Minister Gilberto Gil and the music: a futurologist administration

One of the strategic hubs of culture economics, the sector invested in events in Brazil and abroad, with collective created policies.

By Instituto Gilberto Gil

Text: Kamille Viola, journalist and music researcher

Gilberto Gil cumprimenta o Presidente Lula em seu último dia como ministro da Cultura do Brasil (2008-07-30)Instituto Gilberto Gil

During his mandate as head of the Ministry of Culture, between 2003 and 2008, Gilberto Gil demonstrated on several occasions his belief in the potential of Brazilian music within the so-called culture economics.

Gilberto Gil, Alfredo Manevy, Paula Porta e Demian Fiocca durante conferência Música e Economia da Cultura (2007-02-10)Instituto Gilberto Gil

According to Paula Porta, advisor for the Program for the Development of Culture Economics (Prodec, in the Portuguese acronym), launched in 2006 by MinC, three hubs were considered more economically dynamic by the administration: music, audiovisual (games, animation, internet, and TV), and traditional street parties.

O então ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil, Edgar Telles Ribeiro, então chefe do Departamento de Cultura do Itamaraty, João Henrique Barradas Carneiro, então prefeito de Salvador, Paulo Ganem Souto, então governador da Bahia, Rubens Ricupero, então embaixador e diretor da Faculdade de Economia e Relações Internacionais da Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado (FAAP), Carlos Lopes, então representante permanente do Programa das Nações Unidas para o Desenvolvimento (PNUD), no Fórum Internacional das Indústrias Criativas (2005-04-18)Instituto Gilberto Gil

Cultural policies were created collectively, formulated from the bottom up, and not imposed by the Ministry. Seminars and popular consultations about the area were held frequently.

Ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil e membros do governo brasileiro participam do lançamento do Programa Territórios da Cidadania (2008-02-25)Instituto Gilberto Gil

Management was guided by transversal principles, i.e. the secretariats complemented one another’s work. Previously, the ministry used to be organized by artistic languages.

Ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil posa com dançarinos de boi-bumbá em Manaus (2008-01-17)Instituto Gilberto Gil

However, it was assessed that, especially in the case of popular culture, there is often no distinction between music, dance, and material production: everything is cultural production. MinC tried to adapt to this reality.

O então ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil com Márcio Meira, então secretário de Articulação Institucional (SAI) do MinC, em visita à exposição O Olhar Viajante de Pierre Fatumbi Verger, em Belém (2003-04-30)Instituto Gilberto Gil

Instead of the Secretariat for Music and Performing Arts, for example, the Ministry created the Secretariats of Institutional Articulation; of Cultural Policies; of Cultural Programs and Projects (which changed names a few times) …

O então ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil com Suzana Beiro, então coordenadora do Instituto Brasileiro de Administração para o Desenvolvimento (Ibrad), Luiz Fernando de Almeida, então presidente do Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional (Iphan), Ubiratan Castro de Araújo, então presidente da Fundação Cultural Palmares, Sérgio Mamberti, então secretário da Diversidade e Identidade Cultural do MinC, e Mestre Salustiano (12/11/1945 - 31/08/2008), artista e fundador da Casa da Rabeca do Brasil, e José Samuel Magalhães, então gerente de Comunicação Institucional da Petrobras em Brasília, na abertura do II Seminário Nacional das Políticas Públicas para as Culturas Populares e do I Encontro Sul-Americano das Culturas Populares (ESACP) (2006-09-14)Instituto Gilberto Gil

... of Identity and Cultural Diversity; and of Cultural Promotion and Incentive, and kept the Secretariat of Audiovisual.

Gilberto Gil e Célio Turino no lançamento do projeto Teia 2007, que aconteceu em Belo Horizonte (2007-08-28)Instituto Gilberto Gil

On several occasions, music was contemplated by policies that weren’t exclusively focused on it, such as the Living Culture Program—created in 2004 and coordinated by Célio Turino, the Ministry’s secretary of Cultural Citizenship—whose expression were the so-called Culture Points.

