Between Nostalgia and Apocalypse Popular Music and the Staging of Brazil

    Wesleyan University Press


    Between Nostalgia and Apocalypse is a close-to-the-ground account of musicians and dancers from Arcoverde, Pernambuco―a small city in the northeastern Brazilian backlands. The book's focus on samba de coco families, marked as bearers of tradition, and the band Cordel do Fogo Encantado, marketed as pop iconoclasts, offers a revealing portrait of performers engaged in new forms of cultural preservation during a post-dictatorship period of democratization and neoliberal reform. Daniel B. Sharp explores how festivals, museums, television, and tourism steep musicians' performances in national-cultural nostalgia, which both provides musicians and dancers with opportunities for cultural entrepreneurship and hinders their efforts to be recognized as part of the Brazilian here-and-now. The book charts how Afro-Brazilian samba de coco became an unlikely emblem in an interior where European and indigenous mixture predominates. It also chronicles how Cordel do Fogo Encantado―drawing upon the sounds of samba de coco, ecstatic Afro-Brazilian religious music, and heavy metal―sought to make folklore dangerous by embodying an apocalyptic register often associated with northeastern Brazil. A multimedia app will also be available that complements the themes of the book's ethnography with audio tracks, video footage, and photographs.

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