Hold a capoeira roda in solidarity with the Palestinian People! / Realize uma roda de capoeira em solidariedade com o Povo Palestino!

Freedom of Movement… Expression of Solidarity!

PORTUGUES ABAIXO

Hold a Capoeira roda on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People – 29th November.

The Capoeira Freedom Collective – Palestine (CFCP) – is calling capoeiristas around the world to host solidarity rodas on the 29th of November – the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Events are already planned in London, Paris, Hamburg, and Ramallah to make noise against injustice in Palestine.

Capoeira brings people together, creating communities and spaces of respect, learning and celebration. Capoeira “deu a volta ao mundo” – it has spread around the world – and with the globalisation of its values we see a responsibility to take a stand against injustice and to channel its positive energy. To play capoeira is to identify with a philosophy of freedom from oppression. That struggle for freedom is at the core of our practice.

On the other side of the Israeli apartheid wall, capoeira is hugely popular. Every year Mestres visit groups in Israel and many Israelis travel to Brazil to learn and play. Yet West Bank Palestinians are not able to participate in any activities on the other side of the wall, and their opportunities for travel are very restricted. They remain isolated, their right to freedom of movement denied.

Recently new capoeira groups have sprung up throughout illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. These settler-colonies and the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are in violation of human rights and international law. We see the existence of capoeira in this context as highly problematic, as it contributes to the viability and naturalization of Israel’s colonial enterprise.

Many Palestinians live in refugee camps that have existed since they were driven off their lands in 1948. Many have family members imprisoned without trial. Many live in fear of attacks and everyday humiliation from Israeli military and settlers. Yet they affirm their dignity and do not lose hope for their right to return. To exist here is to resist.

As capoeiristas we can highlight these issues by joining the international movement to end Israeli apartheid.

What can you do on or around the 29th November

Hold a roda and…
• Create a Palestine-themed song – ladainha or corrido
• Make a photo exhibition
• Put up the Palestinian flag
• Discuss the role of capoeira in the Palestine context
• Invite a speaker
• Show a film
• Raise funds to support the Capoeira Freedom Collective – Palestine
• Publicise your event – invite media and decision makers
• Don’t forget to send us your photos!

Let’s use the power of capoeira to kick out racism and oppression!

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Liberdade de Movimento… Expressão de Solidariedade!

Realize uma roda de capoeira no Dia Internacional de Solidariedade com o Povo Palestino – 29 de Novembro.

O Coletivo Capoeira Liberdade – Palestina (CFCP, em inglês) – convida capoeiristas de todo o mundo a organizarem rodas de solidariedade no dia 29 de Novembro – o Dia Internacional de Solidariedade com o Povo Palestino. Eventos já estão sendo planejados em Londres, Paris, Hamburgo e Ramala para levantar nossas vozes contra a injustiça na Palestina.

A capoeira ajuda a integrar pessoas, criando comunidades e espaços de respeito, aprendizado e celebração. A capoeira deu a volta ao mundo e com a gloabalização dos seus valores, temos a responsabilidade de tomar uma posição contra a injustiça e canalizar sua energia positiva. Jogar capoeira é se identificar com uma filosofia de liberdade contra qualquer forma de opressão. Lutar pela liberdade está na essência da nossa prática.

Do outro lado do Muro do Apartheid de Israel, capoeira é um sucesso popular. Todo ano mestres visitam grupos em Israel e muitos israelenses viajam para o Brasil para aprender e jogar. No entanto, os palestinos da Cisjordânia não podem participar de qualquer atividade do outro lado do Muro, e oportunidades de viajar para fora são muito restritas. Eles permanecem isolados, seus direitos de ir e vir negados, sem liberdade de movimento.

Nos últimos anos, grupos de capoeira tem se espalhado nas colônias ilegais de israelenses na Cisjordânia. Estas colônias de povoamento e a ocupação militar da Cisjordânia e da Faixa de Gaza são violações dos direitos humanos e das leis internacionais. Nós vemos a existência da capoeira neste contexto como altamente problemática, porque contribue com a viabilidade e a naturalização da empreitada colonial de Israel.

Muitos palestinos vivem em campos de refugiados que têm existido desde que foram expulsos de suas terras em 1948. Muitos têm familiares presos sem julgamento. Muitos vivem com medo cotidiano de ataques e humilhiações por parte de militares e colonos israelenses. E mesmo assim, eles afirmam suas dignidades e não perdem a esperança do direito de retornar. Para existir aqui é preciso resistir.

Como capoeiristas, nós podemos chamar atenção para estas questões nos juntando ao movimento internacional para acabar com o Apartheid de Israel.

