Brazil Culture Essay Introductions

Bridging the gap between Brazilian Studies and Performance Studies, the collection of essays included in Performing Brazil provides a critical approach to a plethora of cultural manifestations that rehearse and represent Brazilian identity. Brasilidade or Brazilianness as a core concept is revisited in each of the chapters, explored as a performative act through which national subjectivity is enacted and perceived. Whilst adopting an interdisciplinary methodology that blurs the lines between different fields of study, the book invites the reader to reflect on a broader “understanding of performance in the Brazilian context” (4). Rather than offer a limited perspective on how certain cultural elements in Brazil lend themselves to performativity, the multidisciplinary approach that each essay offers challenges notions of cultural identity. That is perhaps one of the strongest aspects of the book: the heterogeneous yet cohesive analysis of various cultural phenomena that range from film to capoeira and even video art projects. As Albuquerque and Bishop-Sanchez argue in their introduction to the book, “this critical collection in its entirety is part of an effort to destabilize traditional notions of culture, art, community, and representation, and, as such, it questions the concept of cultural hegemony in Brazil” (7). Although other monographs have focused on specific fields of research that helped pave the way to the present collection of essays, such as Christopher Dunn’s exploration of the Tropicalia musical movement in Brutality Garden (2001), Diana Taylor’s book on Latin American performance The Archive and the Repertoire (2003), or Lúcia Nagib’s analysis of film in Brazil on Screen (2007), the originality of Performing Brazil stems from its multifocal approach that opens up a wider discussion on how performance [End Page 324] can support and destabilize cultural identities.

The first chapter in the volume, titled “On the (Im)Possibility of Performing Brazil,” sets up a close examination of the concept of performance, especially in regards to the Brazilian cultural context. Kathryn Bishop-Sanchez focuses on the links between Brazilian national identity and some of the cultural performances associated with the construction of nationhood. Brasilidade is explored through performances such as capoeira, samba, and the FIFA World Cup 2014, emphasizing the destabilizing effect of staging such cultural products: “Ultimately, our ability and willingness to embrace performativity in this context will determine the extent of Brazil’s imagined performa-community” (35). Following Diane Taylor’s central argument in The Archive and the Repertoire that performance entails a specific epistemology which cannot be entirely reduced to written or archival instances, Bishop-Sanchez challenges the reader to embrace the impossibility of fully encapsulating the staged identity of Brazilianness.

This topic leads the reader to one of the prominent themes of the collection, the notion of antropofagia or cultural cannibalism, espoused by poet and intellectual Oswald de Andrade in his “Manifesto Antropófago,” published in 1928. How does the impossibility of performing a stable identity manifest itself in the Brazilian context? Fernando de Sousa Rocha analyzes the concept of cultural cannibalism in Brazilian film in the chapter titled “Biting the Meat, Spitting it Out.” After exploring the complexities of cannibalism in Andrade’s text, he goes on to analyze how that concept became a metaphor deployed in Joaquim Pedro de Andrade’s Macunaíma (1969) and Nelson Pereira dos Santos’s Como era gostoso o meu francês (1971). Rocha argues that such a metaphor “on the basis of devouring, has signaled the possible relationship between the subject and his others” (46). Alterity is at the heart of the discussion, for performance of Brazilianness is intimately linked to the way the others view Brazil and the other is assimilated in a staged event.

Several chapters are dedicated to the role of danced performances. Particularly fascinating is Cristina Rosa’s study of the internationally famed Grupo Corpo and its hybrid choreographies that incorporate ginga—a traditional swaying that forms part of the capoeira repertoire—into more traditional ballet movements. It is that combination which permits the “oscillating between...

Brazilian Culture Essay

By living in the United States of America, most of us are daily witnesses to the differences of cultures. From European to Mexican to Swedish cultures, you name it, Americans see it all, hear it all, and even taste it all. But we don’t always get a close look into other cultures—sometimes they just cross our paths. However, it is still important for us to learn about be knowledgeable about other cultures. Once such culture that has much to be learned from is the culture in Brazil. Brazilian culture is perhaps one of the most interesting cultures to learn about because it is so rich and diverse. Brazil alone is separated into five different regions which all encompass different customs and cultural aspects. (10) The following is an account of many aspects of the Brazilian culture and sources to help you learn more about the marvelous Brazil.

Applicable National Standards for Geography

Through this study of Brazilian culture the reader will be able to use the National Standard, "Knows and understands that culture and experience influence people’s perceptions of places and experience." Through historical accounts, statistical facts, and cultural information the reader will gain his own perception of Brazil and the experiences one can have there. The differences discussed will also help him to, "Knows and understand the complexity of the earth’s cultural mosaic." As Americans it is so important for us to understand others differences and to accept them as additions and benefits to our society. By learning about another nation and its roots the reader will understand how wide our differences stretch and how much they bring us together.

