Chico Buarque de Hollanda

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Date: 1968 - 1970s

Region: South America

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Music


Artist: Chico Buarque de Hollanda (b. 1944)

Confronting Bodies: Brazilian government

Dates of Action: 1968-1970s

Location: Brazil

Description of Artwork: Buarque criticized Brazil's right-wing military dictatorship through metaphor in his songs. His most popular song, In Spite of You, sings "In spite of you/tomorrow will be another day/I ask you, where are you going to hide from the huge euphoria."

The Incident: Buarque claimed that In Spite of You was about an unhappy love affair, but the censors viewed it as an attack on the government. Many of Buarque's songs were banned thereafter, until a point when anything he wrote, regardless of content, fell victim to censorship. For a time Buarque recorded songs under various pseudonyms, however, the government changed the law so that all music produced needed positive identification from the author. In 1974 Buarque was given authorization to produce a play but the permission was reneged several weeks before the play's premier.

Results of Incident: Buarque was able to release an album in 1978 that included a few of his banned songs. He became involved in a committee to reform censorship in 1980.

Source: Censorship, A World Encyclopedia, ed. D. Jones