Song: Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)

This song represents transculturation in the sense that it incorporates values and cultures from all over the world in one music video. The song was created for the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa by popular music artist Shakira. The title, “Waka Waka” translates to “do it” in English, and in context with the rest of the verse it means” come do it this time for Africa.” This phrase and the rest of the song were majorly popular when used to advertise the world cup because it invited patrons to come to celebrate both their own countries’ success as well as those of Africa as a whole. In addition to this, Shakira does a good job incorporating various different identities and cultures in the music video to show the positivity that stems from transculturation.

Song: Danza Kuduro

This song is a good representation of transculturation and how it impacts media today. It is a mix of both Spanish and Portuguese, as the singer Don Omar is from Puerto Rico. The song is named after Kuduru, a type of Angola African dance, and the Puerto Rican genre of music called danzar. When I asked my Brazilian friend if he knew any songs that were popular there, this is the first one he mentioned. It is wildly popular, with over 1 billion views on Youtube. This song reflects how several different cultures from different regions can blend together and create something uniquely beautiful. (Content: women in bikinis)

Climate Change and Mexico’s Beer Industry

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/13/world/americas/mexico-beer-climate.html

This article details the effect of the heavy droughts in northern Mexico on the country’s beer industry which has become a target for climate activists in Mexico. Mexico’s beer industry largely operates in the drought-prone northern regions of Mexico where it can capitalize on its proximity to the United States. In fact, Mexico is the top global exporter of beer. At the same time, a quarter of Mexico’s states have experienced moderate to extreme drought and more than half of its municipalities are experiencing water shortages. As a result, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has expressed a plan to move the majority of the beer industry’s operators to southern regions where water is more abundant. As water shortages have worsened, cities have begun to pressure private companies to cede some of their water allotments to the city, while activists argue that federally granted water permits to industrial users have not adequately accounted for local needs, such as water access for households. Furthermore, a challenge to moving the industry south is a lack of infrastructure and railroad transportation. This article raises such questions as how the government of Mexico will continue to respond to water shortages, how this will affect various industries, such as the beer industry, and how people will react as climate change worsens. It connects to our course as it exemplifies the significant impact climate change can have on a country and the varying and interrelated responses, including activism, a heightened awareness, and rethinking development, that arises in response to such a challenge.

Climate Driven Migration in Africa

https://www.npr.org/2022/11/16/1134823038/climate-change-migration-senegal-africa-environment

This article details how the climate crisis is driving migration to coastal Senegal, where farms have more success. With this article, we can see how drives for migration can be multifaceted and complex. Economic and environmental drives are interlocked– contingent–, as one causes the other. As the climate changes and the temperature increases, agricultural success becomes more challenging in these migrants home countries, thus creating their drive to migrate. The article emphasizes how the majority of migration in Africa today happens within the continent, commenting how boarders are similar to that of the European Union as people can travel freely within these borders. They also note that moving freely among the land has historical precedent. As we’ve learned, borders in Africa were mainly influenced by the colonial period and do not reflect how the land has historically been used. While not mentioned specifically, this is presumably the effects of the African Union.

This article also reflects the idea that those who’ve contributed the least to the climate crisis are those who will– and are effected first.

Soldi – Blog Post

In 2019 Mahmood released Soldi a song about his complicated relationship with his father and the effects money can have on a family. The half-Egyptian half-Sardinian singer received quite a bit of backlash when he won the Sanremo Music Festival contest which meant he would go on to represent Italy at Eurovision that year. Many Italians were not happy with that decision and started to question whether Mahmood’s music should even be considered “Italian Music” because of its elements of Middle Eastern sounds and its references to aspects of Arab and Muslim culture. This then extended into whether Mahmood should be considered an Italian himself even though his mother is Italian, and he grew up in a suburb of Milan. 

Eurovision is a song contest within Europe that was created after World War II to encourage cooperation between European nations and uses music to do so with the belief that music has the ability to transcend national borders and cultural boundaries. Nationalism and Benedict Anderson’s idea of “imagined communities” directly conflict with the globalization aspect of Eurovision that Mahmood’s music represents. 

In the end, Soldi placed second and became one of the most streamed Eurovision songs ever on Spotify. 

Crucial Election in Brazil

The election in Brazil has recently ended. The current right-wing President, Jair Bolsonaro, has lost to the former left-wing President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. After the election was over and Lula had been named the winner, the country was at a standstill for 48 hours. The reason for the standstill was due to Bolsonaro’s threats about how he would not lose this election. Supporters began causing chaos including blocking over 300 highways throughout Brazil. Bolsonaro would later hold a press conference and accept his defeat.

A big part of Lula’s win was his plan for the Amazon rainforest. During Bolsonaro’s term, he increased the deforestation rate by 60%, destroying efforts in battling climate change. Also due to Bolsonaro’s effect on the rainforest, he lost many foreign allies and damaged E.U. (European Union) relationships. Lula was successful in his last term at limiting climate change effects and working with international cooperations. Also, Lula plans to control deforestation in the Amazon rainforest again. Lula plans to take office on January 1, 2023 and will begin his plan to rebuild Brazil.

How Lula Won Brazil’s 2022 Election | Time

Songs of the Day – Rauw Alejandro – Lejos de Cielo – Rosalía – Despechá

A couple songs to get us going today…

From Rauw Alejandro, the Puerto Rican artist known as the “king of reggaeton,” “Lejos de Cielo” (Far From Heaven). The strange video might fit our theme of environmental dangers and global inequalities…

For something light and fun, there is Rosalía’s summer breakup song, “Despechá,” is a better fit. Don’t call me. I’m busy forgetting all the bad things you’ve done…

Slovenia Elects First Female President

Liberal-aligned candidate Natasa Pirc Musar has come up on top in Slovenia’s recent runoff election, defeating former Prime Minister Anze Logar with a lead of 8% of the vote. Regardless of her political affiliation, she hopes to open dialogue among all Slovenians to help form their country into a strong example of democracy. She is the first woman of substantial state power in the recently-formed country since the separation of Yugoslavia. Initially, none of the seven candidates were able to achieve the 50% of the vote required to gain the presidential seat, leading to a runoff between the top two candidates. Within Slovenia, the president holds a significant amount of power in the decisions regarding who gets what seat in the government, including the Prime Minister and nominating people who will then have the change to ascent to high judiciary and parliamentary positions. Switching from the country’s previous centrist and right-aligned leaders, much of Slovenia’s infrastructure is sure to change over the course of the next few years.

Song of the Day – Sona Jobarteh – Gambia

Love her music – and this song, which celebrates 50 years of Gambian independence. Sona Jobarteh is an amazing artist from Gambia, now living in Britain. She is ” the first professional female Kora virtuoso to come from any of the West African Griot dynasties.” Beautiful music and meaningful messages…

The Demagogue

“The Demagogue” by Lila Downs is a popular Latin American song. She discusses how Donald Trump wanted to build a wall to keep out immigrants at the time of his presidency in 2016. Lila calls Trump a “monster” and “blue eyed devil who is trying to enforce hate towards Latin Americans.” This connects with the theme of structural inequalities amongst the Latin American people when we talked about colonization earlier in the semester. Latin American minorities of this generation are still facing problems they had to overcome in the past. During the time of colonization Latin Americans looked for political solutions to resolve the inequalities they faced, but it was hard to come by because indigenous people were mistreated. This song is powerful and demonstrates how Lila Downs and most Latin American people felt about Donald Trump and the political climate he enforced.