Before and after exile: the music of protest in Brazil
Cynthia Machado Campos
(King's College London)
Paper short abstract:
This presentation discusses Brazilian music of protest in reaction to the military dictatorship. One form of resistance was singing in metaphors, a method designed to trick the censors. Another became popular in the 80s, when the themes of hard-core music became increasingly morbid and heavy.
Paper long abstract:
In this presentation I focus on two popular movements in Brazilian music, which occurred between the 1960s and the 80s. By restricting the available channels for political debate and censoring the media, the military dictatorship of the time prompted a strong social reaction, especially amongst the younger generation. Some protesters, mainly artists and musicians, participated in the movement against the military dictatorship, some of them writing their songs and lyrics as a call to arms against the government. One form of resistance adopted by musicians was singing in metaphors, which were designed to trick the censors. Brazilian musicians exiled in London affected the Brazilian musical scene when they returned to their home country. For example, the first Glastonbury festival in September 1970 resulted in the organization of the 'Aguas Claras' festival in Sao Paulo. Further, the British mod style was a strong influence for young Brazilians at the time. Brazilian 'mods' were frequently seen in rock bands, and clothes in the mod style began appearing in some high-end stores. Another form of protest became popular in the second half of the 1980s when the themes of Brazilian hardcore music became increasingly morbid and heavy. The Brazilian punk movement was born under the influence of the British bands such as Discharge after their first hardcore punk album was launched in Brazil. Rock groups first played variations of punk tracks to expel the repressive political military dictatorship; but later on their songs were performed to support new ideas of political inclusion.Download the full paper
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