Bart Vanspauwen, Martins, Rosana, and Massimo Canevacci (eds.): Lusophone Hip-Hop. “Who We Are” and “Where We Are”. Identity, Urban Culture, and Belonging. Canon Pyon: Sean Kingston, 2018, 295 pp. ISBN 978-​1-​907774-​12-​6. Price: £ 65.00 in:

Anthropos, page 243 - 244

Anthropos, Volume 115 (2020), Issue 1, ISSN: 0257-9774, ISSN online: 0257-9774,

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The interpretation of the Dying God scenes in terms of an abduction (a notion proposed, incidentally, by Be‐ liaev and Davletshin) gives rise to significant incon‐ gruities, of which the identification of the young women as wives, rather than daughters, of the Lord of the Deer is only one. Moreover, despite the author’s claim to the contrary (82), the antlered young men of the codex style vases are not iconographically identifiable as maize deities (or aspects of the “Maize-Deer God”). More im‐ portantly, perhaps, the author does not really address previous interpretations that focus more on hunting lore than on myth and that cast the antlered young men as hunters who, after sexually restoring the Owner’s slain deer, become farmers. The “Maize-Deer God” could be viewed as the embodiment of such a transition. Besides the explanations concerning the Dying God, a number of other vase interpretations (such as those on pp. 46, 84, 86 f., 139 f., 160–168) adduced in support of the book’s various arguments could also be questioned. In one case (137), God N’s function as a hunting deity is demonstrated by a vase that (on a side not shown in the drawing) features God D rather than God N. More gener‐ ally, hunter-deer identifications (e. g., pp. 46, 64, 93) might have been handled more carefully, and overly gen‐ eral and peremptory conclusions (e.g., the deer’s sur‐ mised function as a symbol of sexual excess and depravi‐ ty) and needless theorizing (concerning “male gaze,” lim‐ inality, border performativity, border studies) avoided. Notwithstanding these strictures, much can be learned from this richly varied book, and it certainly contains numerous starting points for further investiga‐ tion. The vase drawings by Dana Moot II, especially of the Munich Dying God vase, warrant tribute. One hopes that a revised edition will also see the completion of two of the large glyphs in fig. 7.13. H. E. M. Braakhuis ( Martins, Rosana, and Massimo Canevacci (eds.): Lusophone Hip-Hop. “Who We Are” and “Where We Are”. Identity, Urban Culture, and Belonging. Canon Pyon: Sean Kingston, 2018, 295 pp. ISBN 978-1- 907774-12-6. Price: £ 65.00 “I’m a lusophone, I twist languages. And like hiphop, I’m back in search of cooperation. Beginning, mid‐ dle, end, tradition, modernity. Citizenship of interna‐ tional dignity.” With these lyrics by female rapper Sharylaine from São Paulo, Brazil, the book “Luso‐ phone Hip-Hop” kicks off. Joining fourteen original chapters over roughly three hundred pages, covering ur‐ ban cultures in Portugal, Brazil, and Lusophone Africa, the volume’s editors, Rosana Martins and Massimo Canevacci – researchers at the New University of Lis‐ bon and the University of São Paulo, and the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and the University of São Paulo, respectively – aim to lay bare the fragmented connectivity in Lusophone diasporic spaces today. Even so, many chapters explicitly transcend a one-continentapproach, as they make practical connections to the oth‐ er continents involved. Thus, both in content and struc‐ ture, this book evokes how the identity and belonging processes of youngsters in the Portuguese-speaking world are transnationally related and, at times, mutually dependent. The editors display numerous moments produced in the articulation of cultural differences and intersubjec‐ tive – intermediating, consensual, or antagonistic – ex‐ periences, thus establishing a “dialogical circle” be‐ tween practice and reflection about identity, social be‐ longing, the use of public space, and rights to differ‐ ence. They argue that the four pillars of hip-hop – rap‐ ping, DJing, break-dancing, graffiti – allow for deepen‐ ing knowledge among the citizens of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) about inter/ intra, colonial/racial contradictions and their impact on power structures. Understood both as a therapy against resentment and a type of cultural justice, Lusophone hip-hop resonates with a growing body of research that aims to actively create a transnational public space and expand performative Lusophone cosmopolitanism, complementing or contesting previous analyses of the