Learning from Brazilian Culture – TV Clipping – Viver em Brasília

In this short interview recorded at the Viver em Brasília TV Show (Living in Brasília) I talked about a research we did in our schools in Sweden in 2005. The numbers were amazing. Among 100 students we had 33 foreigners from 14 nationalities playing Capoeira together. The research come up when we were discussing the slightly different functions of Capoeira as a social tool in Brazil and in developed countries.I also explained a bit further how the ‘open introductory workshops’ worked in our social inclusion program. Continue reading

Capoeira as counselling tool for successful interaction – Volens Zimbabwe

I think Volens’ video and project report are a very good source for those interested in Social Capoeira. But I also think that the discourse of African-ness in their video is over-estimated whereas the influence of the Brazilian culture over the art-form is under-estimated. Furthermore, I would like to see more on Capoeira’s shortcomings in these sort of programs as almost everyone seems to be too concerned in promoting Capoeira’s potentials but virtually no one is sharing its shortcomings and/or difficulties in developing these programs. A realistic view of our art as a tool is needed if we’re to achieve efficient approaches to different social realities worldwide. Continue reading

Learning from Brazilian Culture – TV Clipping – RBI Notícias IV

In this last installment of the interview I gave at RBI News I explained how our project works at the SOS Children’s Village. And I also presented a slide show of our activities introducing some of our guests and partners at our centre. Pedro Pontes ended up showing some prejudice when talking about the role of non-Brazilians capoeiras in the art-form. Lagedo answered to his comments wisely explaining that one of the beauties of the Brazilian culture is its ability to mingle without loosing its strength and characteristics.

Pedro Pontes concluded the interview with a comparison between the origins of soccer and Capoeira that didn’t fit quite well the purpose of our discussion.

Note: Contrary to what I said in the interview, the SOS Children’s Village was founded by Hermann Gmeiner in Imst, Austria.

Transcript RBI News Part 4:
Eurico:
Frevo had a very strong outfit character to it. People who danced Frevo entered in mortal combats, their umbrella, by the way, was used as a weapon. So Frevo had a characteristic common to the Bahian Capoeira; the disguise. And the Bahian Capoeira had this thing of developing the playfulness, merriment… The brincadeira (mock around) implying that it was a hobby.

Pedro Pontes:
“This is a hobby, not a fight”, is that right?

Eurico:
That’s right.

Pedro Pontes:
The Cordão de Ouro Association in Brasília, the one you preside, develop social projects, is that right?

Eurico:
Since 4 years ago.

Pedro Pontes:
And you are currently running a project at the SOS Children’s Village, is that so?

Eurico:
The SOS Children’s Village in one of the places in which we have been working for longer with social projects. But we attend other institutions and the project’s main goal is to promote education and social inclusion. We put together this project and seek for support so that the children and adolescents alike can be transported from the shelter, or community where they live, to our academia (centre); where they attend classes alongside our regular students. We created this instrument and format in order to develop the question of cultural identity, social inclusion and the issue of socialization among students.

Pedro Pontes:
And these youngsters are street teens and children that eventually ended up at the SOS Children’s Village?

Eurico:
The SOS Children’s Village is an old institution, idealised, if I’m not wrong by a German, who believed that education should be developed from family’s foundation.

Pedro Pontes:
Did you bring pictures?

Eurico:
We got a few.

Pedro Pontes:
I would like to show them quickly.

Eurico:
This picture was taken at the SOS Children’s Village’s sports court. This is one of our students at the project. That little one wearing a blue shirt is the youngest we have, he’s 4 and don’t miss one (Roda)!

Pedro Pontes:
He’s the mascot.

Eurico:
This is Mestre Cícero in an encounter we did here (in Brasília). Back there we have another Mestre from Brasília, Mestre Carcará. This is a Capoeira Angola class with Mestre Jogo de Dentro.

Pedro Pontes:
There is a lot of people, eh?

Eurico:
Thank God the activities we hold count with many friends from diverse groups, which is not that common here in Brasília.

Pedro Pontes:
You get full house, don’t you?

Eurico:
Thank God! We receive several friends. We have a great friend here in Brasília who also runs social projects, Professor Vila Isabel. I find this picture beautiful!

Pedro Pontes:
What is the name of this strike?

Eurico:
Actually, he was in a bananeira (hand-stand) and I was striking him with a cabeçada (head-butt), and the photographer got it right on the spot. This was photo section we did in Sweden for a photographer who was producing some postcards for a local company. These are students of our group in Sweden, showing that ginga is not a Brazilian privilege.

Pedro Pontes:
But White Europeans playing Capoeira is something very interesting. Isn’t Robson, you that have blond hair and blue eyes?

Robson:
I think it’s interesting exactly because Capoeira shows us that we can mix ourselves with other cultures. I think that even in its origins the mixing happened.

Pedro Pontes:
I think the major function of capoeira, and of the capoeirista (practitioner) is exactly that, to spread our culture and to spread it in a beneficial manner to all people, just like the Cordão de Ouro Association is doing. Football was invented by the English, but it is clear that the country that developed it most was our beloved Brazil. And now football is the sport that unites people, and that became an opportunity of upward social mobility to most the underpriviledged youngsters, because football today to all Brazilians, or to most of us, as well as Jazz and Blues to Black Americans, comes with a natural gift; just like dance and music in general. It was a pleasure to have you here at the RBI News Show, unfortunately our time is over; it passed by very quickly.

Eurico:
What a pity.

Pedro Pontes:
I would like to stretch this chat for another half hour.

Eurico:
We’ll come back when the movie gets done, then.

Pedro Pontes:
Please do that, come back so that we can promote this movie. Before we finish Eurico, please leave your contacts.

Eurico:
Academia – 3443-8450
To follow up our activities the website address is: www.capoeira.org.au
e-mail: eurico.vpc@gmail.com May I say something?

Pedro Pontes:
You can leave your message very quickly.

Eurico:
For 2 years we have the support of FAC (The Art and Culture Fund, of The Administration Council of the Federal District, Brazil), Joven Turismo, and ASSEFE (The Workers Association of the Federal Senate). We’re launching now a year long schedule of free workshops open to the local community, so that we can promote our work, thanks to these sponsors.

Pedro Pontes:
Alright, Eurico Neto, the President of the Cordão de Ouro Association in Brasília, and Robson Araújo, Instructor; thank you so much for this interview.

Eurico:
Thank you.

[Part 4 (final) ends here].

Related 4CT articles:
Learning from Brazilian Culture – TV Clipping – RBI Notícias III;
Learning from Brazilian Culture – TV Clipping – RBI Notícias II;
Learning from Brazilian Culture – TV Clipping – RBI Notícias I;
Project Learning From Brazilian Culture: Brief History, Profile and Guidelines;
Constructional Elements of our School’s Political and Pedagogic Project;
Capoeira and Global Trends.