Dancing with the Orixás

Music, Body and the Circulation of African Candomblé Symbols in Germany

in African Diaspora
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This article explores how the body and dance play a central role in the transnationalization of Candomblé among Afro-descendant people and increasingly for white Europeans by creating a platform for negotiating a transatlantic black heritage. It examines how an Afro-Brazilian artist and Candomblé priest in Berlin disseminate religious practices and worldviews through the transnational Afro-Brazilian dance and music scene, such as during the annual presence of Afoxé – also known as ‘Candomblé performed on the streets’ – during the Carnival of Cultures in Berlin. It is an example of how an Afro-Brazilian religion has become a central element in re-creating an idea of “Africa” in Europe that is part of a longer history of the circulation of black artists and practitioners of Candomblé between West Africa, Europe and Latin America, and the resulting creation of transnational artistic-religious networks.

Dancing with the Orixás

Music, Body and the Circulation of African Candomblé Symbols in Germany

in African Diaspora

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In the 1990sJoaquim and Murah met during a concert about Cuba and Brazil for the Asociacion Solidariedad Cuba/Berlin Ocidental (Freundschaftsgesellsschaft BRD-Kuba and V). Joaquim had met some Brazilians through the husband of a dancer from Pina Bausch who studied the Yoruba language at the Ethnology Museum in Dahlem Berlin. It is in precisely such cultural environments that the exchange of artistic and religious experiences takes place.

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