el Sur and LBC Soldjah pay tribute to José Mário Branco

The question asked in 1987 by Zé Mário was a warning and a balance. A need to move forward doing the math for what was still vivid in the body, not even fifteen years after that Thursday that waited forty-eight before it could break.

And today, feigning the logic of promoting a record that has just come out but in confinement offstage and among all the shadows, the question takes on urgency, wakes up and echoes again. In April 2020, again asked by el Sur and LBC Soldjah, the question is not one of balance. It’s preparation. It is an intimate question that challenges each one.

Each of those who did that Thursday in 74 and each of those who were born from it, from their successes, from their mistakes, from their tumult, from their search.

How many are we? What we want? What are we going to build and what are we going to allow? What are our emergencies? In what confinements do we recognize them? In the bright houses with a balcony overlooking the river or in the windowless burrows where you die of a lack of light if you don’t die of the virus? Not controlling the family budget to survive suspended work or not being able to stop working because no one can choose between dying from the virus and starving?

Ghetto was already a prison, now it’s lonely. And in each of these loners is one of us. In each of the tricky pensioner bunk beds, there’s one of us. In every child who calls out of the window at the top of his lungs for people he has not seen on the street for over a month, there is one of us. In each body huddled in overcrowded suburban transport and with no place at safe distances, there is one of us.

To go together we have to tell each other. To tell us we have to see each other. From balance to preparation, among the passwords of the initial day, the question is emergency. How many are we?

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