Work Together (Archive)

Brazil: Solidarity and creativity march on in spite of the crisis

2 August 2016

Founded in 2010 and affiliated with the CICOPA member Unisol Brazil since 2015, “Hip Hop Movimiento Revolucionario” (Hip Hop Revolutionary Movement, in English, known by its abbreviation in Portuguese, “MH2R”) is a cultural and educational association made up of activists and artistic and cultural producers. Functioning as a network, it uses hip hop as a language to bridge the gap in access to culture and information experienced by Brazilian children and young people living in the outskirts of large cities such as Sao Paulo, and Guarulhos, the city where the association was established.

The current political and economic crisis facing Brazil has seen the cultural gap widen further, with families forced to cut back their spending on entertainment and cultural events. In such troubled times, initiatives like MH2R’s put their efforts into the promotion of seminars, conferences, festivals, concerts, theatre works and cultural exchange events: with culture being seen as an inherent right of every person it’s an essential part of understanding and citizenship.

As well as encouraging the exchange of knowledge and independent cultural production, MH2R also encourages its members to form their own networks and set up activities to generate employment and income. With this in mind, the association’s president, Bob Controversista, invited members of Unisol Brazil to different events to share knowledge about the management of cooperatives and the legal side of cooperativism, in workshops and conferences for solidarity economy company members of MH2R.

The impact of culture on the economy

In Brazil there is no way of measuring the economic impact cultural activities (such as MH2R initiatives) have. But association members have shown that the sector has remained active in spite of the 2008-2009 crisis. According to Gustavo Vidigal, general coordinator of business activity for the Secretaría de Políticas de Cultura (Ministry of Cultural Policy, in English) (previously the Ministry of Culture, now attached to the Ministry of Education), in 2018 the Ministry hopes to create the Cuentas Satélite de la Cultura (Satellite Accounts for Culture, in English), a tool they will use together with the Instituto brasileño de Geografía y Estadística(Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics, in English). The tool will serve as a way of measuring the impact culture has on Brazilian GDP.