Carioca samba cartography

Marlon Griffith, Clouds, 2012


Comment on the collection of books “Acervo Universitário do Samba”

Noel Rosa in his classic made of prayer song made in partnership with pianist Oswaldo Gogliano, Vadico, sang that “Batuque is a privilege. Nobody learns samba in school”. Almost ninety years after the first recording of the song, made in the Odeon studios by Francisco Alves and Castro Barbosa, a group of university professors comes to show that despite samba not being taught in any school, the University should open its doors to the true masters of this rhythm forged in backyards, tents and hills. It is with this spirit that the project Acervo Universitário do Samba emerged in the corridors of UERJ, coordinated by Professor Andressa Lacerda and with editorial supervision by Professor Luiz Ricardo Leitão, the extension project linked to the Center for Educational Technology of UERJ (CTE-UERJ) and to the Board of Social Communication (Commons) of the University.

As the State University of Rio de Janeiro is well known, a pioneering institution in the implementation of the quota policy, it has been the victim of the most vicious attacks for at least a decade, for some specialists the institution from Rio de Janeiro has served as a laboratory for future systematic attacks, aiming from the end of autonomy and even the end of public, free and quality higher education, going through several other situations, such as the cut of funds and subsidies, creating difficulties for the management and implementation of new projects, as well as political persecution, these accentuated in the last quadrennium.

Just look at the projects presented in committees of the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro (Alerj) proposing everything from privatization to the extinction of the University. Such projects did not go ahead thanks to the mobilization of the university community and civil society. In the words of professor Luiz Ricardo Leitão, the resistance to keep UERJ standing came from the institution’s workers, professors and students, but also from those who “understood that UERJ was a trench in the fight against the scrapping and extinction of public higher education in the country. Rio de Janeiro and Brazil”.

It is in this scenario, where according to Luiz Ricardo Leitão, “there is no better response to the policy of privatization of Public Education than to produce knowledge, sharing the fruit of our research with the brave population that pays our salaries” that the project of the University Collection arises. from Samba. The project seeks to record, preserve and disseminate the work of relevant names in samba and carnival in Rio de Janeiro, honoring composers, carnival artists, broadcasters and other exponents of the greatest expression of cultural resistance by the black people of Rio de Janeiro. Bringing the construction of affective cartography around the characters portrayed in each volume as a backdrop, we can follow, in addition to the trajectory of the biographers, the relationship of the characters and the genre itself with the city.

The affective cartography begins in the region of Madureira and Morro da Serrinha, symbolic places in the trajectory of the imperian Aluísio Machado, a sambista in fact and a rebel by right, who, alongside Beto Sem Braço, composed the winning samba of the 1982 carnival, Bum Bum Paticumbum Prugurundum, the anthem placed on the avenue by Império Serrano. It was a scathing critique of the super parades that were beginning to take shape, jettisoning in some cases the very community that was the root and foundation of the associations.

The second volume of the collection continues in the shades of green and white, but now the destination is the old stations of the Estrada de Ferro da Leopoldina, specifically the Ramos region where the Imperatriz Leopoldinense school was founded and where the sertanejo sambista Zé Katimba and his family landed after leaving the backlands of Paraíba. Borrowing the well-known phrase from the writer Euclides da Cunha, in The Sertões, “Antes de tudo um forte”, traces a profile of José Inácio dos Santos, from Paraíba, or for the world of samba Zé Katimba, composer of the anthological samba Martim Cerere in partnership with Gibi and Your hair does not deny, partnership with Serjão and also with Gibi. Composer of strong genius, hence the nickname of catimba, the biographed is still a partner of names like Martinho da Vila, João Nogueira and remains active in samba circles from the top of his 90 years.

The third volume of the collection adopts blue and white and takes the reader back to the outskirts of Madureira and Oswaldo Cruz presents the trajectory of Osvaldo Alves Pereira, known as Noca da Portela. Passing through Botafogo and São Cristóvão, it would be in the blue and white of Oswaldo Cruz, where alongside Picolino and Colombo it would form the ABC Trio, where he would establish his name as one of the greatest samba champions of the school. A Communist from his father's heritage, as he likes to say, Noca was still the composer of classics from the 1970s to the 1980s, such as turn, song symbol of the direct movement.

Taking a break from the biography of composers, the fourth volume of the series brings the trajectory of carnival artist Rosa Magalhães, disciple of carnival artist Fernando Pamplona, ​​one of those responsible for raising the level of samba school parades by bringing anthological plots in Acadêmicos do Salgueiro, Rosa was champion of the parades in Rio de Janeiro seven times. From the generation of carnival makers like Arlindo Rodrigues, Joãosinho Trinta, Maria Augusta and Lícia Lacerda, With a cartography that goes from Tijuca, specifically the Salgueiro hill, also passing through Ramos, land of the already biographed Zé Katimba, Vila Isabel where he made three carnivals, in addition to environments such as the School of Fine Arts and the theater scene in Rio, suffice it to say that Rosa was responsible for the scenography of Calabar: the praise of betrayal, a play by Chico Buarque and Ruy Guerra, suspended during the general rehearsal, in 1973.

The recently released fifth volume takes the reader to the West Zone of Rio de Janeiro, where, through the biography of the composer Tiãozinho da Mocidade, professor Luiz Ricardo Leitão takes the reader on a tour along the banks of the railway line. From Magalhães Bastos station to Senador Camará. Paying homage to the biographer and the Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel, the volume also includes figures such as the legendary master André who revolutionized Carnival with his fantastic parade, making Padre Miguel's drumming the hottest in the city, Wilson Moreira, Toco, Gibi, Elza Soares and the controversial Castor de Andrade, patron of the school.

For the next year, volumes dedicated to Unidos de Vila Isabel are planned with the title, “The “Kizomba” of Vila Isabel: blackness and samba festival in the land of Noel” by the journalist and historian Nathalia Sarro, a member of the Cultural Department of the school and by the historian Vinícius Natal, and the seventh volume dedicated to the Academicians of Salgueiro, written by the composer and researcher Nei Lopes and by the journalist and writer Leonardo Bruno. In addition to the two volumes scheduled for next year, there is still the intention of the organizers to carry out affective cartography of Morro da Mangueira and the region that became known as little africa, birthplace of Rio samba.

In addition to bringing to the public outside the world of samba schools the trajectory of great exponents of carnival and presenting the affective cartography of Rio de Janeiro without giving up the contradictions that permeate the city and the universe of samba itself, the volumes are indicated for the public that wants to know more about carnival as an instrument of resistance and struggle, because in 2018 it was possible for the Paraíso do Tuiuti school to present samba My God, my God, is slavery extinct? and in 2019 Mangueira takes Marquês de Sapucaí with its Story for bedtime grown ups it was thanks to these characters portrayed throughout the series and hundreds of composers, members and anonymous who built this show called carnival over the last decades.

* Daniel Costa graduated in history from UNIFESP, composer and member of the Grêmio Recreativo de Resistência Cultural Kolombolo Diá Piratininga.



Samba university collection
Luiz Ricardo Leitao. Aluísio Machado: samba dancer in fact, rebel by right.
Luiz Ricardo Leitao. Zé Katimba: first and foremost a strong.
Author: Luiz Ricardo Leitão
Marcelo Braz. Noca: from Portela and all sambas.
Luiz Ricardo Leitao. Rosa Magalhães: the prose girl of the avenue.
Luiz Ricardo Leitao. Tiãozinho da Mocidade and the bambas of Padre Miguel.

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