Exchanging Secrets

diambe da silva
01.09.2021 - 30.09.2021

Exchanging Secrets, RCT (2019-2021) is a work in process by Diambe da Silva, artist invited to occupy Despina’s studio during the month of September alongside artist Sabine Passareli. Key engravings and movable fabric structures create a temporary space in favor of mystery. The work will later be assembled at Centro Cultural São Paulo (CCSP), in the artist’s first solo show.

“Exchanging secrets is a scenario created with things that I’ve gathered since 2019 in a journey through several homes”, explains the artist. Fabrics, cutouts, silkscreen prints, keys and other elements make up a fluid mobile that contains much of the artist’s trajectory and experiences.

This is the third time that Diambe has participated in Despina’s initiatives. Visits by appointment only, directly with the artist.

New items in Compa – Women’s Archive


In 2020 Despina was awarded the subsidy provided for the Lei Aldir Blanc, aimed at the maintenance of artistic and cultural spaces that had their activities interrupted due to social isolation measures. In return, we had planned five workshops in municipal schools when they reopened. At that moment, we imagined that in a few months this would be possible. Given the lack of control of the pandemic in the country, we had to adapt our counterpart to the digital format.

In this scenario, we propose the insertion of entries by activist artists in Compa – Women’s Archive. These items are the embryo of a survey that we intend to carry out throughout 2022, mapping the activist artists active in the country. In this initial and embryonic stage, we are going to introduce seven artivists who work in multiple languages. We would like to thank Ana Lira, Indianarae Siqueira, Juliana Notari, Lara Lima, Marcela Fauth, Maya Inbar and Sabine Passareli for the material – and for their activism!


Content produced as a counterpart to Inciso II da Lei Aldir Blanc, Prefeitura Municipal do Rio de Janeiro/Secretaria Municipal de Cultura, Secretaria Especial de Cultura/ Ministério do Turismo e Governo Federal.

Occupational Therapy Collective

Sabine Passareli
09.09.2021 - 30.09.2021

“Occupational Therapy Collective” is an open, ephemeral, intersectoral and interdisciplinary group proposed by artist and therapist Sabine Passareli. The meetings will take place every Thursday of September.

How to disappear? How to reappear? How to join a group? How to break up with a group? These are some of the issues that will be addressed in a democratic, informal space.

Free participation, use of mask essential. Interested parties must bring materials for the production of individual sketchbooks.

All welcome!


Ania Reynolds

Ania Reynolds
01.08.2021 - 31.01.2022

Trilha Sonora is an investigation into the relationship between sound and moving image, and explores the power of music and sound to convey and dictate narrative and emotion. Artist and composer Ania Reynolds has composed for art forms of every description, from circus to film to theatre to podcasts to performance art. In this work she explores the role of the soundtrack as a storyteller by creating one short video with three distinctly different soundtracks, which will be accessed via three sets of headphones. Audiences will have the chance to choose their own soundtrack adventure, or compare the different sonic narratives.

Originally planned as a follow-up residency to Ania’s 2019 Despina residency project Música de Coco, Trilha Sonora has evolved into a cross-cultural artistic collaboration due to the travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead of travelling to Rio to make the work, Ania is collaborating remotely with Rio artist Anna Costa E Silva, who, on the ground in Rio de Janeiro, will gather video footage of Rio which she will send to Ania to create the video component of the work. Ania will then score the video from her home studio in Melbourne, Australia, and the final work is planned to be presented at Despina in Rio in early 2021.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.


Compa – Women’s Archive

2020 - 2021

Compa – Women’s Archive is the first Brazilian digital archive totally dedicated to the memory, herstories, struggles, achievements, initiatives, micropolitics and daily revolutions of women and the feminist movement in the country.

The archive aims to map, retrieve and make publicly available collections of t-shirts, zines, pamphlets, flags, posters, chants, poetry, bottoms, scarves, manifestos and other objects and memorabilia that document, articulate and elaborate transdisciplinarily the ongoing narratives and struggles.

The archive collection is built on two fronts:

Research and curatorial work in which we invite women and initiatives that operate in different fields of action to participate in the effort to document these memories.
Collective construction based on the autonomous engagement of organisations, collectives, women’s movements, activists and independent feminists who want to collaborate, making their collections and materials available directly in the archive.
Compa is a project by Despina in collaboration with Lanchonete Lanchonete and its implementation (phase I) was funded by the International Relief Fund of the German Federal Foreign Office, the Goethe-Institut and other partners: www.goethe.de/relieffund.

Compa (short for “companheira”, an affectionate term used between allies in activism) was conceived following three conceptual pillars:

1 – The concept of “history from below”, that looks at history through the perspective of ordinary, oppressed, non-conformist people and marginalized groups, recognizing and recording reports and conflicts that escape the hegemonic narrative of dominant groups;

2 – The intersectional feminism perspective, which understands oppressions through layers that include gender, race, class, age, religion and other issues;

3 – The recognition of collectivity as a revolutionary and necessary field of action to imagine other possible worlds and to redefine the dominant excludenting logic.

