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TOPIC: samba


The New Generation of Brazilian Women Revitalizing Funk Music

Funk is a music genre that originated in Rio and is inspired by social consciousness. Women have been overlooked in the genre, but a new generation of women funk artists are changing that.

RIO DE JANEIRO — Women made and continue to make history in Brazilian funk, a hip hop-influenced music style from Rio de Janeiro that blends funk with Miami bass and rap.

“They contribute not only as interpreters, but there are more and more women debating academically [the style], and being composers, producers [who are] inserted in the music ecosystem,” says Tamiris Coutinho, 31, from Rio de Janeiro, author of the book I Fell Face-first into My Pussy: Funk as a Power of Female Empowerment (“Cai de boca no meu b*c3t@o”).

A music and business graduate from PUC (Pontifical Catholic University) in Rio de Janeiro, Coutinho warns that, despite this growth, the situation is not an even playing field, saying, "Women don't get as many opportunities as men do."

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The Brazilian Singer Trying To Shake The Sexism Out Of Samba

The Brazilian singer Nega Jaci has performed a new version of the well-known samba “Mulheres,” by Martinho da Vila, adapted by two Brazilian women to remove the sexist tone of the original lyrics.

LISBON — It's Saturday night in Lisbon, Portugal, and on stage at the bar Samambaia, in the Graça neighborhood, the beating of the tambourine and the strumming of the guitar signal the beginning of a hit by the carioca samba singer Martinho da Vila, which lists the various women who passed through the life of a man.

But this Saturday, the original version re-emerged as a new, liberating and empowered reinterpretatio, sung by Brazilian artist Nega Jaci.

Instead of "I've had women of all colors," Nega Jaci sings “We are women of all colors,” from an updated version created by Brazilian artists Doralyce and Silvia Duffrayer in 2018 – an adaptation that rewrites some stanzas of the original lyrics and which, since then, has become an anthem of female resistance in the “patriarchal” universe of samba.

The rewritten version by the Brazilian duo removes references to “unbalanced and confused” women in the lyrics, replacing them with feminist heroes in Brazil, including Chica da Silva and Elza Soares. Jaci also included a tribute to former Carioca councilwoman Marielle Franco, murdered in 2018.

The new lyrics reposition the woman's role, from being responsible for the man's happiness, finally concluding, in a liberated and independent tone, that the woman is everything that she one day dreamed to be.

Samba lyrics tend to be super sexist and prejudiced, looking at women either as objects to serve men or as someone who needs to be taken care of, without giving due value to female power,” explains Jaci, who was born in Bahia, Brazil as Jacilene Santos Barbosa and has been living in Lisbon for eight years.

The feminist version of the well-known samba is unmissable in her set, and the moment when Jaci sings it in the presentation is preceded by a call to the women in the audience. It is for them that the performance is dedicated.

“I sing in honor of the women, but the men end up listening and reflecting on the theme in their own way,” she says.

This reflection has led other musicians to also look for a way to reposition themselves. Jaci recalls that not even Chico Buarque himself, universally loved among Brazilian musicians and apparently incontestable, is immune to the slippage of lyrics written in other times and contexts, but which now seem to no longer find space in a repertoire governed by political correctness.

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From Brazil's Samba Schools, Corporate Management Lessons

Latin Americans work better with people they know. This dynamic is at the heart of Brazilian samba schools that compete in annual Carnival parades, and may provide solid input for office dynamics and productivity in private companies.

RIO DE JANEIRO — For Brazilians, samba schools are management schools. As is often the case with people in emerging countries, Brazilians tend to form tight-knit groups, partly because of a deep-seated distrust of people they don't know. According to a study by World Values Survey, the number of people who trust someone they just met is five times lower in Brazil than in the United States.

As a pillar of cooperation, trust is crucial to team work. To avoid the "social trap," team members must all believe they will win if each of them is willing to cooperate. When people suspect their team members aren't doing their part, they're inclined to hold back and let others do the work. This suspicion arises most frequently when information is lacking, as is the case with big groups of people who don't know each other.

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Austerity Carnival: Brazil's Economic Crisis Spoils Party Season

More than 50 cities have canceled or drastically cut traditional Carnival extravaganza due to public cutbacks. But some say killing the party will only make things worse.

JUIZ DE FORA — Everybody at the samba school Mocidade Alegre, in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, was looking forward to this year's Carnival celebration. They'd worked hard to prepare the entire show, and everything, from choreography to costumes, was ready. Now it turns out they'll have to wait until next year to don their duds and wow the crowd — if they're lucky.

Short on cash, the local authority suggested reducing by 70% the fees it pays the associations taking part in the celebrations, so Mocidade Alegre chose to cancel their participation instead. Juiz de Fora isn't the only town where this has happened. At least 53 other cities across nine states — including Maceió, the capital city of Alagoas — have canceled or drastically reduced the traditional extravaganza due to financial difficulties.

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