Fortaleza Mix is a visual document of the open mic street sessions organised by the Cambalache collective in the city of Fortaleza, capital of Ceará, a state in Brazil’s northeast. During their stay in Fortaleza and while they were developing their project of using music to intervene in the streets and get to know the city, the members of Cambalache met Joao, a local man who had a moving sound system. For one week the collective drove through the streets of Fortaleza with Joao and his mobile karaoke, looking for spontaneous artists. Passers-by were offered the microphone and invited to sing their favourite songs, which for the most part were well known songs of the Brazilian popular repertoire, such as Al última dança by Transeúnte Apaixonado or Mon Amour.
This piece, like many others by Cambalache, uses music as the connecting thread. The people’s voices guide us through an urban space that we slowly discover within the exchange of sound tracks. Joao and Cambalache encourage passers-by like Mr. Paratodo, Luzia, the panther acrobat, Fabio, the street girls or the capoeiros, to sing their favourite songs over prerecorded bass lines. We drive through the city centre, the beach and the neighbourhoods in the outskirts of this Atlantic city of about two million inhabitants, a city that in this video becomes a gigantic radio.
In Fortaleza Mix Cambalache present a very singular urban view and show us a city that is not only built by the physico-natural, but which is mainly defined by the musical taste of its inhabitants.
This project was made as part of the 1st Ceará Biennial of Contemporary Art of the Americas.
Location: Fortaleza, Brasil