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Imagine a small town in the state of Amapá, far north of Brazil, then imagine a school, where the children during art hour study think of those who, with dexterity, extreme delicacy and patience teach these children this wonderful way of living and being educated in art. 

That's it!!! What you have just reconstructed in your minds is one of the faces of the artist and performer Nau Vegar.

Whenever I think about the talk we had and find myself telling others his story, what I always come up with to say is " but how proud does it make me to know that there is a person in Brazil who is so forward-thinking that he can educate kids this way? How lucky are they? And how lucky will be the one who can come into contact with these kids in the future?" 



But who is Nau?
Meanwhile, he is the one who for two hours kept us glued to the PC screen as he spoke. He made us laugh but also reason and emote. 

He has a degree in visual arts and specializes in gender diversity in the educational system. He currently works as a professor of art in the Amapá State Public Schools Network.

His work focuses on artistic research through the use of the body, employing performance as the medium of restitution in his investigation, as well as exploring the link between art and gender diversity. 



The centrality of the body
In performance, the body becomes central; it is the tool the artist relies on to return her research. 

In fact, for Nau, too, the use of the body is fundamental in the development of his work, becoming, in fact, the focus of every project he creates.

An interesting and highly impactful example is the project Ficções (fictions):

"A strange body transgressing a space...breaking the appearances of those who usually experience the market or are just passing through, causing a small opening in their gaze!"

The performance took place in front of the do Buritizal market, Macapá-AP.

Here I propose again the exercise at the beginning of this text, try just for a minute to imagine a man, almost completely naked, tied from head to toe, being left in front of the entrance to the city market, at the mercy of everyone.

How would you guys react to the scene? It is extremely important to try to intuit the feelings that such a moment might cause us...because it is not a given that each of us will have a different reaction. We are suddenly caught by the situation and it is normal to wonder whether it is reality or just fiction. 

Important, I would say fundamental, is the perception of the place where it is carried out, in this case the entrance of a market where so many people of different ages and genders pass by. 

On that occasion, Nau told us that he almost succeeded in stopping the city. People each reacted in a different way.

"There were those who watched me from afar helplessly, those who tried at all costs to untie me...there were even people who wanted to hurt me.  I remember these two guys who when they saw them unloading me from the car tied up and half-naked ran and carefully and gently tried to untie me...I didn't say anything...I let them! Finally one of them covered me with his jacket and at that moment a colleague of mine arrived and told him the whole story. Needless to deny that before he had a laugh he got quite angry!" 

Performance shared with the community

The action of performance very often is a shared action. It becomes sometimes even a theatrical gesture studied in detail.

Other times, however, it can turn into a social moment of sharing, where everyone is called upon to be a protagonist of the performance act. 

"Deixe-me ouvir teu coração" (let me listen to your heart) is a very delicate project, where the spectator is called upon to tell, without saying a word, the deepest side of himself.

The set design is simple, perhaps one already seen by many as well, that is, two chairs one in front of the other, the first houses the artist who is equipped with a device to listen to heartbeats connected to speakers, the second anyone who feels like having their heartbeats listened to. 

Extremely striking is the venue: a rock music concert in a large square. 

At each break of the band, the sound of the heartbeat of the person who was the star of the performance at that moment could be heard in the amplifiers. 

"After the big noise of the music everyone was silent, and then the tum tum tum of the heart. Some people went anxious and then you could hear that fast-paced rhythm, others were quiet and at ease. I am reminded of that boy who had the slowest beats! He looks at me and says, "I must go to the cardiologist tomorrow!" "

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The role of performance in school

Raise your hand if you studied performance in school during art class?

I'm sure if I had an audience here in front of me, there wouldn't even be a hand raised! 

The art system in Italy, mainly in schools, is really poor and lacking in tools. Those tools that contemporary art inherently possesses, but perhaps due to the bigotry of the system, lack of time, blinders...TABUs...are not even remotely included in the annual school curriculum. Yet do you know how many problems could be solved with just a tiny bit more open-mindedness?

But luckily Nau lives in Brazil! Oh you see the paradox?

Nau teaches performance in a public school in the state of Amapá! I did not say downtown São Paulo...I said AMAPA'...extreme north of Brazil. 

And what is the importance, for these kids, of having such a figure within their college? The fact that all barriers are faced and destroyed! 

These boys, often simple people, will grow up as extremely rich and open-minded people. Ready to face head-on the bigoted, racist, taboo-filled world they have outside their door.

Nau together with the boys creates performance actions that are enacted within the school itself at any time during the school day. Deeply involving the main actors but also all the pupils. 

" An episode that comes to mind was when during a lesson I find myself forced to leave the classroom to resolve an unforeseen situation. I leave the boys to watch a video from my pc, when I return the video was over and another one had started, a nude performance. I try to explain myself to the boys, but one of them stops me and says "prof! You don't have to explain...this is performance!"

I think there is no need to add anything else. Just a really huge thank you to Nau for the person she is and the work she does! 

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