The political tradition of Samba-Enredos
The story goes that the year 1932 was the one that hosted the first Samba School Parade in Rio de Janeiro, organized by Mundo Sportivo newspaper. The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Pedro Ernesto, who participated actively in the tenentista movement in the decade of 20, was affiliated to the Autonomist Party and linked to ANL, negotiated the recognition and support of the schools by the city of Rio in exchange for one rule: that the parades tell the story of Brazil.
From this movement were born the "entanglements" of the parades, and later the "samba-entrances". Since then, the samba parades have told Brazilian history. Throughout the Vargas era the ideology of the Estado Novo changed the samba of stigmatized music from the favelas to the official rhythm of the Brazilian nation, with Carnival as its culmination.
As every year messages, memes, and texts imbued with false "critical thinking" insist on showing, Carnival, Samba and in particular School Parades still suffer from prejudice. This prejudice comes particularly from those white middle class members (right and left, it is worth remembering), descendants of Europeans, who like to affirm their European ancestry as a cultural origin superior to that of most Brazilians.
Despite this, throughout the history the samba-entanglements have always been source of reflection and political criticism. A cultural expression produced from the association between great composers from the middle classes, and musicians and dancers born in the favelas. A representation of the union of the Brazilian classes around the greatest cultural product produced by the nation, which despite the longstanding prejudice here, has become the mark of the country in the world.
In this way, the political tradition of this great cultural feast was expressed in sambas such as "Quilombo dos Palmares" (Salgueiro, 1960) and "Chico Rei" (Salgueiro 1964) who spoke on the black issue. "At the Têco do Ipê" (Portela, 1968) spoke of social differences and state violence. "Heroes of Freedom" (Empire Serrano, 1969) was censored by the dictatorship and during its parade aircraft of the aeronautics flew on the Avenue, that was besieged under strong police apparatus. In the counting of the notes, confusion caused by the police.
In the year of 1988, celebrating 100 years of the Golden Law, "100 Years of Freedom, Reality or Illusion?" (Mangueira, 1988) and "Kizomba, 1988) brought again the black question, with Mangueira samba being more charged with social criticism. "And For Speaking of Saudade ... (Caprichoso de Pilares, 1985) and" Eu Quero "(Serrano Empire, 1986) took advantage of the decadence of the Military Dictatorship to open up social inequality and demand a return to democracy in the country.
As is known among samba scholars, the years 90 and 2000 were marked by a relative decay of the samba-plots, which lost much in quality and sophistication. Carnavalescos like Paulo Barros led the carnival to shift their focus from the samba-plots to become visual spectacles, loaded with technology. With this, the social critics and the political tradition cooled.
One of the last most politicized parades was "Ratos e Urubus, Larguem Minha Fantasia" (Beija-Flor, 1988), by Joãozinho Trinta, who had a car censored showing the Christ Redeemer in the midst of poverty and rats, and take beggars to Sapucaí under the sign "Beggars, Sapucaí é Vossa". This parade served to remove the school's "white plate" image, which during the dictatorship made sambas such as "Education for Development" (1973), "Brazil Year 2000" (1974) and "Great Decade ", All commendable to the military regime.
In 2018 the tradition is resumed and Tuiuti emerges victorious
In the 2018 Parade, this political tradition of the Rio carnival was vigorously resumed. The Salgueiro with "Women of the World's Belly" brought up the question of the black woman, the Mangueira with "With money or no money, I play!" Criticized the cut of resources to the carnival promoted by the mayor Marcelo Crivella, and the Beija-Flor, with "Monster Is the One Who Does not Know Love" used the Frankenstein story to critically criticize corruption and intolerance in the country.
But the school that really won the hearts of the public was Tuiuti's paradise , who made a parade that will certainly become anthological. "My God, my God, is slavery extinct?" He made an impressive historical analysis, affirming the legacy of slavery as the central problem of the Brazilian nation, criticizing slave labor in sectors as distinct as the countryside and the fashion industry, and concluding his parade openly criticizing the Labor Reform, the advance of informal employment, and the bloodthirsty leech of the neo-liberal policies of Temer and allies.
The reading that the Tuiuti made on the political problems of Brazil's past and current is sophisticated and very deep. It goes to the heart of the struggle against social inequality, and was able to hold the Brazilian elite and its "manifestoches" responsible for the new slavery through which the people Brazilian. The complete reading, linking the country from slavery to the coup d'état, goes back to the acid criticism in Jessé Souza's book "The Elite of Delay - From Slavery to Lava Jato" quoted in the school's bibliography.
The criticism of Tuiuti's paradise , with all respect to the previous schools, spoke of what is the central political question of the Brazilian reality. His threat to establishment was so severe that it took the words of the commentators of the Globe who passed the parade live and color for Brazil and the world. On the other hand, his samba-plot, his floats, and his fantasies were so strong that they drew thousands of people in the streets, in social networks and in Sapucaí itself. Art spoke to politics in a precise and brilliant way.
Due to the situation in the country and the political clamor seen in this carnival, it was necessary for a school with "political content" to be elected to champion . Therein came the plot of Beija-Flor, which focused its "critique" on vague moralist discourse, which blames inequality on corruption, not on the political project under way. This discourse, in fact, so widespread by the Globe, was one of the main responsible for bringing us to the present disaster and the absolute politicization of the Judiciary, currently taken by the "Lava Jet Party".
The school has been able to combine this moralism with mastery of the discourse of "tolerance" of identity, which, as everyone knows, has been gaining establishment world and, more recently, national. Neoliberals have used identity flags to fragment the social struggle ("divide to rule"), to relegate the national question to the background, and to look at some "social progress" as neoliberal barbarism advances under our lives.
It is no coincidence that these agendas are present in programs such as "Encuentro com Fátima Bernardes" and "Amor e Sexo", by Rede Globo, a very high audience. And also in the speeches of presidential candidates such as Marina Silva and Luciano Hulk, who with an air of modernity and progressivism are aiming to keep the neo-liberal barbarism going on in the country.
These elements made Beija-Flor win establishment Brazilian, by one-tenth of a difference. Never mind, the school that has vigorously resumed the critical tradition of carnival continues to be the Tuiuti's paradise , which was the most cited in Internet networks and surveys, and was acclaimed as the People's Champion . His samba and his parade will continue to echo through history as milestones in Brazilian political culture and struggle, and his dispute with Beija-Flor should be reissued in the fierce political contest of that year, which is decisive for the destiny of the nation.