Tropicalism

tropicalism singers from the band os mutantes

Hi, guys! How are you? Today, we are going to take a look at an important movement that arose in Brazil during its Military Dictatorship: Tropicalism. Tropicalism, also known as the Tropicália or Tropicalia movement, was a cultural movement in the late 1960s. It included various fields such as art, poetry, music and theater. Let’s take a look at the main Tropicalia singers, albums, art and poetry!

Tropicalia Music

Brazilian tropicalia is commonly associated with the music scene in Brazil. It is influenced by bossa nova, rock’n’roll, folk, African music, experimental music and fado. It sought to distance itself from the intellectualism of Bossa Nova, to bring Brazilian music closer to popular culture, samba, pop, rock, and psychedelia. Some of the most important singers from this movement were: Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Tom Zé, Gal Costa, Rita Lee, Chico Buarque, Rogério Duprat and the band Os Mutantes.

Caetano Veloso: Tropicália

Gilberto Gil: Aquele Abraço

Gal Costa: Baby

Os Mutantes: Tropicália ou Panis et Circenses

It was the way to dress, to talk, to support hippies and “new ideas”. Tropicalists did not sing strictly political texts, but the military considered their attitudes such. If you want to listen to the best Tropicalia albums, we have just the right ones to indicate for you:

Fine Arts in Tropicalism

Tropicalism was not just a musical movement. It was also present in the visual arts, thanks to Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Clark, Rogério Duprat and Antonio Dias. The term Tropicália derives from the name of a 1967 installation by the artist Hèlio Oiticica. His work was inspired by life in the favelas of Rio.

tropicalism fine art by helio oiticica
Hélio Oiticica: Tropicália. Photo by Ministério da Cultura at Wikicommons.

Poetry in Tropicalia Movement

Tropicalism poetry was influenced by concrete poetry, the Brazilian avant-garde poetry. Among its most famous exponents: Augusto de Campos, Haroldo de Campos and Décio Pignatari. Let’s check out one of the most famous poetry from Augusto de Campos, which represents Tropicalism pretty well:

tropicalia poetry by augusto de campos
Augusto de Campos: Poesia Amortemor (1970)

The End of Tropicalism

A famous incident with the Brazilian flag in 1968 marked the end of the Tropicalia Movement. During the concert, a flag made by Hélio Oiticica was hoisted with the sayings Seja Marginal, Seja Herói (Be a criminal, Be a hero). The flag had the picture of a famous drug dealer back then, known as Cara-de-Cavalo, who had been violently murdered by the police. This incident was the perfect excuse for the military to cancel the concert. The military arrested Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, but released them later on. After that, they exiled themselves to the United Kingdom. This incident was considered the end of the vanguard movement.

Now we know more about this very important Tropicalism movement in Brazil. What did you think about the Tropicalia albums? Which was the most important vanguard movement in your culture? Tell us in the comments!

A big hug from Rio & Learn!

Click on the links below to see more related Dicas
Brazilian Rock
Dances from Brazil
Brazilian Samba

Brazilian Funk

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