Founded in 2001 in the city of Portland, Girls Rock Camp arrived in Brazil through the initiative of musician Flavia Biggs, who in 2003 was on tour with the band Dominatrix on the west coast of the United States, when she met the original American project. Passionate about the initiative, she returned two years later to work as a volunteer and learn more about the details of the project. “I decided that I wanted to bring the idea to Brazil, I made a call and mobilized all the women in the music of the arts of education and social movements I knew and finally in 2013 we did the first Girls Rock Camp Brasil”, says Flávia, who explains that despite the project to follow the bases of the American edition, there has always been a concern to adapt and incorporate new activities linked to the Brazilian reality.
Today there are editions in three other Brazilian cities, and also in Peru, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile. “Although independent from each other, we identify ourselves as a movement, we are part of the Girls Rock Camp Alliance, of which I am on the board of directors, we are almost 100 camps around the world”, says Flávia Biggs, director and founder of Girls Rock Camp Brasil, who was the pioneer in all of Latin America.
The goal is to promote self-esteem, feminist protagonism and empowerment of girls and gender disagreements, through musical expression. “Overcoming the challenge that the activity develops brings empowerment in all children's living spaces as a return. Families say it improves socialization at school, etc. The impact can also be observed by volunteering during the week of activities, in the first days the children remain shy, after a short time they are already running back and forth talking about their bands ", says Flavia who adds:" Everywhere , but especially in our country and other countries where conservatism and attitudes against human rights have been treated as something “normal”, feminist empowerment comes against the grain bringing the necessary strength to combat gender oppression in various sectors of the life, that we face every day. And I believe that the sooner the girls and boys believe in themselves, in their potential, the greater the chance of breaking with the cycle of violence and oppression ”.
2020 was a particularly challenging year. After almost a decade of existence in which the project took place in public spaces such as schools and unions, Girls Rock Camp Brasil became an Institute, and in January it rented a place to have its own headquarters, since the event depended on school holidays to occupy those spaces. “We decided in 2019 to formalize ourselves, to try to expand our actions to more people, looking for possibilities of actions in partnerships with public and private organizations. What changes with the Institute is the possibility of activities throughout the year, not only musical, but we will also have theater, dance, martial arts among others ”, explains Flávia. But just in the week when the new space was due to open, in March this year, the pandemic was declared and all face-to-face activities were suspended. “So we stopped the face-to-face activities, to maintain the space and activities we did workshops, festivals and online classes, we also have a collective financing campaign underway in the catharsis http://www.catarse.me/campbr, which is what has saved us in these closed months. Our work is all based on donations and volunteering. We really want to welcome everyone who is touched by the camp's mission to empower through musical expression, in our volunteering when it is safe. But at the moment, separate donations and our collective financing campaign is an essential way to help the camp through this delicate moment ”, explains Flávia.
To learn more about the work of the Girls Rock Camp Brasil Institute, visit the project website at this address. There you will also have more information on how you can help keep this initiative so important.