Lusophone Atlantic. The book’s first section is dedicated to Portugal. Rosana Martins lays bare how Associação Posse Hausa in São Paulo uses hip-hop to promote Afro-Brazilian cultures and fight racism and drugs; how cultural group Afro Reggae in Rio de Janeiro combines popular culture and political mobilization to generate income for local communities; and how Associação Diálogo e Acção in Lisbon uses music to deconstruct subalternities. Teresa Fradique situates the birth of tuga rap music as an aesthetic and performative discourse in Portugal in the 1990 s. She shows how the genre initially mediated between underground and mainstream society by recon‐ figuring youth experiences and cultural crossover spaces. In the 2000 s, newspaper and institutional sup‐ port then empowered rap practices, increasingly repre‐ senting hip-hop as a national genre. However, tensions remained: between nationalized music practices and transnational music models; “underground or sellout” artists; and official voices and silenced ones. In his article, Jorge de La Barre argues that sampling is a technocultural practice which allows for question‐ ing forms of musical cosmopolitanism that evoke fes‐ tive redefinitions of Lisbon, diverging from messages of resistance and racial critique towards party and leisure. La Barre shows how diversity and fusion narratives compete and incorporate sampled symbolic appropria‐ tions of an affective Africa, which is digitally safe‐ guarded from collective amnesia. Finally, Ricardo Campos explores urban graffiti in Lisbon’s Cova da Moura as an interstitial practice. He posits that graffiti is still ideologically and aesthetically connected to rap music, constituting an act of peripheral identity politics that counters social stigmas and pro‐ motes African diasporic identities. The book’s second part is dedicated to Brazil. In his contribution, Otávio Raposo finds similarities and dif‐ Book Reviews 243 Anthropos 115.2020 ferences between dancers b-boys in Maré (Rio de Janeiro) and rappers Red Eyes Gang in Seixal (Lisbon). Both perform against stigma of segregation that occur for different reasons, either for being poor and living in the favelas (Brazil) or against cultural and institutional racism (Portugal). Gustavo Coelho shows how the aes‐ thetic-expressive inverse readings of piXação – an iron‐ ic form of graffiti on bridges and buildings – in Rio de Janeiro serves to reclaim public spaces and create prop‐ er mechanisms of recognition, despite risks of death, discourses criminalizing piXação, and common graffiti as alternatives. Claudia Garrocini’s article reveals how hip-hop and entertainment co-operated in a popular Brazilian TV show, “Manos e Minas,” which challenged existing prej‐ udices towards and created spaces of engaging with young suburban residents in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, surviving a short censorship period imposed by lo‐ cal politicians. Ana Stela Cunha and Rosenverck Estrela Santos analyze how hip-hop in São Luís de Maranhão was discriminated against by mainstream media and po‐ lice forces since the 1980 s, as black and impoverished populations looked for cultural and political alternatives to social inequalities and imposed hierarchies. Finally, Holly Eva Ryan explores how Grupo Tupinãodá used street art for its (in-)direct confronta‐ tions with elitist and repressive forces towards the end of the dictatorship period, eventually creating openings for activist art during the age of democracy. The book’s third and final section is dedicated to Africa. In his contribution, Derek Pardue situates Lis‐ bon’s kriolu rap as an exercise of emplacement, poeti‐ cally localizing Cape Verdeans’ ambiguous experiences of Portuguese (post-)colonialism vis-à-vis national marginalization and urban displacement. Kriolu rap es‐ sentially de- and reconstructs national isopmorphisms of race, place, and culture. Redy Wilson Lima shows how rap in Praia, Cape Verde’s capital, bears similarities with finason (a mod‐ ern type of griot) and Caribbean sonorities. While the island’s youth virtually ignores Lusophone cultures, they use rap as an epistemological tool that conveys Pan-African and Afrocentric messages and resists Euro‐ centric epistemologies. Anna Pöysä and Janne Rantala investigate into MC Azagaia’s musical intervention into past and politics of Mozambique. They show that Aza‐ gaia’s songs and public appearances conflict with the development narratives of elite and international donors. In their view, Azagaia represents the stigma‐ tized and shows invisible cultures