PM.

“I hope that the festival’s has an increasing ability to disseminate anti-sexist practices,” concludes Moreira, ‘to demystify stereotypes of feminism and to encourage girls to play in the art scene with increasing awareness that sexism exists, but we can and must face it.”

What: Festival Roque Pense (roquepense.com.br)
Where: Paço Municipal, Rua Arthur de Oliveira Vecchi 120, Mesquita
When: Friday, September 18th – Sunday, September 20th
Entrance: Free

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