For the singer and one of the forerunners of samba-reggae in Bahia Lazzo Matumbi, the structure of the official axis of Salvador’s carnival updates racist practices, oppresses the poorest population and takes the shine off what should be central: popular participation in the event.
“Carnival, for me, needs to be rediscussed, in which the most important point was the people. The carnival in Salvador, today, privileges the artist in the electric trio much more than the people. I see the people sandwiched between the rope of a block, the box paneling and the police truncheon”.
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Regarding the current style of the party, Matumbi said that it has changed over the last forty years, but still retains elements that reinforce racism and exclusion.
“Salvador is a very racist city. Today, what we see, in reality, are the cabins, which are nothing more, nothing less than the big clubs that prevented the entry of poor and black people, only today on the avenue, in public space.”
Matumbi’s statements were given to the program Central do Brasil this Wednesday (15). He commented on the origins of the Ilê Aiyê Bloc, of which he was a member in the 1970s, and described the importance of African religiosity in the bloc’s mobilization. “It’s what keeps us alive,” he said.
Matumbi, however, believes that the party continues to have the character of resistance and that it can be a channel for political manifestation.
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“Brazil has a habit of thinking that Carnival is just circuses and bread, where we’re having fun and forgetting the way we live. I think we have to be aware of taking to the party from carnival to our claims”, he said, explaining the party’s power to echo popular struggles.
“Salvador’s carnival, for me, is still the great apex of what happens throughout the year. A great racial, social and economic discussion”. he concluded.
Watch the full interview on this Wednesday’s Central do Brasil program
The earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria last week caused more than 41,000 deaths. The number of victims continues to rise as search efforts find more bodies in the rubble. For the survivors, the trauma and longing for lost relatives and friends remains. In this Wednesday’s edition, Central do Brasil tells the story of Ibrahim’s family, who lived in the coastal province of Lataquia, in Syria. The report is from the partner broadcaster Telesur.
Fraud in Cuba?
Cuba faces harassment from a British investment fund that claims to be a legitimate creditor of the country. The fund claims it bought Cuban debt, but Havana claims the purchase was fraudulent. The UK court is expected to decide the issue in the coming weeks. Who tells details of this story is the reporter Gabriel Lopes, our correspondent in Havana.
The program Central do Brasil is a production of Brazil in Fact and shown from Monday to Friday, at 12:30 pm, by Red TVT and other partner public broadcasters throughout the country.
Editing: Nicolau Soares
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