MARACÁ ARCHIVE

The Maracá Archive assembles thousands of audiovisual records collected since 1991 in over 100 communities of 56 municipalities, in 15 Brazilian states. These records reveal an important survey of our popular culture and have already originated dozens of publications – 30 musical albums, 12 documentaries, 2 books and many articles. Recognized as one of the main collections of traditional Brazilian genres, it was granted the Latin Grammy Research Award in 2019, among many other endowments, such as the Rodrigo Melo Franco Andrade Prize (in 2011 and again in 2017), awarded by the National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage (IPHAN), the Interações Estéticas Prize, the Prêmio da Música Brasileira, Rumos Itaú and Funarte, among others, as well as receiving public grants for cultural projects carried out by companies such as Natura, Petrobras, Chesf, Caixa, Votorantim, Itaú etc., for the realization of it’s recordings.

Tradition is the pragmatic expression of memory, providing us with beacons and momentum for the future. Sung by its masters, generation after generation, the repertoire of popular traditions fuses blends, adapts, particularizes itself and produces a surprising aesthetic elaboration. They are timeless “hits” filtered by time, sculpted by memory. Produced oftentimes under conditions of conflict, misery and social exclusion, their creative force is nothing short of astounding.

The archive is a result of almost 30 years of an intensive and passionate contact with our traditional cultures, their guardians and artists, bringing historical records of many masters and popular multi-artists (brincantes) which have already passed, as well as other rare cycles and moments. This enormous archive forms a comprehensive survey of Brazilian traditional culture today, presenting an exuberant and vigorous popular culture, where the talent of the artists and the vitality of these traditions display diversity and identity in a contemporary Brazil, where piercings and cell-phones live side by side with handmade laces and rosaries.

Always carried out with the highest technical quality available, the records display not only an enormous diversity of manifestations, but the rare consistency of having kept up with many of these communities year after year in an enduring and substantial contact, following their calendar of cycles and festivities in many periods of the year, interviewing masters and popular artists (brincantes), carrying out special recordings at their request, working closely with these groups and guardians, sharing experiences and creating deep connections of friendship and trust.

Records of the June Festivals of São Luís, of the rural zone and of the Baixada Maranhense (lowlands of the state of Maranhão), from 1999 to 2016; of the carnival in Pernambuco, Recife and the Zona da Mata (coastal plain of the Brazilian northeast) from 1997 to 2014; of Guarani communities of the state of São Paulo since 1991; of the Saint Benedict party in Aparecida (state of São Paulo) since 1998; of the Fanti-Ashanti House and its vast calendar of activities since 1999; and of dozens of great guardians of our culture that have already left us can be heard throughout the pages of the archive. For many of these moments, I was fortunate to have the collaboration of friends such as André Magalhães, Lincoln Antonio, Marquinhos Mendonça, Marcelo Pretto, Jandir Gonçalves, A Barca and the Menezes Family, who I thank for having shared with me the endless captivation of these melodies.

* research, photographs, videos and texts *
RENATA AMARAL

Graduated in Composition and Conducting, with a Master’s and Doctor’s degree in Performance at the São Paulo State University (UNESP), she has performed throughout Brazil and Europe alongside artists such as A Barca, Ponto br, Tião Carvalho, Sebastião Biano, Orquestra Popular do Recife, among others. Researcher and double bassist, she has been assembling since 1991 one of the most important archives of Brazilian popular traditions, having produced over 30 musical albums and 12 documentaries of traditional genres that have been awarded some of the country’s most important cultural awards, such as Rodrigo Melo Franco Guarnicê, Prémio Cláudia, 23º Prémio da Musica Brasileira etc. She is a two-time winner of Funarte’s Interações Estéticas award, having carried out artistic residencies in Maranhão and Benin. Author of Pedra da Memória, with her groups A Barca and Ponto br, she has recorded 5 albums and taken part in over 500 presentations in projects involving cultural circulation, recording and art-education. She ministers courses and workshops focused on traditional culture in schools and universities.

* produção executiva *
ALINE FERNANDES

Trabalha com produção cultural desde 2012. Junto à Maracá realiza projetos de pesquisa e produção artística com grupos como Ponto Br, Pedra da Memória e a Barca. Além disso, atua independente com artistas como Lia de Itamaracá, Ana Maria Carvalho e Grupo Cupuaçu, sempre tendo a cultura tradicional como principal fio condutor de seus trabalhos.

* digitalization and organization *
ANA CAROLINE BITTENCOURT

É graduada em Audiovisual desde 2010. Trabalhou com pesquisa e produção em cineclubes em São Carlos – SP e assistência de produção em mostras de cinema em Brasília – DF. Esteve por mais de um ano junto à Maracá, envolvida no processo de organização e digitalização dos arquivos de som e imagem.

* designer and developer *
PAULA K.

Content designer and web developer with a degree in Communication with a major in Publishing by the School of Communications and Arts of the University of São Paulo (ECA-USP), she is currently developing a specialization in Development of Web Applications at the Pontificial Catholic University of Minas Gerais (PUC-Minas). Paula Karine is responsible for the development and web design of the Maracá Archive.

* digitalization and organization *
Luiza Fernandes

Graduated in Social Communication at the School of Communications and Arts of the University of São Paulo (USP), she intersects knowledge in music, video and digital communications. Her documentary O Divino em Mim [The Divine in Me], produced in 2017, was granted Canal Futura’s Curtas Universitários prize, awarded in partnership with Rede Globo TV Network and the Brazilian Association of University Television (ABTU). She was the screenwriter, video and audio editor of the documentary Guriatã, a project greenlighted by Rumos Itaú Cultural (2017), and is currently part of the crew responsible for overseeing the digitalization archive.

* produção *
Ricardo Xxxxxx

Genres