The Tropicália Movement, Cultural Anthropophagism, And Sociopolitical Revolution In 1960s Brazil - Centre College - Humanities - Research Paper

3029 words - 13 pages

The Tropicália Movement, Cultural Anthropophagism, and Sociopolitical
Revolution in 1960s Brazil
Matheus Marlisson
Humanities 120 - Spring 2018
Dr. Seebacher
May 2018
Music, since the colonization period, has been used as a tool of resistance that helped
Brazilian marginalized groups to protest against the injustices they have faced in the course of
their country’s difficult history. In 1964, however, this scenario changed drastically. A new
military dictatorship suppressed any sort of political opposition that contradicted the dark
alliance the regime had with its liberal capitalist allies. As a consequence, many of Brazilian
popular arts and intellectual thinking were replaced by Western cultural features that did not
represent the reality of the hard life that Brazilians lived. In a era of repression and lack of
cultural identity, a group of angry artists believed that music was to be used as the battleground
for the new struggle against the dictatorship, proposing an alternative direction to the country’s
political, societal and cultural future.
With musicians disappearing, intellectuals being tortured, students protesters forced into
exile, and innocent civilians brutally assassinated, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and other artists,
found inspiration in the words of poet Oswaldo de Andrade’s ​Cannibalist Manifesto ​of 1928 to
start a revolutionary movement that reaffirmed Brazil’s identity as a multicultural powerhouse.
By metaphorically ‘devouring’ the musical features from dominant nations and digesting them
with genuine Brazilian sounds, these musicians ‘vomited’ a new radical anti-colonialist musical
protest against Brazilian cultural appropriation and introduced the country to a new form of arts
that changed Brazil’s image in the international stage, the Tropicália Movement. 1
Their primary intention was to challenge the carbon print copy of western culture that
Brazilian popular music had become on the radio and television programs. Secondly, they
wanted to problematize the new polarization of intellectual thinking that marxist activism and
1 ​Diniz, J. (2017, April 07). Antropofagia e Tropicália - devoração/devoção. Retrieved May 14, 2018, from,204762/antropofagia-e-tropicalia-devoracao-devocao.sht
liberal rationalism had done amongst artists, intellectuals and civilians. They argued that that
none of these features were fully applicable to the country’s complex reality. Brazil, they
believed, needed something original, diverse, made by Brazilians and for Brazilians, with an
international message that could be both shareable and interchangeable to the ever-expanding
globalized context in which the rest of the world found itself in. The only way to do it was to
celebrate the diversity of the country with other nations in form of music, and then weaken the
repressive government with songs of transformation. 2
In the early 1960s, television, as a new form...

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