Roda is a present tense conjugation of a verb in Portuguese that means to turn around. It is also a noun, translatable as wheel – a crucial invention based on the potentiality of turning around to move forward. In addition, roda is a circumference made of people. Cantigas de roda are folklore songs repeated by generations of children while holding hands and moving in circle, the smaller ones learning the lyrics as they walk around and sing along. Roda de candomblé, translated from the Yoruba word xirê, which also means dance, is the moment in a ritual when a circle is formed for the drums and singing to establish a connection between the Orum and the Earth, calling for the orixás to join the gathering. Roda de capoeira is the form in which another Afro-Brazilian tradition, simultaneously a dance and a fight, manifests itself: a circle of people that sing and mark the rhythm to the moves of the players taking turns in the centre, protecting them and guiding their steps, while learning from their examples. Abrir a roda is to take a step back, distancing from the centre, creating gaps and opening the circle to allow for more people to join, temporarily completing it again. 

roda – soft water on hard stone is an invitation to engage in collective thinking about ways of inhabiting the world. In the face of accelerating interlaced crises engendered by colonial, patriarchal and extractivist logics, roda grounds itself within the connotations of this Brazilian term. roda – soft water on hard stone is an exhibition project in the form of a collaborative investigation on how to develop sensibilities of co-existence across human and more-than-human worlds that can guide us towards new ways of living, learning, making and believing.

   Curator Katarina Stenbeck

   Curator Carla Zaccagnini
   Art Hub Copenhagen
       Astrid Noacks Atelier, Copenhagen
           Capacete, Rio de Janeiro
               Centre for Contemporary Art & Àsìkò Art School, Lagos
2023 © roda—soft water on hard stoneSign up for newsroda – soft water on hard stone is supported by the Bikuben Foundation, The Vision Exhibition Award