Libere as Baianas: Self-Realizing Performance and the Baiana de Acarajé

Global Encounters Lunch Series
Friday, October 18, 12:00 p.m.

7th Floor, Sullivan Gallery Conference Room

This talk will focus on a movement against FIFA’s 2014 World Cup and the exclusion of a small collective of traditional street vendors from Salvador’s Fonte Nova Stadium during the events. This “Libere as Baianas” movement staged by Salvador’s most recognizable figures of tourism and Afro-Brazilian culture, the baianas de acarajé, shapes an analysis of self-realizing performance, and the baianas are framed as agents of cultural memory and intermediary figures. FIFA’s acts against the baianas de acarajé are linked to more broad strokes at removal, displacing populations of black bodies from peripheral communities in an attempt to minimize the presence of Brazil’s non-white majority from commercial centers. This talk touches upon the question “what is it about the baiana” in line with Carmen Miranda’s performance of Dorival Caymmi’s.

Speaker Bio: 

Honey Crawford is a Collegiate Assistant Professor, Harper Schmidt Society Fellow at The University of Chicago. She specializes in Afro Brazilian cultural performance as both a scholar and practitioner, exploring intersections between ritual performance and self-making through a repertoire that includes carnival, media activism, radical theatre, and the performance of everyday life.