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Voices of DroughtThe Politics of Music and Environment in Northeastern Brazil$
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Michael B. Silvers

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042089

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042089.001.0001

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Forró, or Bread and Circuses

Forró, or Bread and Circuses

Carnival in Times of Drought

(p.130) Chapter 6 Forró, or Bread and Circuses
Voices of Drought

Michael B. Silvers

University of Illinois Press

This chapter looks at the cost of Carnival celebrations in an era of economic austerity due to drought and economic crisis. In 2014, ’15, and ’16, an ongoing drought of historic magnitude led the Ceará governor to redirect state monies intended for Carnival and other music-related celebrations to more urgent drought-relief efforts. Is music as vital as water? In the context of national economic crisis and massive drought, this chapter suggests that electronic forró’s continued dominance points to the increasing neoliberalization of culture in Brazil in the wake of social successes for the Workers’ Party and a period of optimistic and ambitious cultural policy.

Keywords:   Carnival, economic crisis, drought relief, neoliberalism, cultural policy

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