Ana Candida Carneiro

Writer | Director | Educator


PLASTIC DOLL is a play, a multi-platform performance project, and an educational and community-making intervention that merges art, scholarly research, and activism across borders. It departs from the iconic figures of Barbie and Ken – or the branded line of Mattell-created dolls – to inquire into experiences of gender- and race-making to deconstruct patterns of oppressive violence. It includes workshops with communities and artists from a broad range of disciplines, interventions in the urban landscape, and the performance of the play Plastic Doll (Carneiro, 2010) enriched by the current investigation.

Project’s Artistic Mission:

·   Multi-party interdisciplinary collaboration that invites political and artistic dialogue around the question of gender- and race-based violence, with the goal of generating new aesthetic approaches and ideas across artistic fields;

·   Activate artistic and reflexive processes in the audience, through performances, installations, workshops, and other proposals;

·   Creation of a living and interactive archive of this social and artistic research;

Project’s Social Mission:

·   Raising cultural and social awareness about the seriousness and complexity of the intersection of race and gender-based violence by de-constructing patterns learned in childhood through the manipulation, reimagination, and empowered re-engagement with Barbie and Barbie-like lines of toys.

·   Generating a real educational impact regarding the various forms of race- and gender-based violence in various segments of the population, in different geographies, in partnership with activist organizations (LGBTQIA+; Women’s Rights; Black & Brown rights)

·   Organizing debates with scholars, activists, artists, journalists, and community members to illuminate these questions, drawing attention to a wide range of perspectives, and providing ample space for minoritized voices.


·   Field research in various communities about the theme of gender- and race-based violence using dolls from the Barbie line to assess experiences, collect narratives, deconstruct oppressive ideas, and tap into the creative agency of participants. This process will be documented through audio and video recordings, writings, and artifacts left by participants;

·   Inquiry into the play Plastic Doll in workshops and rehearsals, in resonance with community workshop discoveries, with a group of artists from a wide range of disciplines: visual arts, dance, film, photography, street art, etc.

·   Engagement of a broader audience through an Instagram Plastic Doll performance-project that will generate an installation in the public space;

The summer 2023 investigative process will culminate with a performance at the Teatro Guaíra (Curitiba, Brazil), at the end of July 2023. This is yet a preparatory performance for a fully developed performance première at the Curitiba Theatre Festival in March 2024, along with other artistic and political interventions that will continue to develop.


·   Workshop with performers (actors, dancers, movers) stemming from the play Plastic Doll – UFC – Federal University of Ceará (Fortaleza);

·   Workshop with performers (actors, dancers, movers) stemming from the play Plastic Doll – UFPR – Federal University of Paraná (Curitiba);

·   Playwriting Workshop at the Public Library of Paraná, focusing on gender- and race-based violence (Curitiba);

·   Reading of the plays written during the workshop at the Public Library of Paraná and public discussion afterwards (Curitiba);

·   Writing for Performance workshop “From Language to Matter – creating in the urban landscape of Curitiba” – FAE College (Curitiba);

·   Rehearsal and performance of the solo show “Give to the Light”, dramaturgy and performance by the Black activist Dina Alves, directed by Ana Carneiro – Teatro Guaíra

·   Round table with Dina Alves (lawyer, activist, performer), Leandro Gosdorf (Human Rights activist and UFPR Law Professor), Maria Helena Macedo (writer and cultural agitator, RSLaw firm) and other parties about the reality of gender- and race-based violence in Brazil and pathways of social transformation, including artistic interventions.

·   Plastic Doll, staged reading of the full play text, Public Library of Paraná (Curitiba);

·   Plastic Doll, open rehearsal and process sharing, Teatro Guaíra (Curitiba);

·   Pop-up performances supported by the Museum of Contemporary Art – MAC (Curitiba)

A mirror project will continue at IU Bloomington in the 2023/2024 academic year, with the support of CLACS – Center of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, with workshops and rehearsals, aimed at a work-in-progress performance in February 2024 and other interventions on campus.

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