“This fascinating book looks at hip hop in the Lusophone world. Its authors explore the various aspects of hip hop culture - break dance, graffiti, rap music, and social movements based on this street culture. They scrutinise local cases and examine the multiple links between hip hop on both sides of the Atlantic, such as the new global codes that have developed among Portuguese-speaking young people.”
Why am I not black. Or rather, how did I end up a Mozambican?
These questions about identity are normal. They come up more often when I’m not in Mozambique due to (I assume) lack of historical knowledge. But what does a Mozambican look like? Mozambique, as a nation, didn’t exist until 1975. It was then it was born, a carrier of other nations within its borders, of ethnicities as varied as Shangana, Makonde, descendants from Swahili and Arabs from the North, descendants from Goan, Pakistani, Portuguese, Ronga and so on. With that new country came a new nationality — Mozambican.
Face to face
It’s 1943 and Benguela is thriving. As the famous railway heads inland, the town readies itself for a make-over: there is a modern development plan afoot. Progress is the watchword. In one of its streets, an important event is about to occur: Dona Ludovina (a singer of some style, they say), the wife of Sebastião José da Costa, an employee at the Post Office and a former journalist, is about to give birth to a child she will call Carlos Lamartine. Benguela waits, with open arms, to welcome a great son, one who will be a major figure in Angolan music and the author of timeless melodies.
To interpret what it means to be a traveller – in present day terms – is a multifaceted exercise, put in the spotlight even further by the geography and culture that define the point of departure and that of arrival. Human “latitude” is what you find between the distance travelled from the beginning to the end. For many, it’s an agent provocateur that creates a field of artistic and intellectual experimentation where the force of innocuous space takes us to all sorts of exchanges and the construction of new concepts.
Face to face
I set out to understand the modes of sociability of the Red Eyes Gang, a group of youths from Arrentela, Seixal, on the outskirts of Lisbon. The majority of them are children of African immigrants from countries that were formerly Portuguese colonies, and live in socioeconomic conditions well below those of the Portuguese. All were born in Portugal or arrived very young, never knowing their parents' countries of origin. However, they appropriate some of their ethnic and cultural heritages because of the stigmatization and racism to which they are subjected, reworking their condition of being poor and black. They do not mechanically reproduce the way of life and ethnic influences of their families, but reinvent them with imagination, thus producing positive statements about themselves.