Accepted Paper:

Suomen Papagaio: a samba school in Helsinki  


Anaïs Vaillant (TàD)

Paper short abstract:

All year round, the Helsinki samba school lumps together Finnish people for the city carnival. While a small minority of Brazilian people takes part in this collective experience, the Rio de Janeiro Carnival and samba enredo patterns fulfill local needs of sociability and cultural expression.

Paper long abstract:

With the development of the world music market, few new musical practices inspired by foreign and distant traditions appeared massively in Europe since the 1980s. Our study is in continuity of a thesis research about batucadas, blocos, or " samba schools ", groups of musicians and dancers fascinated by afro-Brazilian "cultures", groups in whom the Brazilian community is very minority. This European batucadas establish, according to us, a new object for the anthropology which questions interfaces between musics, territories and cultural identities. With in common the borrowing of Brazilian musics, these collective initiatives use methods of reproduction, imitation, even a kind of orthodoxy, and sometimes take the shape of hybrid objects by the appropriation and the indigenisation of these musics with others. The diffusion of Brazilian musical patterns in Europe, with an imitative practice, indeed allows the birth of new local "styles", expressing the "amateurs"'s capacities of adaptation and innovation. This communication suggests studying the case of a samba school in Helsinki during its preparation for the "carnival" of the city, which is also a competition between all Finnish samba schools. This contemporary and European example will allow us to clarify the possible forms of appropriation and hybridization in the practices and the representations of the Brazilian cultures in Finland. So, we shall try to contribute to an update of the classic theories which underestimated the part of innovation and creativity in the processes of diffusion.

Panel W105
Globalisation as diffusion? Critical re-assessments and contemporary researches