EFFEA Story: Travesti Biológica

Residency of Mavi Veloso, presented by FLAM - Festival for Live Art Amsterdam in partnership with BUZZCUT Festival & IPAF - International Queer Performance Festival


Travesti Biológica is a multidisciplinary project by Mavi Veloso encompassing live performance, music and video. It is a transgenre-electro-pop music and performance project celebrating the beauty of trans and non-binary bodies: the struggles, resilience and empowerment.

Crossing different phases, the construction of Travesti Biológica has had a robust team, from first elaborations to producing songs and performance videos, releasing the visual album and, finally, performing on stage - it has been a long way. Before hitting the stage, the project was created in collaboration with artist/performer Tina Escarlatina, DJ and music producers Urubu Marinka and Salisme, film director Bernardo Zanotta, choreographer Mab Cardoso, photographer Thiemi Higashi, artist and fashion designer Alex Cassimiro, performer and light designer Eidglas Xavier, 3D artist Angelo Thomaz and the music label Bicudarec

In March 2023, Travesti Biológica reached a significant milestone during the EFFEA residency in partnership with FLAM Festival, BUZZCUT and IPAF Warehouse9. The residency provided Pauli Scharlach, Urubu Marinka, and Mavi Veloso with the opportunity to refine their works. By polishing compositions, thinking about choreography and dramaturgy, light design and visuals that compose the album, we were able to make the album a much more performative, live concert experience. A special focus for BUZZCUT's team during the residency was accessibility issues, including using subtitles during concerts. 


With an electrifying performance, Travesti Biológica took centre stage at the BUZZCUT Festival on 1 April 2023. Merging musical and performative elements and thought-provoking lyrics, we captivated the hearts and minds of those in attendance. We heard from BUZZCUT fellows that after their audience feedback, Travesti Biológica came up quite a few times as a highlight.


Travesti Biológica is a visual album involving music, live performances and video series. All this, in a way, leads to the visual version of the record, which won a separate elaboration, a collaboration between Mavi, the multimedia artist PauliPauli Scharlach, and the direction of filmmaker Bernardo Zanotta. The series focuses on Mavi's personal stories as a travesty migrating from Brazil to Europe and the diaspora of trans women, reflecting on oppression, survival, and the need to discover new horizons. 

A significant aspect of the project is the incorporation of visuals into both live presentations and the published version of the visual album. During a second residency period with FLAM in July, the team developed the visual elements further, how to better use them during the live performances, finalised the film, and considered various ways to present the audiovisual material to create a cohesive and impactful project.

At the end of this second residence period in July, we did a workshop during FLAM_underconstruction and had a very special moment when we showed the film in its entirety for the first time. We were able to open up about the process of construction of our project, the political implications of femme, trans and queer bodies in music grounds, some technicalities, the various challenges and connections with new communities along the way.



After a year's journey, our last stop was during the Sinner's Sanctuary event, co-curated by Warehouse9 with the associate artist Beck Heiberg. Performing "Travesti Biológica'' at Kapelvej 44 stage in Copenhagen was captivating - such a sweet and compromised audience sharing energy with us. 

by Mavi Veloso