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Music Project and Human Rights

Third edition of the event closes with critical acclaim and a packed house

The maximum capacity of the Castro Alves Theater (1,500 people) was only the numerical representation of the success of the Third edition of the Projeto Música e Direitos Humanos (Music Project and Human Rights). The richness of the show was the effervescent melting pot of arts and aesthetics of various types for reflection about human rights.


This year, the organization inserted the show within the calendar of the international campaign “16 days of Activism to end Violence against Women”. To celebrate this mobilization, the exhibition “Women: Promotion and Equal Rights” welcomed those present in the foyer of the theater, who could get in touch with the struggles of women supported by CESE: the indigenous, quilombolas (women of towns that were originally formed as slave havens), rural workers, activists, youth, political managers, and black women.

Then the Agape group challenged the guests with poems about the violation of youth rights and racism, with a special focus on sexism and the empowerment of women.

Already taking the stage at the Castro Alves Theater, the audience’s welcoming was made by masters of ceremony Rita Baptist and Jackson Costa, who presented the work of CESE and socioeconomic data of the reality of women in Brazil. Recited by Jackson, the poetry of Cora Coralina and Audrey Ruston rang in the start of an unprecedented concert of the Orchestra Afrosinfônica with Maria Bethania.

The Orquestra presented selections from their debut album Branco, such as “Um Navio” (A Ship), “o Oceano e uma Montanha” (The Ocean and a Mountain), “Antakarana”, the triad “Feira das Sete Portas”, “São Joaquim” and “Água de Meninos” (Water for Boys), and closing with “Omadê Omulilo”.

Immersed in the stage setting, covered in “folhas de terreiro” (leaves from Candomble grounds), Maria Bethania began her presentation with the song “Salve as Folhas” (Save the Leaves), singing the lines “without a leaf there are no dreams / without a leaf there is no life / without a leaf there is nothing.” The singer followed her repertoire with arrangements of the conductor of Afrosinfônica, Ubiratan Marques, with “Oração a Mãe Menininha” (Prayer for a Child Mother), “O Quereres” (The Wanting), “Oração ao Tempo” (Prayer for Time), “Vento de Lá / Imbelezô” e “Reconvexo”, bringing the audience to a frenzy.

After the participation of Bethania, the group presented the song “Reza” (Pray) and ended the concert with the song “Oxalá” (I wish). The moment was marked by a group embrace, and references and salutations from Maria Bethania and Orchestra Afrosinfônica expressing the feeling of gratitude and joy that was part of the Encontro do Bem (Meeting of Good), held for the third consecutive year by CESE.

Credit: Maurício Serra

Credit: Maurício Serra