Carnaval season is once again coming up in Brazil and the festivities once again look lively in Bahia. This year in Salvador, one of the themes is Carnaval Blacks. Now you might wonder why it would be necessary to create a theme about blacks in Carnaval, especially in Salvador, one of the cities with the highest concentration of African descendants in the country as well as the city most most associated with black culture. Well, if you’re not familiar with what some have called Apartheid Baiano, you’re in for a wake up call. Not only is Salvador recognized for the aforementioned descriptions, for those conscious of the situation, it is also known for its high murders of black youth by police and death squads, a white minority that has ruled the city and state for centuries and white domination and appropriation in terms of Carnaval and music. When black-oriented Carnaval blocos came up with an idea called Afródromo to give these groups more visibility, the alarms of “reverse racism” immediately rang. With all this in mind, this year should be a very interesting Carnaval!
Here is how the Tribuna da Bahia describes this year’s festivities.
A variety of musical acts, gathered during the festivities of Carnival in the Pelourinho (1) this year, comes together around the theme Carnaval blacks, which will feature attractions such as Samba, Reggae, percussion, Bahian guitar, rhythms marked by the influence of African origin.
On the main stage, which will be mounted in the Largo (2) of the Pelourinho, the festivities will begin with the presentation of long-time Bahian musician Moraes Moreira and his band. The artist will appear in the show “Homenagem à Guitarra Baiana (Tribute to Bahian Guitar)”, taking place on the evening of Thursday next week (7), the first day of Carnival.
On Friday (8), Orchestra Afrosinfônica, recognized for its mixture of the Classical, popular and afro rhythms, takes the stage with the presentation of Sinfonia Afro (Afro Symphony).
Top: singers Carla Lis, Claudia Costa, Clécia Queiróz
Bottom: singers Will Carvalho, Márcia Short, Juliana Ribeiro
For the Saturday of Carnival (9), the schedule will include the show 7 Negras Vozes (7 Black Voices), in which the singers Will Carvalho, Carla Lis, Márcia Short, Juliana Ribeiro, Clécia Queiróz, Claudia Costa and Matilde will come together, each presenting their own style , with a repertoire that goes through musical genres such as Samba, the Samba-Reggae, MPB (Brazilian Popular Music), older Carnaval Marchinhas.
Under the baton of Jorge Sacramento, aka Baguinha, 15 percussionists will participate in “Diversidade Percussiva (Percussive Diversity)” on Sunday (10).
Singer Mariene de Castro
On Monday (11), the main stage will be transformed into the Casa de Bambas (House of Bambas or Samba experts) – 70 years of Nelson Rufino, which will bring together Samba masters Nelson Rufino, Edil Pacheco and Walmir Lima, along with Aloísio Menezes and Mariene de Castro.
Closing the program, on Tuesday (12), the last day of festivities, Reggae Resistência (Reggae Resistance) will bring big names of Bahian Reggae from Bahia to the celebration, with Sine Calmon, Diamba and Folha de Chá.
Theme is part of the African decade
Equal to the I Encontro das Culturas Negras (First Meeting of Black Cultures), the chose of the theme for Carnival of the Pelourinho is in the context of the Década Afrodescendente (Decade of the African Descendant) in Salvador.
This period was established by the United Nations (UN) after the Encontro Ibero-americano do Ano Internacional dos Afrodescendentes (Afro XXI) (Ibero-American Meeting of the International Year of African descent Afro XXI) held in 2011 and where debates about racism and social, economic and political situations of the black population in the contemporary world were initiated.
During the event, Salvador received the symbolic title of “Capital ibero-americana dos afrodescendentes (Ibero-American Capital of African descent)”. For the director of CCPI, Arany Santana, “the theme of Carnival of the Pelô (Pelourinho) is in line with the agenda of the United Nations, the reality of Salvador and cultural policies that the Secretary of Culture of the State (Secult) have supported, such as the Carnival Ouro Negro (Black Gold Carnaval). Nothing more fair and coherent than these actions have visibility during the festival, thereby recognizing the identity formation of the second blackest city in the world.”
1. The Pelourinho is the name of a neighborhood in Salvador, the capital of the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia. It is located in the historic center of the city, which has a preserved Baroque Portuguese colonial architectural and is a member of the Historical Heritage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The neighborhood is affectionately called Pelôby residents. The word Pelourinho refers to a stone column, usually located at the center of a plaza, where criminals were exposed and punished. In colonial Brazil, it was mainly used to punish slaves. Source: Wikipedia
2. Largo do Pelourinho or Praça José de Alencar, which is it’s official name, is located in the heart of the oldest part of Salvador, Bahia. Source: Wikipedia
Source: Tribuna da Bahia