Contracultura

Alternative Arts and Social Transformation in Authoritarian Brazil

By Christopher Dunn

272 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 20 halftones, notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-2851-6
    Published: November 2016
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-3001-4
    Published: November 2016
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-2852-3
    Published: October 2016

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Christopher Dunn’s history of authoritarian Brazil exposes the inventive cultural production and intense social transformations that emerged during the rule of an iron-fisted military regime during the sixties and seventies. The Brazilian contracultura was a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that developed alongside the ascent of hardline forces within the regime in the late 1960s. Focusing on urban, middle-class Brazilians often inspired by the international counterculture that flourished in the United States and parts of western Europe, Dunn shows how new understandings of race, gender, sexuality, and citizenship erupted under even the most oppressive political conditions.

Dunn reveals previously ignored connections between the counterculture and Brazilian music, literature, film, visual arts, and alternative journalism. In chronicling desbunde, the Brazilian hippie movement, he shows how the state of Bahia, renowned for its Afro-Brazilian culture, emerged as a countercultural mecca for youth in search of spiritual alternatives. As this critical and expansive book demonstrates, many of the country’s social and justice movements have their origins in the countercultural attitudes, practices, and sensibilities that flourished during the military dictatorship.

About the Author

Christopher Dunn, associate professor of Brazilian literary and cultural studies at Tulane University, is the author of Brutality Garden: Tropicalia and the Emergence of a Brazilian Counterculture.
For more information about Christopher Dunn, visit the Author Page.

Reviews

"Contracultura will become the foundational work in English on Brazil's countercultural movement during the long 1960s. Revealing with tremendous insight and nuance the cross-currents of cultural protest, left-wing politics, state authoritarianism, and market forces, Christopher Dunn not only highlights the diversity of countercultural movements that emerged concurrently across Latin America during this period but also rightfully affirms the definitive place of Brazil's contracultura within that landscape."--Eric Zolov, Stony Brook University

"Beautifully written and stylistically brilliant, Christopher Dunn's lucid analysis of the Brazilian counterculture, which deserves as much attention as the North American one, lays out a new field of study. Conveying multiple points of view--the radicals and counterculturalists as seen even in the eyes of the police--this book is a page-turner."--Robert Stam, New York University