Suffering nine bullet wounds during an armed robbery did not stop former star drummer Marcelo Yuka from speaking out against urban violence and militarization.
In the late 1990s Marcelo Yuka was the drummer in the reggae-rock band O Rappa. The group was gaining fame in Rio de Janeiro for its genre-blending music, which brought attention to the city’s acute social problems. But in 2000 Yuka was caught in the middle of an attempted robbery, during which he was shot nine times and left a paraplegic. Due to his disability, Yuka could no longer play in the band. However, the injury did not divert his focus on social justice or prevent him from speaking out against state violence. Since then, Yuka has supported various grassroots movements, including those protesting the world’s biggest arms expo, which was held in his hometown in 2009. Yuka says, “It’s no coincidence that it’s in Rio de Janeiro, a state that has all of us under crossfire.” In this short film, Cultures of Resistance talks to Yuka about his ongoing activism. Of his politics, he says, “Activism is not only made up of grand acts, it is also made up of small acts. And this should be ongoing, as a part of life.”