The Changing Sounds of Salvador Carnival


Bristolatino joint editor-in-chief Phoebe Hopson looks at the two sides to Salvador Carnival, and discusses what they say about modern Brazilian culture


Salvador, situated in the northern state of Bahia, is the birthplace of Afro-Brazilian culture. Built on a triangular peninsular, the city’s cultural identity has been shaped by the Slave Trade. Despite its murky past, Salvador is now nicknamed “the capital of joy” owing to its vibrant Carnival. Officially lasting six days, it takes place all over the city, yet the heart of the celebrations are found in two main areas: Pelourinho, the historic centre, and Barra, the newer part of town lining the sea front. Both places, in their own right, powerfully display the two sides of the city’s cultural and musical identity.

Through the narrow cobbled streets and brightly painted squares of Pelourinho pound the sounds of local drumming troupes such as the famous Olodum.  The…

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