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Rite I Coming of Age: 

Once Upon a Time


 The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door.

 If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.

― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype


Coming of Age was registred by Egberto Alves and Ryan Donnelly during an intimate play in the forest, in 2011, in the interior of São Paulo.


The space to play and remember, an unnoticed coming of age. My first menstruation,  arrived right in the middle of a turbulent home, two months before I turned 15. I felt the need to hide the red blood that was getting out of my control. My family had the tradition of the Debutante that happens around the age of 15 or 16, who celebrates and introduces the young woman to society in a series of actions that symbolize the passage from childhood to adulthood. In my case, it never happened, since my house was falling apart and going through a very disturbing and traumatic sequence of episodes; my adulthood went unnoticed and the celebration was resumed with the passage of light into darkness and followed by many years of uprooting, fear, confusion, eating disorders, emotional turmoil and a sequence of traumatic episodes.

With the support of my partner Ryan, a year after our marriage, I was in my twenties and was coming into contact with layers of emotions stored and dormant in my body. Ryan played an important role both as a catalyst and as a witness to this process. Somehow, he was open to seeing me in a way that no one was, and this was my point of trust and vulnerability, to move forward deepening relationships with the shadows, and in our relationship as a couple. At the time, I was reading Women Who Run with Wolves, which brought up the story of Little Red Riding Hood, the only book I remember being around four years old.

Once upon a time,  was action-oriented towards a late rite of passage, opening space in time, to feel and remember the unnoticed becoming of puberty. In pure white, I wore the loss of innocence experiencing the intensity of suffering and tragedy. A red burka was a resonant symbol of the unnoticed young woman underneath, carrying a basket with plastic poppy.

The movement's resources were a dialogue between the mental and emotional environments, responding to the place, and threatening presence of a naked male figure with a wolf mask mixed in the landscape. The red emphasized the position of a target, in contrast to the light gray and green of the forest, intertwined with the challenging stages that followed for years and were marked by the Eight Rites.

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