Monthly Archives: August 2013

Explore the rhythms of Pernambuco with Maracatudo Mafua and Simone Sou

The North Eastern Brazilian region of Pernambuco is the home of various powerful musical expressions: maracatu, ijexa, côco, cavalo marinho, ciranda… Most of them are deeply rooted in ancestral African musical traditions, but have also been influenced by Brazilian Indigenous and Europe. Movimientos welcome Brazilian female percussionist Simone Sou and Mariana Pinho (Maracatudo Mafua) into the SOAS Radio studio to break down a selection of some of those essential roots rhythms.


(Lia de Itamaraca, Afoxe Oxum Panda, Maracatu Nacao Encanto da Alegria, Dominguinhos and more!)

Over the last 20 years, those ancestral rhythms have been spread out to the world and are now played by dozens of bands and blocos all over Europe. Amongst them is Maracatudo Mafua, a London-based maracatu band formed in 2009. Mafua was initially created as a “stage professional band” but soon also started to give percussions and dance courses. After one year, Mariana Pinho, the band founder and artistic director, decided “to align all the educational bookings and courses to culminate in a big parade: Notting Hill Carnival”.

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Juana in a Million and the Struggle of Latin American Women: An Interview with Mexican Director and Actress Vicky Araico Casas

Mexico today means different things to different people. For me, it is a country whose real face is hidden behind the holiday adverts featuring white sandy beaches and mariachi players in sombreros. In reality, Mexico, much like other Latin American countries, has an amazing cultural heritage and is haunted by the ghosts of the past, where following the “Conquest” by Spanish forces over 500 years ago, many Mexicans are still being discriminated against. Luckily there are many investigations and social studies conducted today that shed light on some of the difficulties encountered by Latin Americans both in their home countries and abroad; all in the hope of somehow, somewhere along the line, improving their situations. Being a woman anywhere requires a lot of effort and bears a lot of challenges. Not just in terms of living up to others’ expectations but also living up to our own. In the west our experience as women is possibly somewhat easier than for those who are living in a countries considered to be part of the third world. Vicky Araico Casa in ‘Juana in a Million’ Vicky Araico Casa in ‘Juana in a Million’ Continue reading