Attentive and strong, Maria Gal shines in ‘Perfect Love’ without leaving activism aside

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Attentive and strong, Maria Gal shines in ‘Perfect Love’ without leaving activism aside

Duda Freitas

Her name is Gal. Or rather, Maria Gal. Born 47 years ago in the same city as Salvador de Gal Costa (1945-2022), Maria das Graças Quaresma dos Santos is an actress and activist and is currently on the air in “Amor Perfeito”, a Globo soap opera that features an interracial family and cast made up of equal numbers of black and white actors. This was exactly where Gal wanted to be. “I deserved it.”

“Today, when I arrive at Globo to record, I do a mental exercise of thinking: ‘I deserve it, I can, I want more’. I think that place is mine too, that my speech makes a difference”, says the actress. This mantra is usually chanted every time her self-esteem weakens due to the episodes of discrimination she has had to face throughout her life.

The most striking of them was perhaps in her teens, when she was barred from a street Carnival block in Salvador. “I wanted to go out there, inside the rope, where 99% of the people were white. They didn’t approve of me. So my mother went there to understand what had happened, they didn’t give any explanation, and they approved me afterwards”, recalls the actress, who plays Neiva, friend and confidant of Marê, character of the protagonist Camila Queiroz, in the novel by Duca Rachid and Júlio Fischer.

Gal has always been engaged in issues related to gender equality and recently co-authored a book that brings together stories of women from different areas, in which they tell how they resisted obstacles and managed to get there. There where? Wherever they want —in her case, the main nucleus of a Globo soap opera (where she had worked before, but in smaller roles).

“Uma Sobe e Puxa A Outra” was a bestseller in the first week of sales and the actress highlights how much it symbolizes the strength of women’s union. “We are so powerful together! I’m always in doubt if we have this veiled female rivalry or if this was put on account of our sexist society. What I realize is that, from time to time, we are becoming aware of the issue machismo and we are creating support networks.”

Gal is also a businesswoman and created the production company Move Maria more than a decade ago, which seeks greater black representation in Brazilian audiovisual. The fight for racial equality also led her to poke another wound: non-compliance with Law No. 10,639 of 2003, which establishes the inclusion of subjects such as Afro-Brazilian and indigenous history and culture in the country’s school curriculum.

“There is a lack of information on the agenda, a very great ignorance. We live in a country where almost half believe that there is no racism in Brazil. I have my doubts if it is really a lack of knowledge or a lack of knowledge with fear of losing their privileges”, he says.

Source: Folha

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