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I came to the East End in the footsteps of fellow Brazilian artist Helio Oiticica, one of many Brazilian cultural exiles in London in the nineteen-sixties. Oiticia staged an exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1967, introducing the new cultural movement of Tropicalia to Europe by recreating a favela in the gallery. And now I'm creating my own Tropicalia here in the twenty-first century, reinventing this poverty aesthetic with a pop exuberance that reflects the cosmopolitanism of my own life experience – which began in a favela in Brazil and took me on a journey from South to North America and eventually to Europe, where I found my home in the East End of London.

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