Sonic Governance: Criminalization and Culturalization of Funk Carioca in Rio de Janeiro

Event Date: 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Event Date Details: 

Event Location: 

  • Music Room 1145 (UCSB)

Event Price: 

Free and open to the public

Event Contact: 

Adriane Hill
Marketing and Communications Manager
UC Santa Barbara Department of Music
(805) 893-3230
Sound installation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sound installation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 
Alexandra Lippman (UCLA) will present a talk titled "Sonic Governance: Criminalization and Culturalization of Funk Carioca in Rio de Janeiro," on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 from 3:30-5 pm in Music Room 1145. The talk will be followed by an end-of-year party and live DJ set by Dr. Lippman (aka Xandão) in the Music Bowl. Cosponsored by the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music (CISM), Ethnomusicology Forum, and Music History and Theory Forum.


In anticipation of hosting the World Cup (2014) and the Olympics (2016), Rio de Janeiro intensified efforts to craft an auditory experience of the city that would convey the right impression to a global audience. Music and sound have long served as symbols of Brazil. Lippman will discuss how aurality becomes a political force through the emergence of two distinct forms of sonic politics around local popular music, funk carioca: criminalization and, what she calls, culturalization. While criminalization mutes and controls an existing sensory world, culturalization creates an artificial or sanitized representation of sound and appeals to law to claim legitimacy as “culture.” Funk carioca’s criminalization in favelas and culturalization in the formal city reveals how different modes of governance are spatialized within the city. 

About the Speaker

Alexandra Lippman is an Assistant Project Scientist in the Department of Anthropology at UCLA. Her manuscript, Opening Culture: Intellectual Property, Piracy, and Pacification in Brazil explores how alternative intellectual property practices impact creativity, technology, and music. She has published in Anthropology Today, Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology and Society and Norient, has several book chapters published by MIT Press, and co-edited a volume, Gaming the Metrics: Misconduct and Manipulation in Academic Research (MIT Press, 2019). She also engages with multimodal scholarship through sound performance and curation, having founded the Sound Ethnography Project in 2010 and co-founded the music label and project Discos Rolas in 2018.
Sound installation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil