Olodum – ‘Revolta do Olodum’
Luís Lázaro Silva Nascimento, 44, sells the street paper Aurora da Rua at the traffic light intersections, outside schools and at events across the Brazilian city of Salvador. At the city’s carnival in the region of Bahia, the song ‘Revolta do Olodum’ is a staple of the samba-reggae music, or bloco-afro, that is famous there.
Performed by a band of peformers, known as Olodum, the song is part of the foundation of Brazilian culture and is rooted in African styles of playing. “Olodum has songs that evoke social justice and citizenship. ‘Revolta do Olodum’ (meaning something like ‘Olodum’s revolt’) is one of those songs that gets people’s attention and makes them think about their social reality,” says Luís.
He continues: “I am from Pelourinho [ a historical neighbourhood in the centre of Salvador and main hub of Afro-Brazilian culture]. It is a good song and very moving. It talks about our people and the injustices of slavery, even now, in our country. The music’s cadence and speed evokes the African drums of slavery times. Nowadays, I really like playing the cajon, a percussion instrument that originates from Peru’s colonial period, where African slaves used wooden boxes and drawers to play their beats.”
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Interview by Iris Queiroz
Editing by Tony Inglis
Translated from Portuguese Patricia Pereira