INTERcutural versus MULTIcultural perspective: closing up the Month of the Black Consciousness

Lessons on how to build unity within diversity were left to us many times throughout the course of human history. In Brazil their were taught centuries ago, first, and foremost, by diverse African and Amerindian nations that together with exliled Europeans created an intercutural alternative in marginal cultural and geographical areas. Continue reading

Capoeira and Islam: How can one go about both?

Capoeira is spreading to new places and cultures and the shock seems unavoidable, maybe even inherent. There are religious, and cultural matters. Some are related to the clash of a socio-cultural practice like Capoeira, and the western individualism. Some may be related to westernised versions of Capoeira being practised in eastern countries. The truth is: there is no universal truth in the art-form; no matter how wise and/or knowledgeable one can be. Capoeira’s syncretic and intercultural birth as a weapon of resistance certainly has gave it characteristics and purposes that might be seen as universals, but I don’t think the diffusion process of Capoeira happens as smooth as most practitioners like to believe. Continue reading

Why is November the month of the Black Consciousness?!

Bust of Zumbi in Brasília. The plaque reads: "Zumbi dos Palmares, the black leader of all races." sourced from the 'Zumbi' wikipedia entry on 22/11/10

November 20 is remembered and celebrated among us as the Day of the Black Consciousness. In fact November is full of important references to the Brazilian Black community and to capoeiras all over the world. This is the reason why this month is also a contemporaneous form of protest among us. A protest because it’s celebrated by the Black community, as well as by other oppressed minorities, over the 13 of May, the day of the Abolition of Slavery in Brazil. November draws its symbolic strength from other important events, all somehow related to Capoeira; at least for those who see it as an art of resistance. The Revolt of the Whip; the death anniversary of Zumbi dos Palmares (20/11/1695) and of Mestre Pastinha (13/11/1981); and the birth anniversary of Mestre Bimba (23/11/1899) all happened in November, making off this month an important opportunity to debate and learn from such protests and historic events.

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