Power and Joy
Power and Joy
The Introduction discusses the term “counterculture” in relation to diverse historical contexts to refer to individual and collective resistance to political authority, social conventions, or established aesthetic values. To illustrate some of the values and concerns of the counterculture, the author discusses three poems associated with poesia marginal in Brazil. While noting its theoretical formulation in relation to youth culture and dissent in the United States during the 1960s, the author shows how the term applied to diverse Latin American contexts during the Cold War period, notably Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile. In relation to Brazil, I discuss the counterculture in relation to the the rise of an authoritarian military that stifled civil society dissent and censored artistic expression, producing what some critics called the vazio cultural, or “cultural void.” Finally, I show how the counterculture emerged with Tropicália, an artistic movement that coalesced in 1968 with particular strength in the field of popular music.
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