Campaign for Community


October 2017

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By Category

Inequality and Resistance, Democracy and Globalization: Capoeira as Case Study

Capoeira is a martial-arts fight/dance/game which developed initially among enslaved African populations in Brazil. Once a ‘weapon of the weak’, practiced by enslaved, freed, and disempowered individuals and groups, and outlawed by the Brazilian state, it has been transformed into a celebrated, central component in contemporary Brazil, and now functions as a key element in the internationalization (or globalization) of Brazilian culture. This tension between exclusion and inclusion, embrace and rejection is central to the historical development of this art form, presenting certain contradictions both for Brazilians and for non-Brazilian practitioners and students. It also makes the history and practice of capoeira a rich point of entry for learning about relations of power, social marginalization, practices of resistance, and cultural expression within a global context.  The New College House intends to insert a concerted cluster of programmatic events into our calendar organized around the history and practice of capoeira and the larger social questions to which it relates.

Sponsored by New College House