Gilberto Gil, representantes indígenas e o produtor Daniel Rodriguez em encontro no mais distante Ponto de Cultura, a maloca Casa do Conhecimento, para a gravação do documentário Connecting South, The New World no Amazonas (2011-05-24)Instituto Gilberto Gil

These projects aimed to map the enormous variety of Brazilian culture. Traditional manifestations such as coco and maracatu music, cultural projects in small towns in the interior of the country (the so-called deep Brazil) and in poorer areas of large centers were some of the contemplated profiles.

Ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil canta a música Não Chores Mais durante visita ao Ponto de Cultura 100 Dimensão (2006-03-23)Instituto Gilberto Gil

The Culture Points had an incentive budget and an obligatorily multimedia kit, composed by computer, mini-studio for CD recording, digital camera, editing room, and whatever else was necessary to register the works. 

O ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil na inauguração de terminais multimídia no Palácio Capanema, no Centro do Rio de Janeiro (2007-04-13)Instituto Gilberto Gil

The new technologies were one of the ministry’s main interests. With both feet in the 21st century, the administration understood the digital as a cultural, not technological, revolution. The idea was precisely to look at the digital as a cultural phenomenon of that time.

O ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil na inauguração de terminais multimídia no Palácio Capanema, no Centro do Rio de Janeiro (2007-04-13)Instituto Gilberto Gil

Hence the name chosen by MinC to address the issue: digital culture. “And this in the government’s highest hierarchy. No country in the world had done this. Digital was the periphery of events in every government I’ve known.

O ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil na inauguração de terminais multimídia no Palácio Capanema, no Centro do Rio de Janeiro (2007-04-13)Instituto Gilberto Gil

“... Brazil was the first country to put the issue of digital culture as an important cultural phenomenon of that time. It was really in the frontline,” says Cláudio Prado, coordinator of MinC’s Digital Culture Action during the years when Gil was minister.

Gilberto Gil em entrevista no dia do lançamento do programa Pró - Música (2005-09-02)Instituto Gilberto Gil

On July 21st, 2005, the public-partnership Program to Support Music Exports (Pró-Música, in Portuguese) was announced.

Gilberto Gil em seu gabinete após o lançamento do programa Pró - Música (2005-09-02)Instituto Gilberto Gil

In addition to creating a website to make information about the sector available, some activities were defined, such as participation in international fairs and the promotion of seminars and lectures.

Gilberto Gil discursa no dia do lançamento do programa Pró - Música (2005-09-02)Instituto Gilberto Gil

MinC also developed the brand Música do Brasil [Brazil Music] and promoted shows abroad with renowned artists in the company of new talents. The idea was to make take Brazilian music out of the generalizing “world music” category and turn it into a brand.

O então ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil no Fórum Internacional das Indústrias Criativas (2005-04-18)Instituto Gilberto Gil

On September 2nd, 2005, an agreement was signed between MinC and the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC, in the Portuguese acronym), the Export and Investment Promotion Agency (APEX-Brasil), the National Sebrae and three sector institutions:

O então ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil e o percussionista Naná Vasconcelos (02/08/1944 - 09/03/2016) no lançamento da criação de Câmaras Setoriais de Cultura (2004-10-25)Instituto Gilberto Gil

Brazilian Association of Independent Recording Companies (ABGI, in the Portuguese acronym), Brazilian Independent Music Association (ABMI, in the Portuguese acronym), and Brazil Music and Art (BM&A).

