Musician Carlinhos Brown leads the Afródromo procession
Popular, Oscar-nominated musician Carlinhos Brown led the Afródromo Carnaval Procession in Salvador, Bahia, with hopes of bringing more visibility to black bloco afro groups that are often left with the short end of the stick in Brazil’s capital of African culture. For more background on the racial politics and exclusion that mask the party and music in heavily black Bahia every year, please see the related articles at the bottom of the page.
by Lucas Cunha
“We’re here to make a racial mixture of Carnival.” It was in this speech that the musician Carlinhos Brown led the beginning of the Afródromo Procession, a parade that brought to the Osmar circuit no less than 10,000 blocos afros members and 450 percussionists (according to figures from the organization of the procession), turning the Campo Grande area into a crossing of races, ethnicities and rhythms.
The parade has a political content to mark the presence of entities and blocos afros, aiming at the creation of Afródromo, an exclusive circuit for blocos afros, in 2014, a project that has a letter of intent approved by the current Secretary of Culture of Salvador, Guilherme Bellintanni.
“We can speak of an historic moment, yes. We gathered all our communities, we’re here reproducing our cultural expression, but in a decent time. We are participating all together, but each one without losing their distinctive characteristics,” said the educational coordinator of the bloco afro Bankoma.
The parade also featured the participation of the deputy mayor of Salvador, Célia Sacramento (PV), who participated on the ground next to the drummers that were led by Brown, also the street.
Brown seized the moment to remember that the work of the blocos afros blocks continues not just during period of Carnival, “we’re here (at Carnival) for only seven days, but all 365 days they are there doing their job. And we must remember Neguinho do Samba (creator of the Samba-Reggae style, who died in 2009), who left his legacy to us.”
But Brown’s departure was marked by just a small incident, which ended up leaving the “Cacique of Candeal” (Brown) angry, complaining about various moments during the passage at the beginning of the circuit.
Precisely for calling so much attention, the beauty and uniqueness of the parade, a large number of photographers, cameras and fans made a barrier that prevented the passage of Brown and members of the percussion blocks.
“Everyone’s trying to shoot, take a picture. Then it seems that we are not organized. We are distant from the trio. We need to get there to make a beautiful party!” complained Brown.
Source: A Tarde