This past Friday French-Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux took the stage at Praça das Artes, and while she repeatedly confessed she spoke “nada, nada, absolutamente nada de portugués,” she had the crowd, including me, enthralled and moving. (It also helped that there were a number of Chileans there.) I only knew a few of her songs beforehand, but her show left me a full-fledged fan. She seemed to have a very focused sort of energy, very calmly spitting out rhymes, but was clearly enjoying herself with her stellar band. Tijoux’s a huge MC in the Latin alternative scene, with her music’s focus perfectly summed up in her newest song “Somos Sur.” Translating to “We Are South,” she explains:
“Somos Sur” is about the importance of resistance, not only in Chile, but around the world. Global resistance movements, whether in Latin America, Africa or the Middle East, are fighting against the same patterns of violence that have repeated themselves throughout history. Which means many of these groups share a similar set of demands. We are asking for a free Palestine just like we’re asking for an independent Wallmapu in Chile, without police control.” (Colorlines)
Tijoux’s free show is one of the many events making up São Paulo’s Mês da Cultura Independente, or Independent Culture Month. Featuring both international and Brazilian artists, there are concerts, theater, films, workshops, exhibitions and much more happening around the city for free or low cost. This weekend there was a screening of classic Brazilian horror movies at Cemitério da Consolação! (It’s a shame Brazil doesn’t really celebrate Halloween.) Find out what else is happening this month at the official site.