“Aquele Abraco”: Brazilian Protest Music in the Face of Repression
This paper explores the relationship between Brazilian popular music and the military dictatorship. By focusing on three singers Geraldo Vandré, Caetano Veloso, and Chico Buarque, the range of musicians’ experiences confronting authoritarianism is seen through their responses to censorship and persecution. Censorship played a large role in the repression of culture and media during the Brazilian military dictatorship. Analyzing the experiences of musical artists provides a glimpse into both how leftist voices spoke out against oppression and how the military attempted to suppress them. Through public music festivals, new mass mediums, and innovative lyricism, artists of Brazilian popular music fought official censors to attempt to maintain connection to and hope within their audiences. Studying these interactions is pertinent because it is important to look at the ways censoring art can impact the artists and audiences, and how censorship was used to hide human rights violations.