Full Frame headed to Washington D.C. to meet an unconventional all-female music ensemble empowered by a captivating music style that emerged during the 1970’s Brazilian civil rights movement.
Batala is an international music group distinguished by its uniquely intensified style of drumming. The musical style draws its roots from Afro-Brazilian samba-reggae that inspired Brazil’s communities to connect to their own African roots in the midst of civil discrimination in the 1970’s.
Since then, the movement has endured as an enchanting symbol of empowerment.
Batala drummers: Living to their own beatFull Frame heads to Washington D.C. to meet an unconventional all-female music ensemble empowered by a captivating music style that emerged during the 1970’s Brazilian civil rights movement.
“There’s nothing that’s more empowering, nothing more healing, and nothing more that you can do to be more true to yourself to play the drum because you can’t hide behind the drum. The drum is what really expresses you. It’s a part of you,” said Washington Batala drummer, Allison Rodin.
Although there are currently more than 25 Batala bands around the world, the Batala band in D.C. is different. It is one of the first Batala bands made up of all female performers. The group continues to spread Batala’s empowering roots as a symbol of female emancipation.
“In some way, Batala has created a relationship of emancipation with women,” said Giba Goncalves, one of the first Batala percussionists. “These Batala women are completely independent. They are free to do whatever they want.”
Full Frame met Batala D.C.’s 85-member ensemble and learned how each female drummer is energized and empowered by playing an instrument that is frequently deemed too heavy and daunting for women.
Follow Batala DC on Twitter: @BatalaDC