Skip to main content

User login

POSTPONED TO FRIDAY 3/23 AT 4PM -- Prof. Liv Sovik (U Federal do Rio de Janeiro) -- "On Feminist Rapper Karol Conka"

Event Start: 
Fri, 03/23/2018 - 4:00pm - 6:00pm
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusicology)
The Center for Ethnomusicology Presents:
"Feminist Rapper Karol Conka In Light Of Tom Zé’s Theory Of Brazilian Popular Music."
Prof. Liv Sovik
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro


701C Dodge Hall
(The Center for Ethnomusicology @116th St. and Broadway)
Free and Open to the Public
Reception to Follow
For disability or other accommodations or more information, write

Abstract: Karol Conka sang to the world with teenage rapper MC Soffia, at the opening ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016. She was already a phenomenon on the Internet in Brazil and had toured Europe twice. If the immediate urge is to understand her as part of the Brazilian instance of the global hip hop scene, she emphasizes her difference. Her “message” of joie-de-vivre and feminist self-affirmation is unlike most Brazilian rap, focused on favelas, “the system” and violence, and she has said she keeps up with the American scene but “spices her work up” with her Brazilianness. On the other hand, tropicalista and avant-garde pop musician Tom Zé has long spoken, in interviews, about Brazilian popular music’s place in the world. He touches on Brazil’s underdevelopment and modernization, cultural history and traditions, poverty, the market, social change, performance and the performer’s relationship to the audience. His discourse is complex, circular and fragmented, but has the advantages of being both rooted in Brazil and in music, rather than being global and focused on markets and circulation. This presentation both analyses Karol Conka’s contemporary Brazilian persona and sensibility and proposes a theoretical construct with which to do it, Tom Zé’s views formulated as a theory. 

Some Musical Links:
Tom Zé - “Complexo de épico”.  1973.
Tom Zé – “Passagem de som”. 1998
Tom Zé – “Tropicalea jacta est”. 2012
Karol Conka – “Boa noite”. 2011
Karol Conka – “Tombei”. 2015
Karol Conka – “Lalá”. 2017

Biography: Liv Sovik uses the Brazilian popular music tradition as an avenue to understand Brazilian imaginaries and subjectivities. Her work has focused on foreign influence and domination, in the context of the postmodern debate and Brazil’s affinity with it; the discursive mechanisms for valuing whiteness in a country that has long seen itself as mestiço; the historical presence of independent women even as feminism was silenced. She is also interested in non-logocentric, disciplined ways of thinking and knowing, two examples being music and capoeira. She edited a major collection of Stuart Hall’s work in Portuguese (Da diaspora, 2003), and is the author of Aqui ninguém é branco [Here no one is white] (2009) and Tropicália Rex (2018). She teaches communication at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and in an MA program on Ethnic and Race Relations at CEFET, a technical college in Rio de Janeiro.

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events available
Premium Drupal Themes by Adaptivethemes