Foto: Ana Freitas

Revolting Mass

A movement of voices of the South

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Neo Muyanga talks about the project Revolting Mass.

Download SymbolDecolonizing Knowledge_Grada Kilomba (PDF, 166 KB)

Download Symbolnotes in massa revoltante, 2016​ (PDF, 38KB)

In many countries of the Southern Hemisphere, songs of protest are a genre of its own, and due primarily to the historical context of colonization, they have a long tradition there.

In the episode Revolting Mass, open rehearsals, shows and lectures approach and question the space that protest music and art occupy in the countries of the South. What aesthetic has developed out of the protests? What musical styles and forms of presentation have emerged? What parallels can be drawn between the contexts of the South and the global? What symbols and words make sense?
Comprised of two editions in various locations around São Paulo, the episode is headed by the sound artist, the episode was conceived by the South African sound artist and researcher Neo Muyanga, who completed a study on this topic in the cities of Johannesburg, São Paulo and Montevideo, tracing parallels between artists and musical activism in these cities.
The episode was conceived by the South African musician and researcher Neo Muyanga, who completed a study on this topic in the cities of Johannesburg, São Paulo and Montevideo, tracing parallels between artists and musical activism in these cities.

Revolting Mass started at the Casa do Povo [House of the People] with a gastronomical experiment, Doris Criolla, a project of the artist Amilcar Packer who prepared a menu and invited Neo Muyanga to participate in the dinner with his music. The Goethe-Institut held then open rehearsals and workshops with the Nigerian musician Emeka Ogboh, as well as real time conversations with musicians in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, and jam sessions with musicians, composers, and activists in order to exchange experience and knowledge. During the final show which incorporated “A Batata precisa de você” [The Batata Square needs you], the final musical and artistic outcomes were presented in the public space Largo da Batata, thus signaling that two years have passed since the protests that took the Brazilian streets in 2013.

In Revolting Mass Vol. 2, a music residency on Bororé Island brought together artists such as Giovani de Ganzá, Karina Buhr, Xênia Franca, Mano Money’s and Lello di Sarno, encouraging the free production, composition and promotion of a meeting of various sonorities. Following this encounter were a reading and a jam, with the participation of the Portuguese writer Grada Kilomba, who was also giving a performance and participating in conversations on gender, race, trauma and memory. Also part of the festival were performances by musician Neo Muyanga, curator of both of the editions of the episode Revolting Mass. His show REvolting Music – A Survery of the Songs of Protest that Liberated South Africa, performed during the MITsp (International Theater Exhibition of São Paulo), includes songs of protests and their strongly engaged components of rebellion and revolt, and ends with contemporary romantic music, characterized by melodic elements that culminate in contagious libertarian sonority.

Di Ganzá


São Paulo

The São Paulo musician works professionally with soundtrack composition for theatre groups devoted to the exploration of sound in diverse architectures of Afro-Brazilian musicality, to works that have in common a cultural link of resistance and breaking with borders.

Rafael Gomes (Mano Money's)

Musician, social services educator and cultural producer.

São Paulo

Writer of rap lyrics since 2007. Under the pseudonym Mano Money's, he works mostly in the Grajaú district (in São Paulo’s south side). Contributed to books published by “the ass’s seal” and “Transformations Project.”

Neo Muyanga

Musician and composer

South Africa

Neo Muyanga works as a conductor and tours with various companies and producers, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Handspring Puppet Company, Paco Pena’s Flamenco, and William Kentridge. In addition to being “resident composer” at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and at the Humanities Research Institute (HRI) at the University of California, his research focuses on black aesthetics in the genre of opera.

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Neo Muyanga talks about the project Episodes of the South.

Érica Beatriz Navarro

Cellist and composer


Cellist and composer, her work incorporates Brazilian instrumental, popular, and experimental music. A graduate in Music from the University of São Paulo (USP), she is a member of the groups Cinematic Dance Center, Esparrama Theater Group, Cia dos Inquietos (Restless Co.), Tucca Fortíssima Symphony Orchestra – Apprentice Conductor and Youth Orchestra of São Paulo State. She is participating for the second consecutive year in the Episode Revolting Mass.

Ilú Oba De Min

Bloco Afro


The Bloco’s work is coordinated by the art educator and musician, Beth Beli, whose research over the past 20 years has focused on the African and Afro-Brazilian matrices, taking as object of study the insertion of women, children and youth in art, as well as the study of the African contributions and influences in Brazilian culture.

Karina Buhr

Musician, writer and illustrator


As singer and percussionist, released three albums: “Selvática” (2015), “Longe de Onde / Far from Where” (2011) e “Eu Menti pra Você / I Lied for You” (2010). In 2015, debuted as a writer with Desperdiçando Rima / Wasting Time with Rime (published by Rocco), a book of poetry, chronicles and illustrations.

Xênia França



Xênia França, a native of Bahia based in São Paulo, is known for her work with the band Aláfia. In July 2016, she released the single and music video “Breu,” promoting the production of her debut album.

Lello di Sarno



Member of a family all of whom are involved in music, Lello di Sarno graduated from the Faculdade das Artes Alcântara Machado and founded the group Unidos de Vai Como Pode. In 2015 released his first CD: “O Samba Bandido de Lello Di Sarno”.

Ras Davi

Musician and producer 


Born in 1991 and learned in the streets how to do just about everything. Works in the field of culture as well as with the hip hop movement in São Paulo’s periphery. Works as a cultural producer in São Paulo’s south zone.

Grada Kilomba

Writer, theorist and artist


Artistic production is made up of varied formats and registers, including publications, staged readings, performance-lectures, video installations and theoretical texts. Participated in the 32nd São Paulo Biennial as well as in the Vila Sul Artistic Residency.


Artistic Collective


Multidisciplinary initiative, created in 2006 on the southern border of São Paulo, at the edges of the Billings reservoir, in the Grajaú district, proposes a careful look at the peopled landscape on the periphery.

Conceived an organized by Goethe-Institut
Partners: Casa do Povo