OruMbya – a library of silenced voices

Brazil is a complex country. Although the majority of Brazil’s population is composed of black people and women, there is still an underrepresentation of women, black, LGBTQIA+ and indigenous people in the sciences, especially in Physics and Astronomy. Our main goal is to strengthen primary and secondary education in science, through equity and equal opportunities for children and young people living in extreme social vulnerability. Our target audience is public schools’ primary and secondary students and teachers. Through science and literature, we aim (i) to stimulate scientific curiosity, being a taste for reading and writing; (ii) to effectively and creatively awaken the political awareness of our target audience; (iii) to recover their life stories through the resilience of the stars, that is, the stories about the sky in African, Afro-Brazilian and Indigenous cultures (Cultural Astronomy); (iv) to work on the self-esteem of children and young people based on women, black and indigenous writers as well as those writers who come from the slum areas; and, finally, (v) to work, through literature, with positive models of black and indigenous people and women in the sciences. We intend, in collaboration with pedagogues and cultural agents from our universities (UFRGS and UFRJ), Casa da Tia Ciata (Cultural Centre) and public schools to develop reading circles and workshops on the stories of the heavens over the course of 1 year. We will build an itinerant library with children’s and youth books that bring the voices of people silenced in the country – women, black people, quilombolas, indigenous and those from slums. We will select books from Brazilian, African and Portuguese (PLOAD) writers/scientists and will promote the exchange of letters between teachers and students from the PLOAD countries, which will allows us to perform the intersection between science (astronomy) and art (literature) and engage children in the universe of imagination.