O então ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil, Antonio Grassi, então presidente da Funarte (Fundação Nacional de Artes), Juca Ferreira, então secretário executivo do Ministério da Cultura, entre outros representantes do setor, no lançamento da criação de Câmaras Setoriais de Cultura (2004-10-25)Instituto Gilberto Gil

“Brazilian music can become the main export product of Brazilian culture and one of the main products on Brazil’s export list. We just need to look at what it has already achieved without any support from the government. We just need to look at what it is in here…

O então ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil em lançamento de ponto de cultura na França (2005-07-13)Instituto Gilberto Gil

“… Now, with a policy of supporting exports, that is, with coordinated and structured actions, we will certainly see an expansion of our music abroad. We will thus be taking advantage of the opportunities that globalization opens up for us…

O então ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil em solenidade no Ano do Brasil na França (2005)Instituto Gilberto Gil

“… We will also be taking advantage of the opportunities opened by digital convergence and new technologies,” said Minister Gilberto Gil during a speech in Brasília.

Gilberto Gil e Frans Krajcberg, em visita à exposição do artista plástico no Ano do Brasil na França (2005)Instituto Gilberto Gil

The Year of Brazil in France

The year 2005 was also the Year of Brazil in France, promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture. Based on an agreement signed between the two countries, an extensive program of Brazilian cultural events was held in various regions of France.

Ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil na abertura do festival Comédie du Livre, durante o Ano do Brasil na França (2005-05-19)Instituto Gilberto Gil

Over 2,100 Brazilian artists were in that country, 665 of them, musicians. There were 270 concerts, with an audience that reached a total of 442,142 people. On the eve of the Storming of the Bastille holiday, a big free concert took place at the Place de la Bastille in Paris.

Gilberto Gil e Jorge Ben Jor se encontram em Paris durante o Ano do Brasil na França (Julho de 2005)Instituto Gilberto Gil

The concert brought together Brazilians Gilberto Gil, Jorge Ben Jor, Gal Costa, Daniela Mercury, Lenine, Seu Jorge, and Ilê Ayiê, as well as Frenchman Henri Salvador (1917–2008).

Cartaz do evento Ano do Brasil na França (2005-06-24)Instituto Gilberto Gil

Cartão de Jacott Basil enviado a Gilberto Gil sobre o Ano da França no Brasil (2005)Instituto Gilberto Gil

Gilberto Gil na abertura do evento Ano do Brasil na França (2005-06-24)Instituto Gilberto Gil

Gilberto Gil no Festival de Cannes Gilberto Gil no Festival de Cannes (2004)Instituto Gilberto Gil

In 2006, the 40th Midem (Marché International du Disque et de l'Edition Musicale, or International Disco and Music Edition Market, in English), one of the main music industry fairs, had a significant participation by Brazilian labels and record companies.

Gilberto Gil no Festival de Cannes Gilberto Gil no Festival de Cannes (2004)Instituto Gilberto Gil

The edition took place between January 22nd and 26th in Cannes, France. In the same year, Brazil was the first non-European country to be theme of German PopKomm, in Berlin, with an entire pavilion dedicated to the country. The fair took place between September 20th and 22nd.

Gilberto Gil com o violonista Yamandu Costa e a cantora Laura Rizzotto em show na Brazil Conference (2017-07-04)Instituto Gilberto Gil

Brazilian artists such as Naná Vasconcelos, Yamandú Costa, Armandinho, Cidadão Instigado, and Fabiana Cozza, among others, performed there.

Gilberto Gil e a cantora e compositora baiana Margareth Menezes na Copa da Alemanha de 2006 (2006-12-06)Instituto Gilberto Gil

Brazil’s participation in the event was part of the Culture Cup, a cultural exchange program between Brazil and Germany that aimed to intensify relations between the two countries, taking advantage of the World Cup being held in Germany.

Ministério da Cultura, com Gilberto Gil à frente, divulga com parcerias a programação da Copa da Cultura 2006 (2006-04-17)Instituto Gilberto Gil

“Brazilian music is more than samba and bossa nova. With more than 350 different musical styles, it is the main expression of my country’s culture,” minister Gilberto Gil told the Deutsche Welle website at the time.

