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Artist Spotlight: Viviam Caroline

Viviam Caroline (Salvador, Bahia, Brazil)

Trained by Oludum Founder and Samba Reggae creator, Neguinho do Samba, Viviam has been a leader in the renowned all women’s Bloco-Afro Banda Dida for 27 years. She is one of world’s most sought-after authorities on Samba Reggae and the essential role Dida and the drum plays in empowering women. She holds an M.A. in Culture and Society from the Federal University of Bahia. Her thesis entitled Quilombo of Drums: Neguinho do Samba and the creation of Samba Reggae as a Black Bahian tradition will be published by Ogum’s Publishing. A highly regarded performer, she has shared the stage with Angelique Kidjo, Milton Nascimento, Shakira, Carlos Santana, Caetano Veloso, Elza Soares, Gal Costa, and Carlinhos Brown.

Artist Q&A

How are you and your community being impacted by the COVID 19 time period? The pandemic ignites our distance. The impact of absences becomes much more visible while we are more sensitive too. The encounters, the wheels, the daily ways of compensating for poverty, abandonment, cannot be exercised.

How do we address racism/racial violence as a pandemic? This widespread violence in the world against minorities is a secular disease in humanity. Nourished by capitalism and theories that deny knowledge about human existence. It is an unfair struggle because while we use culture, spirituality, our enemies make use of television channels, multinationals, and above all the State itself.

What are ways artists and/or community members are responding in a positive way to crisis? This panorama is directly connected to social class, the economic structure that artists possess. The women I work with are suffering from the lack of money, the lack of affection that resides in the encounter - this made impossible by the pandemic. Notably, social networks present some happy models of coexistence in the middle of the pandemic.

What is one cultural teaching you would like to share to help people through this time and in visioning for the future? My collective healing tool has always been the drum, percussion, especially when it happens on the street. Personally, meditation has been an important tool since it is not possible at this time to get together playing under the moon.

Join Viviam in conversation with Rene Fisher on Sunday, June 28, 2020 at 2:00pm PST:

Diaspora Dialogue: Brazil | Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks

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