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In a historic caravan, Evo Morales returns to Bolivia. ‘We will be millions’



São Paulo – Former President Evo Morales is back in Bolivia. On Monday (9), a year after the coup that forced him to resign and leave the country, he crossed the Argentine border and returned to his homeland through the city of Villazón, where he was received by a crowd that celebrated the return. According to the Argentine newspaper Page 12, Evo stepped on Bolivian soil at around 11 am, announcing: “we will return and we will be millions”, he said, recalling the historical speech of the Aymara indigenous leader, Tupac Katari. The “prophecy” has become a motto for Evo since November 11, 2019, when he was deposed and also gives his book its name, released in August.

Accompanied by a delegation of political exiles made up of 145 Bolivian citizens, including 17 former employees, the crossing marked the caravan entitled “Back to the Fatherland”, which started this Sunday (8). From the city of San Salvador de Jujuy, in Argentina – the country that welcomed him when he left Mexico in December -, Evo Morales also shared a video narrating his trajectory of the coup until today. Emphasizing that Bolivia “suffered one of the worst moments in its history, when, in complicity with the OAS (Organization of American States), several groups of power carried out a coup, ignoring the popular will”.

The return to Bolivia takes place the day after the inauguration of the newly elected president of Bolivia, Luis Arce. The result of the election was summarized by Evo Morales himself, on video: “Bolivia has regained its democracy”.

Historical caranava

In his account, of just four minutes, the leader of the Movement for Socialism MAS, the party of Evo and Arce, thanked the President of Argentina, Alberto Fernandez, with whom he met this Monday. Before Evo crossed the border, the Argentine leader declared his “honor to have him among us”. “Long live Argentina, long live Bolivia, long live Latin America,” said Fernandez in a speech. Evo also thanked the support of the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the former Brazilian Presidents, Luiz Inácio Lula da SIlva and Dilma Rousseff.

The ex-president must now travel more than a thousand kilometers to the coca leaf production zone in Chimoré, Cochabamba. It was in that region where Evo started his political trajectory and that awaits him with banners and graffiti with the phrase “Volte Evo”. The MAS leader is due to arrive in the city on Wednesday (11). The entire route will be accompanied by about 800 cars and with stops for political acts in three Bolivian departments.

Alba TV
The city of Villazon celebrates this Monday (9), with the return of Evo Morales (Photo: Alba TV)
Alba TV
Evo Morales is welcomed by the population of Villazon, from where he continues to Chocabamba (Photo: Alba TV)

Copywriting: Clara Assunção

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Book addresses transformations in rap through changes in society




São Paulo – Society undergoes several changes, year after year, be it culturally, in its forms of organization, and even in new working methods. These transformations influence other segments, including Hip-Hop, rap and their MC battles. In view of this, social scientist Felipe Oliveira Campos, known as Felipe Choco, launched the book Rap, Culture and Politics: Battle of the Matrix and the Aesthetics of Entrepreneurial Overcoming, which addresses the digital and marketing influence within this culture.

A member of the Center for Studies and Research of Afro-America (Nepafro), Choco analyzes contemporary society using the Battle of the Matrix held in São Bernardo do Campo as a pillar since 2013, and considered a reference in the duel between MCs. The resistance of the event, the target of police repression and municipal administration, was the starting point for the author.

“When I face the Battle of the Matrix, it poses a number of questions that can be deepened, being able to understand it beyond the context of battles, as public spaces in cities”, he explains. “When the Battle of the Matrix emerged, I was part of the Hip-Hop Forum of São Bernardo do Campo, and mediated conflicts with the Government. Therefore, I realized that the conflicts that the battle created when occupying the public space, raised questions of general interest. So I used the Battle of the Matrix as a way to understand contemporary Brazil, ”added Choco.

In 2018, RBA reported the repression suffered by the battle of ABC Paulista. At the time, the management of the mayor of São Bernardo do Campo, Orlando Morando (PSDB), tried to “boycott” the traditional rap event in the city, by charging a fee for using the Praça da Matrix, in the city center. At various times, rapper Emicida went to the site to support young people.

Social transformations

While society sees new forms of organization, rap also adapts to these changes. The writer compares the professionalization of artists and battles to the industrialization of the city of São Bernardo do Campo and Posse Hausa, a black organization founded in the 1990s, focused on the Hip-Hop movement, whose majority of the members were workers in the ABC industry Paulista.

With the 2017 labor reform, by then President Michel Temer (MDB-SP), Felipe Choco explains that the social dynamics have also changed within the Hip-Hop culture. “Today, the organizers of the Battle of the Matrix are part of the service sector, without stability and without social protection. Therefore, the financial solution, among the organizers, was the professionalization of the event. This applies to the whole culture. ”

The main example used by the author of these social and economic transformations in rap is Emicida’s career. Coming from the Battle of Santa Cruz, disputed south of São Paulo, the rapper emerged using the main method of rhyming duels: the punchlines – in Portuguese, punch lines, used to impress the listener.

After the success, the rapper created his own musical label: Laboratório Fantasma. “Emicida created a horizon to organize its own career, without having to go through the distributors’ screen. In other words, it is the democratization of music production, distribution and consumption ”, said Choco, who recalls that the book’s presentation is signed by the MC.

Aesthetics of entrepreneurial overcoming

Based on the phenomenon achieved by Emicida, the social scientist points to the creation of a new aesthetic within rap: that of entrepreneurial overcoming. According to him, this aspect allows creative freedom and financial autonomy, creating a style of business organization.

“This overcoming does not mean denying the culture’s past, but advancing in the market sense, creating a mark around the artist”, he explained. The author quotes a statement by Mano Brown, a member of Racionais, where the rapper points out that the phonographic market is no longer just the commercialization of music, but also the image and positioning of MCs.

This aesthetic creates a new notion of work and organization, according to the author. “If we make a parallel with the industrial market, in the 1990s, work was in opposition to capital, where the organization of the workforce sought its valorization. Now, in the face of informality and the imposition that ‘each one is an entrepreneur of their own’, artists become their own business capital ”, he reiterates.

However, this entrepreneurial resilience does not only involve rappers and new independent labels, but also affects the battles of MCs, including the Matrix. With the rise of streaming platforms such as YouTube, duels have become more digital, have reached new audiences and created a new market.

“The Battle of the Matrix is ​​a product of that condition that battles have become. Before the pandemic, every Tuesday, she mobilized 1,000 people in the square. Battles play a fundamental role in mutations and reinventions of culture, as was the case with punchline, taking a new breath in how to make and organize rap. These changes that occur in rap did not come out of nowhere, they are the result of social transformations ”, concludes Felipe.

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