Carnaval may be over in 80% black Salvador, but apartheid remains the rule

Apartheid in Salvador's Carnaval: blacks hold the ropes that protect the white VIP sections
Apartheid in Salvador’s Carnaval: blacks hold the ropes that protect the white VIP sections

Note from BW of Brazil: Yes, the Carnaval season has once again come and gone in Brazil. And while the party will no doubt continue its image of the greatest party on Earth, one can’t help but notice a glaringly obvious example of racial politics in the city known as “Roma Negra” or Black Rome. Although the term apartheid is usually associated with a period of legally sanctioned racial separation in South Africa, in one of Brazil’s blackest states and the center of its vibrant black culture, this time of year is perhaps the most visible example of how white domination of a black majority is a rule in most areas of influence in the city and the state of Bahia as a whole (and arguably Brazil as a whole). Need proof? Check the images and story below. 

Images of Carnival of Apartheid

Carnival of Apartheid

Research recently published in the A Tarde newspaper found that 76% of the population of Salvador doesn‘t skip Carnival, and even the 24% that skip it are squeezed between ropes of the parading blocos. On one side are those who have found themselves enjoying the revelry resources within the camarotes (cabins, similar to box seats or VIP areas); in the large trio blocos closed to the public, and on the other the “common people” in the streets fighting for any space behind the electric trios, at the base of the pushing and shoving leading to police clubbing left and right.

By Hernani Francisco da Silva

Island of whites surrounded by a rope of blacks

apartheid_salvador

Throughout the period of Carnival, black is the tone of the ropes, and the street vendors that circulate things to the thousands. It is the color of the people “Outside of the Blocos”, looking from the sidewalks, pulsing to the sound of extremely high exhaust equipment that amplify the voices of the “myths” of the runway and applauding the performers on the blocos, perhaps, in its expressive majority, descendants of the colonizers of land in the past, and now, from previously free spaces to play and of joy that vibrates with each passing of the “landowners of the revelry”.

“Battles of Gladiators” promoted by “shirtless” revelers; the nearly 100% white camarotes (VIP areas)

camarotes

Some camarotes, in turn, are an outgrowth apart. With its electrifying lush, they promote a VIP party for an elitist clientele, in which individual participation in these events can cost up to R$ 1,000.00 per day; in addition to serving as promotion for personal and true sale “sociological masturbation”. It also serves as a privileged stage to watch the “gladiator battle” scenes promoted by “shirtless” revelers that, to the sound of the electric trios, dispute among the slaps and shoves for the minimal right to join the party.

The color of the people “outside of the blocos”

Overwhelmingly black rope holders separate the overwhelmingly black crowds from the overwhelmingly white VIP areas
Overwhelmingly black rope holders separate the overwhelmingly black crowds from the overwhelmingly white VIP areas

Salvador’s Carnival: “apartheid” and selectivity on an island of whites surrounded by rope of black men and women. At Carnival, the only time that the rich white minority prevails over a historically and mathematically black city. The camarotes have become ubiquitous in the Carnival of Salvador and represent today what (musician Carlinhos) Brown himself called last year “apartheid of the party”, along with the ropes that separate the people and the blocos of the great artists of the party.

Throughout the period of Carnival, black is the tone of the rope

Black men and women "cordeiros" or rope holders, separate the crowds from the VIPs
Black men and women “cordeiros” or rope holders, separate the crowds from the VIPs

“In this context, attention is drawn to whoever is willing to make a critical reading of the Carnival of Salvador, the fact that in no other time does the class struggle unfold with such vigor in our city.” Marilia Lomanto Veloso – Promoter of Justice of Bahia.

The message: Lower the rope NEGÃO! Free yourself from slavery

lowertherope

The president of one of the more traditional bands of Bahia, João Jorge Rodrigues makes a number of criticisms of the Carnival. “It is a discriminatory Carnival, segregated, with mechanisms that replicate Brazilian capitalism: the great exclusion of the majority for the benefit of a minority,” said the leader of Olodum.

Source: Portal Geledés

About Marques Travae 2895 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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