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A project by Marina Alegre & Margherita Isola
Thanks the support of the Goethe Institut of São Paulo.
2020 > 2022

Pacha Manas is a project that seeks to create spaces of dialogue, solidarity and affection between women and plants. Through the reconnection with ancestral knowledge, the project promotes practices of resistance, healing and mutual care.  

At the center of the project is a complex and extremely important issue, which permeates the reality of women and about which it is increasingly urgent to talk more here in Brazil, as in the rest of the world: abortion and its criminalization.

Starting from the autobiographical experiences of their respective abortions, Margherita and Marina counter the violence with which the abortion experience is silenced and censored by meeting with comrades, women and plants, to collectivize wounds, struggles, rages, hopes, knowledge. Pacha Manas is a project made by several hands where the circle is the form and content of the creative process.


Pacha Manas are circles of women, plants and embroidery, in which we speak while our hands sew and embroider. The embroidery allows us to involve the body in the construction of the dialogue, letting our bodies and gestures awaken the words. Furthermore, as experimenters in the art of textiles, we understand embroidery as an ancestral and restorative practice that allows us to expose the mourning and struggles that run through our bodies and, at the same time, awaken the creative and transformative power within us. Itinerant circles were held in different parts of São Paulo and an online circle was organized during the pandemic in collaboration with the Goethe Institut and the Rosa Luxemburg Fundation.


Pacha Manas is an installation that pays homage to the victims of illegal abortions, women who lose their lives because they are not guaranteed a fundamental right to health and autonomy over their own bodies. A hanging garden, occupying a wall of the courtyard of the Goethe Institut, where vulva-shaped planting bags are installed, serving as shelter for traditional abortifacient plants, such as rute, melon of São Caetano, pennyroyal and parsley, among others.

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Pacha Manas is a book that gathers texts with multiple perspectives written by several Brazilian and non-Brazilian women, including the two artists. The book, edit by Editora Funilaria, invites to reflect on abortion, patriarchy, reproductive autonomy, care and traditional knowledge, among other topics.
The publication is presented in the form of a reading performance, during which the reading of texts from the book is interweaves with a collective participatory embroidery and a poetical interconnections with some women's healing plants, including abortion plants.

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Reading-performance tour:

8 December 2022- Goethe Institut, São Paulo
21 December 2022 - Funarte, São Paulo
27 January 2023 - Fundación Entredos, Madrid


Pacha Manas is one of the projects hosted by the Biennial Women in the Visual Arts.

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