Performance and Embodied Politics in Favela Funk
Chapter Five: Anti-Blackness and Racial Consciousness among Funkeiras
Even though this book privileges a transfeminista approach to performance and embodied politics in which issues of race, class, and gender are weaved through the analysis, I feel that it is necessary to explicitly address the particular challenges Black funkeiras face in favela funk. This chapter has a twofold purpose: to address how the anti-Blackness present in Brazilian culture is expressed within favela funk and to highlight funkeiras’ fight against it. First, I focus on a previous analysis of Tati Quebra Barraco along with two personal interviews of Black funkeiras, Deize Tigrona and MC Dandara, and their perspectives on how racism limits their career. These reflections on race are significant because they were generally unusual in Brazilian culture. Given that foundational myths of racial democracy have previously pushed racial discourses aside in favor of discourses about class and social mobility, making direct references to Blackness has been uncommon among funkeiras and in favela funk until very recently.1 The chapter also examines the recent wave of public, Black-affirming positions held by several Black funkeiras. These come at a time in which there have been ←133 | 134→growing conversations about race in Brazil facilitated by Black folks, especially Black women and travestis.
This chapter relies on a variety of qualitative methods and a diversity of texts in order to capture how funkeiras handle issues of race in favela funk. I use personal and media interviews, news reports, analysis of music videos, and funkeiras’ social media posts to provide a comprehensive...
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