By Beatriz Miranda
In Brazil, comic books have always been a synonym of Marvel, DC, Thor and Superman. Since very long, Western narratives and white heroes are all we have been consuming and understanding as comic culture.
Sick of taking such references for granted, the Brazilian comics lover and designer Hugo Canuto created “Tales of the Orishas“, a series inspired in Jack Kirby’s “The Avengers” with a crucial difference: the unbeatable super heroes are now the Orishas, divinities from the Afro Brazilian religion Candomblé, whose super powers are represented by the nature’s forces, like the wind, the sea waves, etc.
Transforming the Orishas into super heroes, Canuto’s project signifies Afro Brazilian culture, which has been repressed and stigmatized since slavery until the present day. Portraying the orishas as heroes is a sign of respect and reverence to a culture that has always been fighting to keep existing.
“I realized that, despite living in the country that received the most African people in the diaspora, its contribution to our development and importance, is still underestimated under layers of prejudice,” says Canuto. “It’s necessary to understand our identity as a nation, and in most recent years, there are some laws approved to increase the teaching of Afro-Brazilian and African culture. It is fundamental, rescuing this heritage for the new generations.”
“Tales of the Orishas” who will officially launch in August this year.