Brazil at a Glance (6)

Full Country Name: Federal Republic of Brazil
Capital City: Brasilia
Area: 8,511,965 sq. km
Location: Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean (click here to see a map)
Population: 158.7 million
Population growth rate: 1.28%
Language: Portuguese
Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write
Labor Force: 57 million
Religion: 90% Roman Catholic
Government: Federal Republic
President: Fernando Henrique Cardoso

Brief History of Brazil

Brazil, now the world’s fifth largest country, was discovered in 1500 by Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral. The new colonists discovered that the land was ideal for growing sugar cane, and this quickly became the basis of Brazil’s economic development. Along with this growth came the use of African slaves used to work in the sugar cane plantations. Then, in the 1690’s gold was discovered in the Minas Gerais and it replaced sugar as the countries main export. In the 19th century coffee became the main export and economic staple for Brazil. Due to the abolition of slavery in Brazil in the year 1888, European immigration sky-rocketed as people came to work in the coffee-estates, called fazendas. (6) In 1889, the rule of Dom Pedro II (who had ruled for 49 years) came to an end as a...

Loading: Checking Spelling


Read more

Tropicalia as Rebellion Essay

1549 words - 6 pages Tropicalia is not only know as a form of music in Brazil but as a rebellion. Its theme of cultural non conformity was strengthened by the idea that Brazil had lost its way. Tropicalia took a stand against the social and musical hierarchy of Brazil. Though mainly known as a form of Brazilian pop music Tropicalia is deeply rooted in the political and cultural background of Brazil. In 1967 Caetano Veloso felt that the Brazilian Popular Music after...

Regionalist Expressions in Brazilian National Identity

2695 words - 11 pages Introduction National identity is defined as the depiction of a given country as a whole in terms of its prevalent culture, languages, traditions, and politics. Among the most pronounced and authentic national identities around the globe is the Brazilian national identity. A range of research studies have been conducted to explore different characteristics attributed to this identity. Citing McCann (2004, p. 41), following the declaration of...

Cultures Around the Globe

1622 words - 6 pages Around the world, hundreds upon hundreds of cultures are found. Whether it be ethnic foods or intriguing dances, each country holds a culture that they can claim to be their own. There are three countries that specifically have very interesting cultures: Mexico, with its festive parties and spicy cuisine; Brazil, with its laid back, happy atmospheres; and Spain, with its high fashion and romantic dances. Although all countries have their own...

Social Time: The Heartbeat of Culture

602 words - 2 pages "Social Time: The Heartbeat of Culture", is an article for Robert Levine and Ellen Wolff, it extend readers with the authors’ viewpoints and research about ‘time-sense’ in different cultures. Robbert and Wolff emphasize that there is difference of ‘time-sense’ in two levels, which are inter cultural and cross cultural. When we move into a new culture, understanding the differences of ‘time sense’ might help us to set ourselves to new people and...


1738 words - 7 pages Essay of South American countriesUnique or influential aspects of the country´s culture or history on the worldBrazilBrazil´s culture is vibrant and diverse also is a culture of a very diverse nature and culture is colorful, attracts many people to know and experience the core of this vibrant culture. Portuguese and African...

Brazilian Na?f Sculpture

717 words - 3 pages Brazilian Naïf Sculpture According to any artist’s dictionary ceramics is simply “the art of making objects such as pottery out of clay” (4). However, when the naïf sculpture movement began in Brazil in the early 1940’s artists took this simple definition to an entirely new level of expression. The small, unglazed clay statues that were created had the ability to portray complete scenes daily life, showcasing not only activity but moments of...

Culture, Influences, and Behavior

1804 words - 7 pages The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition defines Culture as the “shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs, and affective understanding that are learned through a process of socialization. These shared patterns identify the members of a culture group while also distinguishing those of another group.” (Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition) In an article called Cultural Factor Highly...

The Nation of Brazil

1637 words - 7 pages Brazil was a colony owned by Pedro Alvares Cabral and Portuguese in the 1500s up until 1892 when they gain their independence. It is filled with many natural resources, such as iron ore, gold, oil, coffee, peanuts and timber. Brazil is identified with diversity and culture. The Brazilian people are classified as mestizos, descendants of Portuguese sailors and Native American and mulattoes, which are descendants of Portuguese and African slaves....


1341 words - 5 pages Located in Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean with the total area at 8,511,965 sq km, is Brazil. Throughout time it has had a rich history that has not only effected but influenced its cultural dress. This Paper will cover Brazil's has a hot climate, diverse culture dew to slavery, and interestingly unique dress. As a result of its location, its climate is a tropical one, with flat rolling low lands, plains, and some hills....

SWOT Analysis: Should Under Armour Inc. Export to Brazil?

2039 words - 8 pages Introduction Created in 1996, Under Armour, Inc.’s principal business operations include the designing, marketing, and distribution of sporting apparel, footwear and accessories for men, women and youth. The company has engineered moisture-wicking fabric products, which come in many designs and styles for wear in virtually every climate. The firm seeks to provide a superior performance alternative product compared to traditional sportswear...

Prejudice in Brazil

928 words - 4 pages Prejudice in BrazilThe dictionary defines prejudice as narrow-mindedness. It also defines it asassimilation, absorption or digestion. The story of Gaspar Pereira Reboucas and RitaBrasilia dos Santos is very interesting and is a testament of how important race andeducation is in not only Brazil, but the world in general. Their struggles would onlybecome a motivating tool in their advancement into the White...

0 Thoughts to “Brazil Culture Essay Introductions

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *