How Politics Is Affecting Musicians From Brazil And Venezuela

Brazilian singer-songwriter Luedji Luna hopes her music motivates the people of her country to recognize their power and stand up to government officials.

Two South American countries have been in the news a lot lately. Venezuela’s economy has collapsed in a political crisis and in Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, the country’s new far-right president, has made racist comments and been accused of stoking anti-gay violence. For musicians in both those countries, the news is affecting their work. At the 2019 SXSW Music Festival, NPR Music’s Felix Contreras, host of Alt.Latino, met with many performers who traveled to be at the festival.

Contreras says Brazilian singer-songwriter Luedji Luna expected the conservative backlash after a period of more liberal policies. Luna has been very outspoken in her music about the political unrest in her country.

“I know where I come from, and I know my heritage,” Luna says. “I know that is not my afraid, it’s they are afraid of me — of my power, of our power.”

As Contreras notes, Luna joins a long legacy of Brazilian musicians speaking truth to power.

“During the military dictatorship…

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