‘Brujos’ Is the Radical Queer Witchcraft Show You Never Knew You Needed
In the indie web series Brujos, a group of queer Latino grad students use witchcraft to battle the forces of rich, white, colonialist evil.
The series focuses on four friends with varying abilities as a group of witch-hunters try to kill them. Panfilo, the leader of the coven, has telekinesis. Edwin has invisibility (and major daddy issues). Jonathan, with banshee-like abilities, is literally a screaming queen. And Brian has study skills — he’s too white to be good at magic, apparently.
Co-director Reshmi Hazra tells Vice, “What drew me to Brujos was that people who are never heard from are allowed voices — and not just voices, but they’re talking about the systems of oppression that they’re navigating through constantly.”
Creator Richard Gamboa told Latina:
What queer and trans people of color see in the media seldom reflects our reality. And when we do see ourselves represented in media, it reinforces values of dominant culture, using affluence, for example, as ways to affirm and represent non-normative people. People of color, queer folks and working-class people are grossly underrepresented in media.
The show, which was funded by grants and donations, promises to tackle an axis of oppression that even many progressive mainstream dramas shy away from: social class. The villains are the descendants of the wealthy colonialists who invaded Latin America and plundered its resources. In one scene, a character vows to “kill some straight, rich, white men who have been running the world for centuries.”
And though the show focuses on magic, it’s still grounded in cold, hard realism. As the promo says, “life for gay men of color isn’t a Dan Savage campaign and doesn’t always get better.”