Tropicália

Great Essays
‘For the Tropicália movement, music was a form of politics.’ Discuss.

The music of Tropicália brought a subtle political message of unity and social activism to Brazil in a time of heavy repression. It developed in 1967, following the psychedelic rock movements of USA and UK, but was quickly restricted the following year when its founding members, Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, were exiled as threats to society. Its music applied a mixture of musical styles, from Brazilian traditional dance to American rock, to create a new, synthesized culture of the tropical and the modern. In doing so, it rejected Brazil’s strong nationalist agenda, from both sides of the political spectrum, and posed as a social critique to both the conservative elite
…show more content…
Glauber Rocha’s Terra em transe brilliantly highlights the cyclical nature of traditional repression by presenting the oppressive elite of populism and autocracy as equal in failing to meet the needs of the povo and yet destined to retain power. Stamm comments that ‘Romanticism, the film suggests, is out of place in a world where the political earth is in convulsion’[ Stamm,1976, pp. 49-51]. This ‘convulsion’ can be seen as the effect of rapid modernization, as Brazil’s elite repeatedly focused on their economy before its people. Tropicália adopts this message to create a similar disillusionment from Brazilian populism by upheaving its nationalist roots and attacking some of its immoral developmentist attitudes. As Rocha’s populist crowds hold blank signs in support of their leader, Stamm cleverly comments that ‘Populism treats the people as mere extras: it wants its spectators to be passive’. Rocha’s film was consequently a major political influence, as Veloso has declared [p.197,Ella Shohat], in building Tropicália’s musical call to …show more content…
Whilst the regime’s Federal Council of Culture of 1966 presented folkloric culture as something to be preserved, Veloso and many of Tropicalist contemporaries revived it in their music as ‘a dynamic pastiche or "digestion" and “regurgitation”’ [Pardue, p.98] of the traditional. Similar to the violent revolutionary aesthetics of Cinema Novo, Veloso does not encourage physical violence but rather an attack on the traditional and static political system of 1960s Brazil. Niyi Afolabi comments that Veloso’s subtler attitude towards nationalism explains his ’popularity and Gil’s lack of recognition in the Tropicalist discourse, given Brazilians’ complacency in the arena of political and social change.’ Whilst the two musicians share many ideas of cultural synthesis and liberalism, Veloso also cites them as the building blocks of a new national identity whereas Gil adopts a more ‘citizen of the world’ attitude. Gil’s view, and his ‘lack of recognition’, is understandable when one considers nationalism’s domination of the Brazilian political

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Hippie Movement Analysis

    • 765 Words
    • 4 Pages

    As a way to peacefully protest the unjust involvement of American troops within the “Vietnamese Conflict” a movement swept the nation known as the “Hippies”. The Hippies used peaceful protest to try and spread love and express the immoral conducts of the United States government, unfortunately this peaceful movement led to violent revolts and persecution of the young adolescent protestors by the American protection services. This use of unnecessary violence and prosecution, by the American protection services, led to nationwide distrust of the United States government. Taking a stand against what they believed to be an unnecessary war led to unjust persecution. Originating in Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, the Hippie movement was a new form of activism that expressed their belief that people should “make love not war”.…

    • 765 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Gangster Film Analysis

    • 2173 Words
    • 9 Pages

    This essay will focus on the notion that the first focuses on the violence, aggressiveness and underdevelopment of a Brazilian favela through a limited, privileged perspective and the latter emphasises the diversity of indigenous Latin Americans, avoiding limiting South America, ‘non-European’ and aiming to give indigenous people some form of voice. 'Cidade de Deus ' (Meirelles and Lund, 2002) is constructed in a similar way to a Hollywood 'Gangster Film ', using many of the genre 's tropes to demonise the society it depicts. It is Eurocentric to consider societies outside of Europe as being ones which lack concern for the value of human life (Eurocentrism, 1). The 'Gangster Film ' genre revolves around the sinister actions of violent members…

    • 2173 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Peron In Argentina

    • 742 Words
    • 3 Pages

    • The political background Argentina was expose contributed to the acceptance of Peron. • According to Mark Falcoff and Ronald Dolkart ; “Previous government´s failure to effectively respond to the economic crisis in the country following World War II discredited former leaders, and created a demand for a strong leader to fill their place” (Falcoff & Dolkart, 1975). • Other authors as Barager considers that the illegitimacy of previous governments influence the approval of Perón. “The answer to the question ‘Why Peron’ lies in the Argentine past and in the failure of previous governments to satisfy the needs and aspirations of the Argentine masses and of other groups dissatisfies with a status quo maintained by force and fraudulent elections…