Crossing Walls: Performance between residencies

On March 16, halfway through the artist Marcela Cavallini’s residency, Despina closed on recess due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Following up the initial proposal of conducting residencies within the residency, and in dialogue with six other artists – Edzita Sigo Viva, Clarice Rito, Tuk Melo, Ara Nogueira, Dulce Lysyj and Anna Cecilia Cabral – the exchanges continued remotely and the developments are a document of this difficult time in which we isolated ourselves in the face of an unprecedented crisis.

The results can be seen in Àquelas que Intentam Atravessar Paredes: Performance entre Residências, and also in O que é necessário à residência agora?, both works produced collaboratively by the artists.

Marcela Cavallini

Marcela Cavallini
01.03.2020 - 31.03.2020

Marcela Cavallini lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. Performer, sudaka dancer and yoga teacher, the artist is interested in fictional processes of the body and the relationship between culture and society, from the perspective of memory, ethics, feminism and the environment.

Master’s student in the Post-Graduate Program in Contemporary Studies of the Arts at Universidade Federal Fluminense. Specialist in Science, Art and Culture in Health at Instituto Oswaldo Cruz -FIOCRUZ. Degree in Dance from Faculdade Angel Vianna and in Biological Sciences from Universidade Federal Fluminense. Studied at Parque Lage’s EAV Foundation Program. Graduated professionally in Contemporary Dance from the School of Theater and Dance Fafi-ES.

Worked in partnership with other artists and collectives in dance, performance and visual arts projects, including: arts project in community collaboration “Estampar Movimento em Cor”, awarded by the Cultural Microprojects award of the extinct Ministry of Culture; video performance Ata-Duras, part of Panorama de Artes Visuais in Belo Horizonte; “Would I Eat Meat from Bulls?” dance-theater show awarded by SECULT-ES; “Bunda e Progresso”, participant of the Belo Horizonte Performance Festival and of the Aldeia SESC-ES; “Scarpin-me – Imagem e Desafio”, a program of performances and creation in residence together with the group Obscena-BH, awarded by the SECULT-ES artistic residency notice. Selected with the group Acção through the Cultural Diversity award with the Arts, Carnival and Social Empowerment Project “Perseguidas – I like being a woman!”.

Her last solo works participated in the Latin American Festival of Art and Activism -UYU and Festival Corpos Críticas-RJ. Currently, she is linked to BRISA Lab with the artistic residency “Sensitive Territories: Baía de Guanabara” financed by the Prince Claus Fund and the Goethe Institut.


To Those Who Intent to Cross Walls: Performance between Residences

On March 16, halfway through the artist’s residence, Despina closed due to Covid-19. Following the initial proposal of conducting residencies within the residency, and in dialogue with six other artists – Edzita Sigo Viva, Clarice Rito, Tuk Melo, Ara Nogueira, Dulce Lysyj and Anna Cecilia Cabral – the exchanges continued remotely and the developments are a document of this difficult time in which we isolated ourselves in the face of an unprecedented crisis and epidemic.

The results can be seen in this PDF document, produced collaboratively by the artists.

More information

Photo Gallery (browse horizontal arrows)

Open call for artists and curators

Despina Residency Programme
Open Call 2021 + last slots 2020!

Deadline: 13th April 2020

Download here a PDF file to see how to apply and learn more about the programme, criteria and cost. If you are Brazilian, follow this link.






Adrien Pelletier

Adrien Pelletier
01.02.2020 - 31.03.2020

Born in France in 1981, lives and works in Paris. Adrien studied Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins (BA) and at the Royal College of Art (MA) in London, UK. For many years, he has been an art director for fashion magazines in London and Paris. He is also a painter and collaborates regularly with the Villa Noailles in Hyères.  His paintings tend to be naive, intimate portraits of friends, lovers and strangers. They can be goofy, sexy or innocent. Lately his work has taken a more journalistic approach and his practice is drifting towards documentary, combining interviews with painted portraits.

In 2017, Adrien was invited by Jean Pierre Blanc, head of La Villa Noailles, to an Art Residency on the “Ile du Levant” in France. He painted 45 portraits of people who resided on this tiny island, a naturist village perched on a rock in the mediterranean sea. The series depicts a small community of strong-willed individuals who choose to live life their way, with no clothes, no cars, at a different pace.

The focus of his Despina residency project is to portray the cultural resistance to the far right and the possible interactions between communities. Adrien will paint portraits and do interviews with activists, artists, intellectuals, free spirits, people working on the environment, women’s right, afro-American rights, LGBTQ rights and the protection of the Amazonian populations.

More information
Instagram: @atelieradrienp

Pictures Gallery
to be posted soon

Ana Bial

Ana Bial
01.02.2020 - 29.02.2020
Born in Rio de Janeiro, lives and works in New York (USA).
Ana holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Her current body of work includes painting and sculpture that incorporate architectural and bodily references. They vacillate between melodramatic surrealism and comical pragmatism.

More information
Instagram: @ana.bial

Pictures Gallery
to be posted soon