after colonialism. In their article, Gilson Lázaro and Osvaldo Silva point at the aesthetics of transgression and the verbal aggressiveness of Angola’s social intervention rap. They show how, in a context that still bears the (physi‐ cal, psychic, and structural) marks of dictatorship, rap‐ pers revive nationalistic protest songs of earlier genera‐ tions and confront the provincialization of cultural spaces. Finally, Miguel de Barros reveals how rap broadcasts on national radio, such as Ondas Culturais, have been instrumental for the political participation and dissent of youngsters, allowing them to become public actors in ongoing social, economic, and public debates, despite military control. “Lusophone Hip-Hop” represents a pedagogical ef‐ fort that combines analyses of local, national, and global experiences against a canvas of music as commodity, social behavior, symbol, and art. As the volume points out, Lusophone hip-hop largely operates at the level of the co-ethnic community, where it expands propaganda and collaboration channels that affirm affective bonds, on the one hand, and contests biased ethnic, racial, and national imaginations, on the other. The genre manages to subvert political and imperial connotations that have been historically imposed and imbues it with ideas of participatory intercultural citizenship instead. In a gen‐ eral sense, this type of music-making creates bridges not only between continents but also between genres, social strata, and generations. The idea of intervention‐ ist music discourse and performance (similar to Bhab‐ ha’s distinction between the pedagogical and the perfor‐ mative) flows freely between the nodes of the Luso‐ phone Atlantic, inviting decision makers in cultural in‐ dustries and memory politics to change mentalities. Paraphrasing Massimo Canevacci’s closing words, Lu‐ sophone hip-hop may thus gradually eliminate estab‐ lished classifications based on sub- or counterculture, creating enduring interstitial spaces of civic integrity and intercultural competence instead. Bart Vanspauwen ( Masquelier, Adeline: Fada. Boredom and Belonging in Niger. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2019. 251pp. ISBN 978-0-226-62434-1. Price: $ 30.00 Adeline Masquelier’s “Fada. Boredom and Belonging in Niger” examines the central role of fada in the every‐ day lives of male youth in contemporary urban Niger. Fada are roadside associations that typically include five to ten youth and young men of various ethnicities at any given gathering. Masquelier situates the minutiae of daily life in the context of political, economic, religious, local, and global change over the last 30 years. Masque‐ lier’s highly sophisticated ethnography skillfully weds vivid thick description of quotidian lived experience that highlights local voices with original theoretical in‐ sights. The result is a complex, engaging monograph that is indispensable for understanding the ways by which urban youth navigate the challenges they face in the world’s poorest country with agency and dexterity, while simultaneously contributing important theoriza‐ tion of youth, gender, masculinity, identities, and the ur‐ ban. Expanding on themes that I explored in “Surviving with Dignity. Hausa Communities of Niamey, Niger” (New York 2013), Masquelier demonstrates the ways by which male youth creatively draw on the solidarity of their fada groups to not only confront the boredom as‐ sociated with their idle, underemployed, liminal status, but also to experiment with identities, imagine brighter 244 Book Reviews Anthropos 115.2020

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Anthropos is the international journal of anthropology and linguistics, founded in 1906 by Wilhelm Schmidt, missonary and member of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD). Its main purpose is the study of human societies in their cultural dimension. In honor of Wilhelm Schmidt‘s legacy, the cultivation of anthropology, ethnology, linguistics, and religious studies remain an essential component oft he Anthropos Institute – the organizational carrier of the journal.


Anthropos - internationale Zeitschrift für Völkerkunde wird vom Anthropos Institut St. Augustin seit 1906 zweimal jährlich herausgegeben. Ursprünglich als Sprachrohr für katholische Missionarsarbeit geplant, gilt sie heute als wichtige Fachzeitschrift der allgemeinen Ethnologie. Sie behandelt sowohl kulturelle als auch sprachliche Themen in mehreren Sprachen, mit Schwerpunkt auf den Völkern des gesamtamerikanischen und afrikanischen Kontinents.