Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of interviews taken by Gabriel Kreutzer and residents at ArteSumapaz during Gabriel’s residency. Photo credit: Gabriel Kreuzer.
Name: Igor Barboza
Occupation: Geologist/ Musician
Met in: Fondation ArteSumapaz, Colombia / October 2019
Gabriel Kreuzer (GK): If you had the free choice, who would you like to have dinner with?
Igor Barboza (IB): If I could choose I really would love to dine with Gilberto Gil, he was a Brazilian musician, for me he is like the biggest musician on earth, really creative, he seems like a great person, very happy about life but at the same time not naïve. I feel like I would have so much to exchange with him. I am not sure if I could give him as much as he could give me, but it would be a great experience. He is still alive, so I could still do it.
GK: If your house burned down and you could save three things, what would it be?
IB: I have a house in San Paolo but as I am travelling, at the moment my home is my backpack. I don’t feel like I have many things to save… I was thinking about books, my passport, but I really don’t give a fuck for them. It would be a pain to get a new passport but I don’t have many things to be worried about in my life right now. So my computer, my ukulele and my camera… fuck the passport!
GK: Which dream of yours would you like to fulfil?
IB: I would like to try to live simply, try to be closer to nature. I know that there are a lot of people living in nature and I am kind of sorry for the live I passed through, in Sao Paolo. I have some friends and family who are just working to pay the rent and are breathing dirty air, with polluted rivers. Maybe I am being naïve but I would like to see people coming closer to nature, harmonising with it, not necessarily in a primitive way, but introducing technology in a way that everybody could be happy together with more time. I would like to see for people having more time! I am not a hermit, well sometimes I am, but I love to be surrounded by people who have time to speak, to exchange experiences… then I can learn so much. The world has so many waves, the beat generation, the hippie movement… I am not sure what we are passing through at the moment but I see many people in Brazil moving to the countryside, to build some projects like reforestation. I really respect that. To live a less materialistic life.
GK: Which artist inspires you?
IB: I think it is a set to me, a lot of things move me, but there is this group of artists which came from the northeast of Brazil, the Bahia-states- for me this art is the greatest! Like Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Milton Nascimento… they are musicians, but also writers, and they are so engaged with social movements and stuff and I think that they think about the common people, about the more raw reality. But at the same time they are so complex in their thoughts. And I like them especially because they are people who just wanted to do music and didn’t study or anything. They really move me because they give me hope. You just have to believe, you just have to dive in. They were travellers. It’s a movement of artists called Tropicalismo. They just evolved this movement. It has a lot of rhythms from the countryside of Brazil. They are so open to people, to experiences, to absorbing everything. It’s so rich, its moving me.
GK: What ability would you like to own / learn?
IB: I would like to experience a Samadhi. It’s a state of total absence of senses, a total lack of sensation of the external world. It is one of the final states of evolution, like some gurus in India… meditation and stuff. I would like to be connected with whatever its up there, if there is something. You can reach that state by meditation but it takes your whole life, you need to devote part of your life to seek it. I meditate but I just started, I had some experience with powerful plants like Ayahuasca and the cactus San Pedro. I had some great experiences , they’re great to deal with some wounds of my past, especially related to my family and my parents, which I wasn’t able to see because of the routine and daily life I was living in Sao Paolo. But right now I feel I can just do it by myself, with meditation, trying to focus on the moment. To be a more simple person… I’m trying to be a more simple man.
GK: What positive character trait do you find most valuable in a person?
IB: I don’t have one. It depends on the person, on the essence. In some what I like most is the movement, the willingness to express and to say whatever comes to mind. In others I am seeing other things. But I like to be surrounded by serene people, really calm people. I like that energy, it makes me feel good, I can more easily be myself. You can talk and listen better, the exchange comes so much easier.
GK: What beautiful memory comes to mind spontaneously?
IB: Cliffs! I like being on cliffs, I love hiking and reaching a place, the top of a mountain, and looking past and seeing what the next steps are. I really like when I reach these places to sit, warm my water and make some mate, write a little bit, try to imagine things, thinking about my life, kiss the sky, smoke a joint, think about how to be a better person. I like being surrounded by nature. People and nature , that’s it for me. In the new year two years ago I was with two dear friends of mine at the Chapada de Diamantina, we have been traveling and there were many troubles on the way… but Chapada de Diamantina in the Bahia state of brazil- you go there and there are many cliffs, waterfalls… I like being on the edge with a lot of view. It’s mental health for me to see the horizon. That’s also why am running away from big cities.
GK: Do you have a favourite place on earth?
IB: No, I have many favourite places but not one… I like being in nature, I like being inside of a woman, sexually, the combination of both. but I don’t have a specific spot. I am still discovering, I am travelling, I like to stay grounded for a while, be unrooted. The next four to five years I just want to be traveling, cultivating a semi-nomadic way of living, some month here and some month there. At the moment it is my first time I am out of Brazil but I am a traveller. Before I went to many places out of Brazil, it is such a huge country.
GK: What in your life are you most thankful for?
IB: I am really thankful for who I am now. To be here now, to be who I am. I am thankful to myself, to the people who made who I am- like my parents, my friends of college with whom I travelled so much together. In my geology course in university we had a lot of field-work and it was an exponential experience: the more I was with them the more I wanted to be with them. Not only the travels during the college but we did a lot of crazy stuff together, testing limitations. There was a lot of personal growth related to it. Thankfulness for me has to do with growing, to become a better person, a better human being.
GK: What makes you happy?
IB: Music, good food, good company, movement, trips, waterfalls, flowers, approaching my spirituality.
GK: What is your definition of success?
IB: Happiness. Having a plan in life and being able to either succeed achieving my plan or to have the humbleness to change the plan. So succeeding, being able to reach my goals.
GK: What are you most proud of in the last year?
IB: I am proud of how I open I was to a lot of experiences I had: psychedelically, in the relationship, in education… I got to know a lot of people, a lot of places and I am proud of some changes. I am proud for being a more minimalist and less materialistic person. I am proud to be able to give more value to time. Time, then material stuff. Having time to do nothing, being idle. For me this more precious and I am proud of this change. I was able to reconsider my values.
GK: What is the most beautiful thing about your home country?
IB: The real wealth of a country is its culture, that’s what Adam Smith told us. He is an Scottish economist from 18th century who wrote the book “The Wealth of Nations”. For me this is Brazil, this incredible mish mash of cultures. And the diversity of the climate. It’s a rich big pan of things. I love the raw potential of it!
GK: Which habit is important/ useful for you?
IB: I have some habits, some are more difficult, others are more easy to establish. I like waking up early, to drink a large glass of warm water with lemon and write some things while I am drinking. Exercising for me is really important, I feel that it regulates me and makes me think better, help me be a healthier person. I run and do push-ups and I climb, depending on where I am. I like to play basketball, but right now I am really in a climbing phase of my life., it’s a great exercise. And Yoga sometimes. I like my habits so I feel that when I am driven to do this I can do whatever I want to do. When I am organised I can disorganise as well. I can try new things, I can try new crazy ideas. If I am not in this state, if I am more insecure about myself, I have to look too much for myself, for cares and needs. When I am organised I feel that I can look outside, I can imagine, I can create better.
GK: What is beauty to you?
IB: Everything that attracts me… it could be pretty girl, it could be delicious food, a dead body of an animal which has been there for days decomposing… an animal decomposing is beautiful. For me beauty is everything that attracts me.