O que você pode fazer no dia 29 de Novembro
Realize uma roda e…
• Use a Palestina como tema de uma ladainha ou num corridor
• Faça uma exposição fotográfica
• Coloque uma bandeira da Palestina
• Discuta o papel da capoeira no contexto da Palestina
• Convide um palestrante
• Mostre um filme
• Arrecade doações para apoiar o Coletivo Capoeira Liberdade – Palestina
• Divulgue seu evento – convide media e formadores de opinião
• Não se esqueça de mandar suas fotos!

Vamos usar o poder da capoeira para acabar com o racismo e a opressão!

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Capoeira and Yoga as Resistance – AIC

http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/features/culture/7296-capoeira-and-yoga-as-resistance

 

What have a Brazilian dance and yoga sport to do with Palestinian resistance? “A lot”, say the Capoeira Freedom Collective and the Palestine Yoga Movement. The AICafe invited the two groups to speak about their creative arts and the connection to the Palestinian cause.

 

“The depth of yoga is often ignored”, says Bex Tyrer from the Palestine Yoga Movement (PYM), a group of international yoga teachers that is currently on a visit to Palestine for work with women and children on their body consciousness. The teachers are providing yoga and Acroyoga (a combination of acrobatics and yoga) classes throughout the West Bank. The meaning of yoga is “union” and relates to the connection of body and mind. “We consider yoga as political, because when you do yoga you care more about what happens around you”, Tyrer explains.

Yoga is a way to fully exist, and to exist is to resist! Photo/Roberto Kriemer, AICYoga is a way to fully exist, and to exist is to resist! Photo/Roberto Kriemer, AIC

Yoga is used to calm down and to exist fully, she adds. “And as we all know: To exist means to resist”. To understand better what yoga and Acroyoga are, Tyrer gave a short presentation to participants at the AICafe.

Capoeria practitioners watch the yoga demonstration/Photo: Roberto Kriemer, AICCapoeria practitioners watch the yoga demonstration/Photo: Roberto Kriemer, AIC

Quite the opposite of the rather silent yoga is the vivid and powerful capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that combines dance, fight and resistance music. It has its origins in the struggle of Africans against slavery in Brazil in the 18th century. “Capoeira was invented in the favelas of Brazil and for a long time it was illegal there. Only in the last 75 years has it gained acceptance and spread throughout the world”, relates Jorge Goia from the Capoeira Freedom Collective (CFC).

Capoeira and yoga practitioners sharing/Photo: Roberto Kriemer, AICCapoeira and yoga practitioners sharing/Photo: Roberto Kriemer, AIC

Because of this history of resistance, the CFC wants to bring this form of resistance to Palestine.“For me, playing capoeira here in Palestine is like bringing it back to its roots”, Goia says. Back to its political meaning, the idea of liberation that the black movement in Brazil once had.” “With capoeira”, he continues, “one can empower the people. Even if it’s only for one hour, but afterwards they can go out and face life in a different, maybe stronger, way.”

Audience members listen and participate in this singular event last week at the AICafe/Photo: Roberto Kriemer, AICAudience members listen and participate in this singular event last week at the AICafe/Photo: Roberto Kriemer, AIC

The CFC is the first international capoeira group that ever visited Palestine. During their two weeks stay, the capoeiristas visited refugee camps, cities and villages in the West Bank to teach children and young adults this form of resistance. Furthermore, their Palestinian branch (CFCP) gives capoeira lessons in Ramallah every Sunday and Tuesday. Although the songs are in Portuguese, Brazilian capoeira fits well into Palestine, Toca Feliciano from the CFC says. “The message of capoeira is to resist. And hey: If Israel builds another settlement, let’s make another group of capoeira.”

Demonstration of capoeira moves/Photo: Roberto Kriemer, AICDemonstration of capoeira moves/Photo: Roberto Kriemer, AIC

 FURTHER INFORMATION:

 

Palestine Yoga Movement: Read an interview with Bex Tyrer onhttp://ubudnowandthen.com/where-yoga-meets-activism-ubuds-yoga-teachers-the-palestine-yoga-movement/

 

Facebook page of PYM: https://www.facebook.com/palestineyogamovement

Al-Jazeera Coverage – ‘Freedom of movement: Capoeira in Palestine’

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/11/freedom-movement-capoeira-palestine-2013117125747627589.html

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“Ramallah, occupied Palestinian territories – When 50-year-old Jorge Goia first came to the West Bank, he immediately realised that there were deep-rooted links between the historical origins of capoeira, the Brazilian martial art to which he is deeply devoted, and its potential uses here in the occupied territories.

“This was really bringing capoeira back to its roots, supporting and preparing people who were under oppression to resist,” he told Al Jazeera.

