Critical Cooking Show
Luiza Prado de O. Martins

Danças is a meditation on the employment and preparation of three ingredients that connect the cuisines of Turkey and Brazil — okra, chilies, and oranges — through the recounting of personal stories. These are ingredients that lead a double life: they are known foods, whilst also being considered ingredients in preparations meant to induce fertility. Conversely, some attributes of these ingredients can be symbolically and materially linked to the deployment of tear gas as a form of crowd and population control, and a history of repression and dissent. The short film links the sensorial and affective impacts of these ingredients to the history of Condor Non-Lethal Technologies, a chemical weapon manufacturer based in Rio de Janeiro, and its international impact as a major exporter of tear gas, offering reflections on the position of the modern nation-state as an arbiter of biopower. The episode also touches upon the historical parallel to Condor Non-Lethal offered by Operation Condor, a US-funded campaign that, starting from the mid-20th century, provided — through the CIA — training, aid, and intelligence for the instalment of military dictatorships all over Latin America and the kidnapping, murder and torture of left-wing political dissidents.


Dr. Luiza Prado de O. Martins is an artist and researcher whose work examines themes around fertility, reproduction, coloniality, gender, and race. In her doctoral dissertation she approaches the control over fertility and reproduction as a foundational biopolitical gesture for the establishment of the colonial/modern gender system, theorizing the emergence of ‘technoecologies of birth control’ as a framework for observing — and resisting, disrupting, troubling — colonial domination. Her ongoing artistic research project A Topography of Excesses looks into encounters between human and plant beings within the context of indigenous and folk reproductive medicine, approaching these practices as expressions of radical care.

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