Convite do Presidente do Senegal a Gilberto Gil para a terceira edição do Festival Mundial das Artes Negras (2010-12-19)Instituto Gilberto Gil

“La Renaissance Africaine”

In 2007, Brazil became one of the organizers of the World Festival of Black Arts and Cultures (Fesman, in the Portuguese acronym). Gilberto Gil wrote the event’s anthem, in French: “La Renaissance Africaine.” The third edition of the event was postponed and ended up happening in 2010, in Dakar.

At the time, Gil was no longer at the Ministry, but his articulation was essential for Brazil, the guest of honor, to come into the project. 

Gilberto Gil em sua visita ao Senegal (2004-11)Instituto Gilberto Gil

Several Brazilian artists, from music and other areas, performed in the Senegalese capital, among them Sandra de Sá, Margareth Menezes, Lazzo Matumbi, Olodum, Ilê Aiyê, Chico César, and Mombaça.

O então ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil, Edgar Telles Ribeiro, então chefe do Departamento de Cultura do Itamaraty, João Henrique Barradas Carneiro, então prefeito de Salvador, Paulo Ganem Souto, então governador da Bahia, Rubens Ricupero, então embaixador e diretor da Faculdade de Economia e Relações Internacionais da Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado (FAAP), Carlos Lopes, então representante permanente do Programa das Nações Unidas para o Desenvolvimento (PNUD), no Fórum Internacional das Indústrias Criativas (2005-04-18)Instituto Gilberto Gil

With the creation of the Program for the Development of Culture Economics (Prodec, in the Portuguese acronym), in 2006, other projects in the area started happening inside the country.

Ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil, Natália Timberg, presidente Lula, ministro Orlando Silva, Robson Caetano, Amir Haddad, Ney Latorraca e outros em uma reunião sobre a Lei de Incentivo à Cultura (2006-12-28)Instituto Gilberto Gil

The goal was to implement a strategy for this sector, involving financing, legislation, training, and regulation, taking advantage of opportunities generated by new technologies.

Gilberto Gil, Paula Porta e Sérgio Sá Leitão em reunião sobre investimentos no setor audiovisual (2005-08-31)Instituto Gilberto Gil

“This challenge involves State, sectoral entities, and private initiative,” explained special aide to the minister and program coordinator Paula Porta.

Gilberto Gil e o cantor Bule-Bule durante a Feira da Música Brasil (Fevereiro de 2007)Instituto Gilberto Gil

The program’s first event was the Brasil Music Fair, which happened between February 7th and 11th, in Recife. The event gathered artists, record labels, studios, websites, instrument makers, and producers from the Brazilian and worldwide music market.

Gilberto Gil em apresentação na Feira Música Brasil (2007-02-08)Instituto Gilberto Gil

It also joined together with Porto Musical, a biennial meeting for music professionals created in 2005 in the capital of Pernambuco. “Before, we used to bring a sample of our music to international fairs (such as Midem, in France, or PopKomm, in Germany).

Gilberto Gil com quadro de Chico Science durante Feira da Música Brasil (Fevereiro de 2007)Instituto Gilberto Gil

Now, we’ll try to do it the other way around: bring foreign buyers and managers here, where they can be in touch with a much larger diversity of products,” said Paula Porta to reporter Alessandra Duarte, from O Globo.

Gilberto Gil e Ariano Suassuna durante reunião na abertura da Feira Música Brasil (2007-02-09)Instituto Gilberto Gil

Ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil em solenidade de abertura do iSummit 2006, o maior encontro mundial de Cultura Livre (2006-06-23)Instituto Gilberto Gil

Copyrights

In December of that year, MinC launched, in Rio de Janeiro, the National Copyright Forum, with a seminar called Copyright in the 21st Century. It was the first action of the forum, which in 2008 held a series of national and international workshops and seminars.

Gilberto Gil e outras autoridades internacionais durante a 9ª Reunião da Rede Internacional de Política Cultural (RIPC) (2006-11-24)Instituto Gilberto Gil

If popular consultations were one of the hallmarks of Gilberto Gil’s mandate, it couldn’t be different with this subject.

Ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil visita o estande do Fórum Permanente de Música de Alagoas, na Feira da Música, em Fortaleza (2006-10-08)Instituto Gilberto Gil

The goal was to broaden the consultation to Brazilian society on the need for legal alteration and transformation of the role of the State in the area, the Copyright Law (Law 9.610/98 or LDA, in the Portuguese acronym)

Ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil em solenidade de abertura do iSummit 2006, o maior encontro mundial de Cultura Livre (2006-06-23)Instituto Gilberto Gil

This was especially thought in view of the technological revolution that had been taking place in the sector. Despite the efforts, the change did not happen.

Ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil em solenidade de abertura do iSummit 2006, o maior encontro mundial de Cultura Livre (2006-06-23)Instituto Gilberto Gil

At times, the positions of the Ministry were controversial for the sector, resistant to the new issues brought by the internet.

Ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil participa do 5º Fórum Internacional Software Livre (2004-05-06)Instituto Gilberto Gil

That was when Gil came out in defense of Creative Commons licenses, which authorize the free distribution of copyrighted work. With them, authors allowed others to share, use, and build on a work they had created.

Ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil participa do 5º Fórum Internacional Software Livre (2004-05-06)Instituto Gilberto Gil

The minister and artist himself was the first Brazilian songwriter to put the copyright of a song in that license, Oslodum. He signed the contract at the 5th International Free Software Forum, in Porto Alegre, on June 4th , 2004.

Ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil participa do 5º Fórum Internacional Software Livre (2004-05-06)Instituto Gilberto Gil

“People who work with culture around the world were people who were sitting on an old concept, which was the sum of artistic expressions and nothing more…

Ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil participa do 5º Fórum Internacional Software Livre (2004-05-06)Instituto Gilberto Gil

“… There wasn’t a view toward understanding that the digital would transform it all—each and every thing, and all at the same time. Saying that now seems a bit silly, because it really did swallow everything. And saying it at that time was insane…

Ministro da Cultura Gilberto Gil concede entrevista coletiva sobre o lançamento da Rede Olhar Brasil (2006-12-04)Instituto Gilberto Gil

“… But, for us, it was clear that we couldn’t discuss music without taking digital culture in consideration.” Once again, Gil, the futurologist men, foresaw what was waiting for us further ahead, remembers Cláudio Prado, then coordinator of MinC’s Digital Culture Action.

Credits: Story

Exhibit credits

Text and research: Kamille Viola
Editing and copyediting: Carla Peixoto
Assembly: Isabela Marinho
Acknowledgments: Cláudio Prado, Juca Ferreira, Luis Turiba, Maria de Nazaré Pedroza, Adair Rocha, and Sérgio Xavier

General credits

Editing and curating: Chris Fuscaldo / Garota FM
Musical content research: Ceci Alves, Chris Fuscaldo, and Ricardo Schott
MinC content research: Carla Peixoto, Ceci Alves, and Laura Zandonadi
Photo subtitles: Anna Durão, Carla Peixoto, Ceci Alves, Chris Fuscaldo, Daniel Malafaia, Gilberto Porcidonio, Kamille Viola, Laura Zandonadi, Lucas Vieira, Luciana Azevedo, Patrícia Sá Rêgo, Pedro Felitte, Ricardo Schott, Roni Filgueiras, and Tito Guedes
Subtitle copyediting: Anna Durão, Carla Peixoto, Laura Zandonadi, and Patrícia Sá Rêgo
Data editing: Isabela Marinho
Acknowledgments: Gege Produções, Gilberto Gil, Flora Gil, Gilda Mattoso, Fafá Giordano, Maria Gil, Meny Lopes, Nelci Frangipani, Cristina Doria, Daniella Bartolini, and all photographers and characters in the stories
All media: Instituto Gilberto Gil

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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