    • 742 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Beneath the surface, it 's about the attempts of an autocratic force to squash the individual" (Berardinelli par.1). Forman created a movie that more realistically reflected the "post-Watergate" seventies crisis--to appeal to those seeing the movie then--rather than keep the "counterculture sixties" aura Kesey 's book represented, as explained by Sean Axmaker in his review for One Flew Over the Cuckoo 's Nest for Turner Classic Movies (par.2). Nurse Ratched took form of the dictator figure--keeping others down in aid of herself-- while McMurphy becomes a symbol of individualism and a "misfit king leading the subjugated souls to moments of freedom against…

    • 1024 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony Film Essay Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony is a film that portrayed Apartheid in South Africa around the late 1940’s and early 1990’s. Music was a big influence to the South Africans during this time period, but the reason for that being is part of what is being discussed. Some believe that music resulted from the resistant movement against Apartheid because the songs that were sung were consisted of their struggles with the issue.…

    • 1625 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    Cry Freedom Themes

    • 1808 Words
    • 8 Pages

    He even declares that the system of apartheid is tied up with the systems of capitalism, white supremacy and deliberate oppression. In Peter Davis’s In Darkest Hollywood: Exploring the Jungles of Cinema's South Africa, he suggests that the film disarms Biko and making him non-threatening to whites. Davis goes on to say that this depiction isn’t authentic to how Biko’s generation perceived him and the implicit message that he carries throughout the movie of ‘ love thy white neighbour’ isn’t truthful whatsoever. Biko protested that Blacks need to have their own singular voice and for White liberals to appeal to their white neighbour’s conscience instead trying to speak for black people. It is hard to rationalize the representation of…

    • 1808 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Individualism is a social theory advocating the liberty, rights, or independent action of the individual, and the counterculture of the 1960s was a clear example of that. Many young people in the 1960s rebelled against society not through political protest or activism, but by rejecting middle-class values in dress and behavior in their personal lives (Dudley 193). Deeply disturbed by the direction of American society and convinced that they could find alternatives, the youthful rebels became symbols of their generation. Most cultural radicals, whom the mass media labeled hippies, preferred to “do their own thing.” (Epstein 36). The counterculture rebelled against a dominant culture that was perceived to be narrowly rational and biased against the subjective reality of the individual.…

    • 1899 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    American-backed French resistance against Vietnamese independence set the foundation to the future total invasion of Vietnam by the USA. The failure by the French to supress Vietnamese nationalism and talks of independence resulted in the Geneva Accords, whereby Vietnamese hopes of total autonomy were becoming reality and created a public and leadership which were adamant on achieving full independence. The Geneva Accords resulted in 2 new countries and 2 new leaderships. In the South, American-backed Ngo Dinh Diem assumed leadership which was not only unpopular with the South Vietnamese but also enflamed the Vietnamese push towards independence. Throughout Diem’s leadership, many of the South Vietnamese saw the Socialist stance of the North more appealing than the Capitalist stance of the South.…

    • 1617 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In a utopia, a society with a happy and positive atmosphere should be present. Although, the incompetency of a ruling government results in a society with overwhelming embellishments of fear and hate which ultimately establishes a dystopia. These dystopian societies are an outcome of corrupt governments that take advantage of law and order to only seek power and personal benefits. In George Orwell’s dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984), and Terry Gilliam’s film, Brazil, both governments are built on inequitable systems who exercise unethical practices and execute extreme measures towards its citizens in an attempt to achieve compliance. Correspondingly, the article “Their aim was to break your spirit,” describes China’s barbaric regime and its negligence over…

    • 1420 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Ukraine Crisis is A Marxist Revival In the mid 1840’s; capitalist globalisation was transforming the international states-system. The conflict and competition that came between the nation states was about to end but they were wrong, it was the main fault of future division between any two dominant social classes. This outlines how a social experiment based on 1990’s enlightenment of liberty, equality and safety was already starting the modern political movements of Karl Marx. The marxism or “Materialist” version of history is based on being the scapegoat for realist arguments that International Relations have long revolved around power struggles between the independents and the dominants and it will always exist despite Kenneth Waltz’s…

    • 826 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays