“Roses and Thorns – Women who re-signified their stories” was born unpretentiously. Alessandra Vidmontas was the one who started the project, putting her feelings and thoughts on paper, based on personal experiences and knowledge from her work in protective homes for women, with the organization Beleza Escondida.
As the first words took shape, she realized that this book was not something individual and private – it should go out into the world driven by other female voices. She invited Claudia Ramos, Fátima Mottin, Marcela Ávila and Penelope White to work together to put on the street a work about the reality of women in Brazil and in the world.
Claudia Leitte arrived to complete the team as the preface of these copies, which began to be sold online throughout the country this week. “It is a collective writing, which represents the strength of sisterhood, of being feminine and of mutual support”, explains Vidmontas in an interview with pop-paper.
The result was a collection of different experiences and journeys, but still identifiable to the public, in 126 pages. “Rosas e Espinhos” brought what its title suggests, “women who re-signified their stories”, without running away from pain, but pointing to the overcoming of marks of suffering.
“Once, Alessandra said: ‘The cure has already been found, so what we are doing here is lighting the spotlight on the path to the cure.’ This is hopeful”, reflects Claudinha. “There is a cure, so come. Here there are shelters, protection, follow-up, and a support network. You can talk. Get out of it. That’s the alert. That’s the call.”
The idea was precisely to show the possibility of protection so that the book is useful to women who are suffering at this moment or need to identify that they are in abusive relationships or are at risk of life, all through real stories. After all, the path is not limited to denunciation, nor is it easy.
“We usually call it ‘Armadura da Proteção’, because there are legal aspects, communication, knowledge, support network and protective houses. There are several arms of the same body to be able to close this armor. A real and practical answer for a woman who needs help”, says Vidmontas.
The subject asked for extra sensitivity during the book’s development process, because the texts moved the authors as they wrote. “Most of them have lived through some situation of violence, had to revisit their pain and asked for a breather. It wasn’t simple, but it was necessary, to reach the people who are reading”, says the author.
Writing moved Claudia too. The construction of the preface to “Rosas e Espinhos” was something completely new for the singer, who, used to the studios and the stages, felt “honored”, but at the same time “terrified” in the face of the challenge. It turned out to be a self-discovery experience for her.
“I love writing, but I never thought of writing something so serious, with such a grand purpose. And then I wrote about two hundred texts”, he jokes. “Each time I wrote, I saw myself in a different way. I met myself. I met someone who was in here, somewhere, who I may never have shared. Now it is there, among roses and thorns.”
For the artist, “writing this preface has brought me a certainty that I can share my vulnerability, talk about weaknesses and not be afraid to expose what I feel in the midst of the glamorized madness that is my career, but not because I I want something in return; It’s because I need to do it.”
Claudinha has found this safe place to be since getting involved with Beleza Hidden. She became the organization’s godmother in 2019, after meeting founder Patrick Reason, a naturalized Englishman, and falling in love with his cause. “God gave us freedom and I want to be on the battlefront, fighting for it in some way,” she says.
There is a harmony in this partnership. Beleza Escondida has been working for 22 years to protect women victims of violence, while Claudia Leitte’s own musical career will complete two decades in 2022. “Rosas e Espinhos” comes at an opportune moment, enhancing the work of both.
The book is part of a busy schedule for the artist, who has been celebrating her professional birthday with shows at Disney, singles, clips and (soon) album. All the news should culminate in a “big party” in December this year.
“In this moment of celebration of 20 years of career, with so many different things happening in my life, I’m thinking about the next 20. I’m feeling strong, but at the same time childish, you know? Willing to learn and work hard, full of vitality, like my children,” laughs Claudinha. “I want more,” he concludes.