Overcome Carnival

Play Video

At the beginning of the 20th century, when people from Rilao discovered what the Muka trees could offer, they started to celebrate the blossoming for one week, yearly. This popular street party was known as their carnival.

The festival started to fade with the disease’s boom and disappeared completely after the plague took over and the quarantine was announced.

With the inoculation, people from Rilao regained hope and started to celebrate again, but the festival’s core changed. They now praise life and the scars left became part of them. People used to go out dressed with a skin colored suit, as if they were naked, proudly showing their bodies.

In this context, arises the Plague Doctor figures. Wearing costumes inspired in the old doctors, they terrify everyone, using masks and spraying a dark and stinking liquid on celebrants.

As a response, other groups created the New Doctors costumes, a white version of the old doctors with people throwing colourful powder that could change the black liquid and make it smells good. The reaction between the powder and the black stains creates different shapes that cover the body in an organic way, making each of them unique.

These costumes emphasises the cure by creating a color explosion that gradually shapes the body with beautiful forms.

Slowly, carnival became the celebration of life, based on the conflict between good and evil, where people dance on the streets, running from the Plague Doctors and looking for the New Doctors to colour them.

Exhibit 25 of 58 PreviousNext

Curated by of ESPM Rio.


Download exhibit images