Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program

Barras Bravas

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Barras Bravas - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program

Barra brava (fierce gang) is the name of organised supporters’ groups of football teams in Latin America that provide fanatical support to their clubs in stadiums and provoke violence against rival fans and eventually the police.

Actions like the exhibition of choreographies (like throw smoke bombs, firecrackers, confetti and balloons and display giant flags that covers entire stands, or part of them, before the match starting) to welcome the team when its goes out to the pitch; wave and display of flags, banners and umbrellas; and coordination of chants (that accompany playing bass drums and trumpets and end up being sung by part or the rest of their team’s crowd in the stadium while jump or applaud) during the whole match, are characteristic of their fervent behaviour aimed to encourage their team and intimidate referees and rival fans and players, for which also insult and spit them and throw objects to the pitch or invade it (on rare occasions) to assault them (usually this is prevented by the police).

They also look to attack rival fans (especially rival barras bravas), which lead to fights with them (most of the time outside of stadiums before or after matches, but sometimes during them in the stands), and defend the rest of their team’ spectators from rival attacks (especially in away matches, where normally they are outnumbered by home fans) and police repression.

‘Reception’ is the name that football fans from some Latin American countries give to the choreography that the crowds exhibit in the stadiums for welcome their teams when they goes out to the pitch. In the picture, fans of Club Atlético Banfield, from Argentina, displaying a giant flag a few minutes before a match. These groups originated in Argentina in the 1950s and spread throughout Latin America. They are similar to hooligan firms (from United Kingdom), torcidas organizadas (from Brazil) and ultras (originally from Italy but spread to the most part of Europe and Asia, Australia and North Africa).

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