samedi 14 juillet 2007

One civil war for another

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photo isabela kassow

Thanks to Greg, the trilingual gringo for the translation of this post. Impressive ! (how this guy showed up from nowhere at the baile in Galo with a fluminense t-shirt speaking better french than me ???)

Anyone wanna take me up there? I'm not leaving here with seeing kizomba in Maré.

Ok. A lot to say, I don't know where to begin, we spent the weekend with Sany at Cantagalo, not a lot of sleep, ears ringing and always something unexpected popping up every day, every hour... Brasil is gonna kill me, man! My Portuguese is getting better and better but it's already time to leave... more than 2 weeks to find the trace of Angolans in Rio. According to an article on the more than recommended site Autres Brésils, there are around 5500 Angolan immigrants in Brazil.

"The statistics confirm the declaration of 'Maninho'", the first name that was attributed to him. According to the Census and Registration Division of the federal police, of the 5,539 Angolan immigrants in Brazil, the highest concentration -- 2,766 -- is in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Within the state, the largest portion live in the Complex of Maré. "

Marée d'Angolais (1)

Alright then, the Complex of Maré it is. A complex that consists today of 16 favelas, not exactly the place for a Sunday stroll...I'm not going to go on too much about the subject, others having done it better than me, but this complex is the one that greets you on your exit from the airport. Heh, welcome to the Pan-American Games 2007...

The thing that strikes me the most in this article is that everyone is always in the "american dream" of another. Brazil inundates the lusophone world with its novelas (over the top soap operas) and so Angolans dream of Brazil the way others dream of the USA and its "liberty." Unfortunately, another reality than the one they had hoped for awaits them here, a reality that's more like the country they came from in the end. "To some extent, they've exchanged one civil war for another." A war zone where one risks death every day.

This says that the Angolan community in Rio survives in an ocean of samba, axé, forrozão et baile funk, and perpetuates its customs and traditions and it seems that they even dance the Kizomba in the Maré. I want to see it...but my friends tell me it's very difficult to penetrate the Angolan community in Rio, the one in Lapa in particular, and from what I know, even ze playboy explorer par excellence, Diplo, didn't have much luck.

So, who wants to take me there?

Observatório de Favela
Projeto UERE

For new Angolan rap, kuduro and tarraxinha, listen to the program this week.

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