Rap, Reggae and Cultural Resistance in Belo Horizonte, Brazil


Manage episode 298698539 series 2485502
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Belo Horizonte is Brazil’s sixth largest city and including its surrounding districts, the country’s third largest metropolitan area. The capital of Minas Gerais, a state built on mining, dairy products and coffee production, Belo Horizonte is often seen as a parochial, conservative backwater, yet its thriving alternative arts scene provides robust forms of musical and cultural resistance to the exclusionary policies of reactionary president, Jair Bolsonaro, especially through local variants of hip-hop and reggae. Produced in Belo Horizonte by David Katz, this program explores the intricacies of the city’s homegrown resistance movements, based in squatted buildings and public spaces in the city center and peripheral favelas on the outskirts. It reveals the surprising complexities of the renowned Belo Horizonte rap scene, which is intricately linked to improv theatre and urban poetry movements, with a revived Carnival culture, African-Brazilian Candomblé and baile funk all part of the local form’s very distinctive musical backdrop; the smaller reggae scene also addresses issues such as social exclusion, income disparity, racial bias, gender discrimination, transphobia and environmental crises. In the show, we’ll hear from rappers such as Roger Deff, Samora Nzinga and the leftfield duo of Hot e Oreia, as well as Leo Vidigal of the Deska Reggae sound system and Zaika dos Santos of Salto, the city’s first female-run sound; Tiago Lopes of the Rastafari collective Roots Ativa and former rapper Kdu dos Anjos and guide us through the permaculture and upcycled fashion projects they have established in the massive favela complex of Aglomerada da Serra, providing employment and social integration to some of the city’s most disenfranchised residents. Produced by Matt Katz in 2020 APWW #812

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