Grrlz Gettin Ova: Anarkia Boladona
Panmela Castro, known by her tag name Anarkia Boladona and sometimes just “Kia,” is a graffiti artist and activist from Brazil. Anarkia’s work strives to challenge patriarchal oppression within graffiti and street art and beyond, reaching out into our everyday lives. Anarkia holds a BFA from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and is currently an MA student at the State University of Rio de Janeiro. Kia got her start in graffiti after her career as a pixadora. Pixação is a form of graffiti unique to Brazil, done in a distinctive cryptic style closely akin to hieroglyphics, and pixadores often compete to have their names in the highest and most difficult to reach—but easiest to spot—places. Kia is also the Founder and President of Rede Nami, a feminist urban arts network based out of Brazil that aims to promote human rights through the “artistic, intellectual, and professional skills” of women.
In her own artwork, Anarkia often subverts iconic negative representations of women by depicting these inspirational ladies as powerful, heroic, and strong. One such example is her representation of Eve in a mural she created for the exhibition “Colour Shocking Pink” for the State Council of Women’s Rights in 2011. As most of us know, Eve is the one who convinced Adam to take a bite of the Forbidden Fruit in the Garden of Eden, condemning all of human kind to more suffering—especially women. In Anarkia’s mural, however, Eve is represented as inquisitive, independent, and taking charge of her own life, only to be punished for acting autonomously. In the April 4th 2011 entry on Anarkia in the blog Culture is Your Weapon, Kia discusses the mural: “This mural is the story of Eve. There is Eve, the snake and the apple. So this Eve, she’s in this place with nothing to do, it was really super boring, a proper drag and there was even this guy there telling her what she could and couldn’t do, giving her orders. One day she gets really fed up, and says well I’m going to do what I want, I’m going to be happy now, I’m not going to obey any man.”
To keep up with Anarkia in all of her artistic and activist endeavors, like her page on Facebook or check out her website Panmelacastro.com.