When African slaves arrived in Brazil during its colonial rule by Portugal, their new owners would immediately break up families and communities, a strategy designed to reduce the risk of revolt. For the same reason, self-defence and fitness training was also prohibited.

But slaves found creative ways to resist, developing a martial art practiced to the sound of African music and disguised as a form of traditional dance. Capoeira was born.

Goia, a Brazilian based in the UK who has studied capoeira for many years, first came to the West Bank to work with an international NGO running capoeira workshops in refugee camps. As the NGO’s funding dried up, he and a fellow Canadian capoeirista known as Peruca launched the Capoeira Freedom Collective-Palestine, which from August 2013 has been running regular workshops in Ramallah introducing the martial art to a new Palestinian audience.

There was no capoeira in the West Bank, and we wanted our own Palestinian group to represent us.Mohammed Zugheir, Palestinian capoeirista

This was not the first grassroots Palestinian capoeira group. Mohammad Zugheir has been practicing capoeira for four years, at first with Israelis in Jerusalem because there were no Palestinian groups. “But then we left and started our own group in the Old City,” he said. “There was no capoeira in the West Bank, and we wanted our own Palestinian group to represent us.”

qalOne of the initial projects of the Capoeira Freedom Collective was to coordinate a tour, bringing capoeiristas from around the world to the Palestinian territories. The aim was to raise the profile of the sport through workshops and performances in various cities, as well as showing the capoeiristas the political realities faced by Palestinians.

Mariam Dagher from Ramallah had never done capoeira before, but joined one of the tour’s collective workshops in the city’s Orthodox Club. “I am interested because it seems a wonderful sport and dance, and in some ways I am linked to Latin America. I have an aunt in Brazil, and I would like to go there and carry a Brazilian dance with me.”

Having read about the history of the sport, Dagher also sees the links to the Palestinian political environment but is unsure how useful capoeira could be as a tool of resistance today. “Here in Palestine, we are struggling against all kinds of Israeli oppression, so it’s similar in some ways to capoeira’s history,” she said. “As a form of resistance it could be useful for us, but I don’t think it would be as strong as it was before.”

While enthusiastic and dedicated, Mohammad believes that as a martial art form, capoeira would face very different challenges in Palestine today from those it faced in Brazil hundreds of years ago. “Now is not like before, because the slaves were struggling against knives and sticks – but now we are struggling against Israeli bombs and guns.”

African slaves prepared themselves for escape attempts with capoeira. They trained vigorously, confident in the knowledge that if they had to defend themselves they would have the skills with which to do so. For many Palestinians today, resistance is the goal – not escape. Could capoeira have applications more relevant to this struggle?

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Goia says capoeira as originally practiced in Brazil was not only focused on self-defence: “They did not just use capoeira to fight; they used capoeira to bring people together and prepare them to change the social environment where they lived in order to develop the community. People here often talk about the next intifada… but when the real fighting begins there must be a strong community behind it.”

Interestingly, capoeira has a large following within Israeli settlements as well as within Israel itself. The Capoiera Freedom Collective sees this issue as part of a wider discussion that must be opened up. Peruca explained: “One of the aims of the tour was to bring the capoeira world into the discussion about Palestine. The tour was a starting point and now we can begin to discuss how the politics of capoeira relate to the issues of Israeli settlements and Israeli apartheid. We didn’t want to impose our personal views on tour participants but we introduced them to Palestinian activists, took them to see the situation here, and gave them the space to discuss and think amongst themselves about what this meant in terms of capoeira.”

Many tour participants were deeply moved by what they learned and shared in Palestine. Ideas for international capoeira dances, known as “rodas”, in solidarity with Palestine were suggested, and the traditional chants to which the sport is performed were adapted to include chants of Palestinian solidarity. Could this work lead towards a more concrete political position from the capoeira community?

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Peruca believes there is much work yet to be done as the sport has such a huge following in Israel, yet is still largely unknown in the Palestinian territories. “This is a starting point, and there’s lots of work to be done, but I hope that maybe one day we could take up a similar position to the cultural boycott campaign.”

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel is based on a set of principles established in 2004 that calls for a boycott of Israel until it complies with international law regarding the Palestinian territories.

While Goia says it is too early for a collective position to be adopted on the issue, he is clear on where he stands: “If there are people oppressing other people, there comes a time when you must take a stand. You must jump to one side, and I believe that the capoeira community must jump to the Palestinian side. I know the realities here, and because of that I would not play capoeira in Israel now. Others do, but maybe they don’t know the realities yet, or don’t want to know.”

Rich Wiles, Al-Jazeera