Affro Reggae is a Brazilian cultural group from Rio de Janeiro. Forged out of the police massacre of 21 people in their local community in 1993, they have gone on to establish an international profile for their pioneering work in taking young people out of the drug/gang culture of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas (shantytowns).
Between the years 1987 and 2001, 467 minors were murdered in Israel and Palestine. During the same period, in one city in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, 3,937 were murdered. There are over 600 favelas in Rio, one of the most notorious is Vigario Geral, the birth place of AfroReggae.
The favelas are a place of grinding poverty, drug dealing and violent death where young people often see a short life in the drug gangs as their only path. But the favelas are also reservoirs of ingenuity and creativity. AfroReggae seeks to provide alternatives for young people.
The main band has a touring schedule that has recently included India, South Africa, China, USA, and Europe presenting their amazing stage show to sell out audiences. They have created a brand that helps to fund their activity. Grupo Cultural AfroReggae now runs over 70 projects across a range of disciplines including music, dance & theatre, circus, and radio & new media with over 3,000 young people in Rio de Janeiro. They also provide social support mechanisms for young people, guiding many into employment in Rio’s mainstream.
AfroReggae balances the impact of high-quality performance with the importance of arts as a social process.