“Vem Pra Rua”: Music, Race and Social Media in the Brazilian World Cup Protests of 2013

G. Maris Jones


In Brazil, music and citizenship have long gone hand in hand. Based upon fieldwork in Salvador, Bahia, this article seeks to answer the following question: What is the relationship between Afro-Brazilian percussion, black identity, and youth activism? To address this question, I argue that black-identified music is a unifying tool used by citizens to assert their claims to rights and that in Brazil the demands for said rights cannot be separated from racial and socio-economic dynamics. To support my argument, I present a case study centered on the use of Afro-Brazilian percussion in the Confederations Cup protests of 2013 to illustrate how music is being used in the fight for rights today. I outline the circumstances that gave rise to nationwide demonstrations and provide thick description of two instances of protest I witnessed in Salvador. Next, I dissect a widely dispersed protest song from 2013 within the context of Brazil’s history of protest music. Lastly, I look at the importance of social media in the breadth and scope of this social movement and government response.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15273/jue.v6i2.7069


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