Last week, on a Portuguese TV channel, journalist and commentator Jose Milhazes criticized Portuguese artists performing at Festa Do. Forward!It will take place from 2nd to 4th September at Quinta da Atalaia in Seixal Invasion of Ukraine. “This is a political party of a party that supports brutal regimes and, at this point, supports a war,” he said at the time.
Social networks were quick to react and arguments were raised PCP Posts In recent months. Some applauded Milhaze’s intervention, recalling that he was the only PCP MP not to condemn the military invasion of Ukraine, while others criticized it, recalling that creating a party conflict takes into account a more global context. In addition to ensuring that support for the Russian regime will be confused Forward! There is a political component, it is a cultural and musical event that has been there for years They passed Almost all the big names in music produced in Portugal.
And then some Historians In PÚBLICO came to present their different opinions on the matter. In recent days, targeted artists have also had to react. Questioned by PÚBLICO, the PCP did not want to comment on the controversy, saying through the press office, “The political and cultural program of Festa Forward! Undeniably valuable and known. Expectations for participation are positive.”
The music schedule isn’t closed – this Wednesday, Mao Morta is added – and the same goes for other events, such as debates. From what is known so far from the poster, most of them seem to have performed there in previous years (Dino D’SantiagoDead hand, screw fitchadu, Paulo BragancaFogo Fogo, Dany Silva, Marta Ren, Ricardo Ribeiro, Júlio Resende and many others), and a fado singer with debuts Crimson Or the singer Bongo, one of the examples of Afro-Portuguese sounds highlighted in recent months.
Also, it has been an array in recent years with popular Portuguese, Afro-Portuguese, fado, jazz, hip-hop or electronic music, with special initiatives such as classical music in the books of Nobel José Saramago. Or two tributes to Adriano Correa de Oliveira. One of the most heard and followed voices in Portugal in recent times, Dino D’Santiago, was the first to respond to the criticism with a publication on the social network Instagram, indicating that he was the target of insults. He “received messages from certain persons” against his participation in the festa. Forward! – “Some ask me to cancel it, others blame me for the Ukrainian blood spilled in this war.”
Then he writes of a world where wars cannot stop: “Yes. I am responsible for the blood shed in this and all battles on both sides of the trench! Because I am a son of the twentieth century! Deadliest century in human history! We carry the blood of over 100 million people killed in the name of power, religion or genocide on our hands. On the other hand, it criticizes Europe for viewing the world’s various conflicts unequally.
“Where are the children when they cry for help from hunger? YemenWhere are they when it comes to 5.5 million species? Refugees 1.75 million refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or 1.75 million refugees from Burkina Faso, in addition to the millions of other refugees from Cameroon, South Sudan, Chad, Mali, Sudan, Nigeria, Burundi and Ethiopia?”, he concludes, “in any corner of the world. I am and always will be! The only weapon I got from my parents for this humanitarian war: love! And as long as I have ammunition, I will travel wherever I am welcome.
I’ll be inside Forward!
Musician Marcus Vega, known as Scúru Fitchádu, admits that names louder than his “like Dino d’Santiago or Carminho” may be the target of controversy, but he tends to downplay it. “I read Dino’s message and I agree with his thinking, although it doesn’t seem too bad if he doesn’t say anything, because you don’t have to prove anything to anyone.” In his particular case, the fact that he is not a name with a large audience shields him from controversy. “I got two or three messages that I completely ignored. I’m more about getting on stage and saying what I need to communicate. But I don’t think it’s fair for artists to justify themselves now. It is not up to me to defend the PCB, but it is clear that the party has been attacked for political use in recent years, as was the case during the pandemic last year. That is, in this case, artists are hostile to reaching PCB.
This is his fourth time Forward!. Whether in Portugal or abroad, he works with the same diligence, what interests him is “what I need to communicate and show my positions, regardless of the platform. As everyone knows, most artists who go Forward! Not communist. I’ll be inside Forward! without any problem. No one likes war, whatever it is, but Eurocentrism in the assessment of conflicts makes one think. When the battle is far away, we whistle to the side; When it’s in the next house, things take on bigger proportions. We have to think about that.”
Vitorino Salomi, who will be performing at Attalia, is the one who underestimates the controversy started by the statements of Jose Milhaise.Cuba Emilio Moret, who was part of the famous Septet Habanero. “When that man, whose name I have not mentioned, and whose tongue I have not bent, raised the controversy, I did not give him any importance, and continue to think in the same way”, he says. I will go to the festival “with desire, joy and happiness” because it is one of the biggest and most important parties of Portuguese music.
In his view, it’s a “cultural and musical party” with a “political element” that doesn’t bother him, because “I’m on the left of the Communist Party – or any other militant – and on top of that I’m going to sing with a Cuban, and these cultural issues are very important to me. And this wonderful combination of singing by others. It still interests me. Let them rest, because singing is the best medicine for many diseases.
Already a singer Pia FerreiraA prominent voice in the anti-racism movement and the commitment of the LGBTQI+ community in Brazil, José Milhazes was targeted. All these sexual minorities”, and responded through a video, “Any stage that invites me to create my art, I go up, because I am a woman, black and Brazilian, who does not have many opportunities to do politics. and the revolutionary art I present” , as she adds with more determination: “I’m going Condemn the damage The Portuguese people left Brazil from here. If the deaths in Ukraine bother you, it’s because a white European dies, but I wanted to say that a black person dies every 23 minutes in Brazil. And that’s what I’m going to do at Festa Two Forward!: Condemn the damage left here. I do not refuse to play, because my art will not be silenced, will not be condemned”, said the singer, before Atalia, who will step on the stage of the Musicas do Mundo de Sines festival this Friday.