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Bringing Brazil’s resistance songs to London: words and music in translation

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Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Pages (from-to)68-84
Number of pages27
JournalVeredas: Revista da Associação Internacional de Lusitanistas
Accepted/In press9 Apr 2018
Published30 Aug 2018


King's Authors


In the context of Brazil’s post-2016 crisis, the essay examines how a songwriting repertoire from the 1960s and 70s might still convey ideas of resistance to repression and authoritarianism across half a century of history and across the cultural and linguistic distance between Brazil and London. It explores the potential for song translation in mediating this process, reflecting briefly on a practical, performance-based interactive project undertaken with London audiences in 2017, entitled “The São Paulo Tapes: Brazilian Resistance Songs Workshops”. After outlining a thematic and stylistic typology for the early years of military rule, it then argues that the post-1968 period of hardline repression marked a shift from the song of protest to that of resistance, whose poetic-musical language became distinctly lyrical, something that would need to be reflected in the translator’s work.
Keywords: Brazil, dictatorship, language, lyrical, protest, resistance, song, translation.

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