Photo Credit: Photo by Alma Preta
Inside Feira Preta: Brazil's Largest 20-Day Long Afro-Culture Fest
With a population that is said to be 54% Black, it’s no surprise that Brazil’s Black entrepreneurs drive a lot of the spending power throughout the country.
Sao Paolo native and social impact entrepreneur, Adriana Barbosa saw a need to give these entrepreneurs and Black creatives more visibility. In 2002, she launched Feira Preta aka The Black Fair, which is now Latin America’s largest festival of Afro-contemporary trends and the arts.
“I was out of a job and started selling my clothes at street fairs,” Adriana told Tavel Noire. “I was selling used clothes when I came up with the idea of creating a space that could give visibility to Black creatives and inventors.”
This idea eventually became the largest African-American fair in Latin America, giving visibility to black culture and also to entrepreneurs from Brazil and other countries.
Feira Preta spans over 20 days in Sao Paolo and features cultural activities that include concerts, parades, a Black cinema exhibition, workshops, dance lessons, and more.
This year the event will be held from November 19 – December 8, with the most popular days happening December 7-8. Over 120 vendors will be selling Black products and offering services from all over the country, as well as African countries and Colombia.
“I really believe in the power of Black culture festivals around the world, it is in these festivals that we put all of our creative power and connect with those from the Diaspora. It is the place where material and symbolic goods are exchanged, where we preserve our roots and transfer knowledge to future generations.”
Over the last two decades, the Black population of Brazil has strengthened mainly because they have begun to declare themselves as Black through affirmative action, quotas in universities, and cultural groups and artists.
Feira Preta has been one of the platforms that contributed to the process of valuing Black identity. As the Brazilian population continues to declare itself as Black, it will look for products and services that meet its needs. This is where the power of the Afro-entrepreneur becomes important by offering clothes, accessories, makeup, shoes, food, hair products, children’s books and toys, and more.
“Feira Preta allows us to connect and see each other in a kind of mirror that reflects our creative and inventive potential,” Adriana said.