Rodas mundiais para a Palestina 2018

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(English below)

O Coletivo de Capoeira Liberdade Palestina e “camaras” estão convidando grupos de Capoeira e capoeiristas de todo o mundo para realizar rodas pela libertação da Palestina e contra o Apartheid israelense, durante o mês de maio de 2018.

Capoeira vem da resistência contra a opressão. Cantamos sobre o passado nos corridos e ladainhas para nunca esquecer de onde vem a capoeira, para continuar lutando onde precisamos e sempre que somos chamados.

15 de maio é o Dia da Nakba, um dia que os palestinos chamam a atenção do mundo para a sua luta. Convocamos capoeiristas para que se solidarizem com os palestinos, usando AUs para ajuda-los a virar de ponta-cabeça esta situação desumana.

Na sua roda você pode:

  • Criar uma música sobre a Palestina – ladainha ou corrido
  • Fazer uma exposição fotográfica
  • Colocar uma bandeira palestina ou kuffiyeh (cachecol quadriculado palestino)
  • Convidar um palestrante
  • Mostrar um filme
  • Ler a declaração!

*Não se esqueça de publicar fotos e vídeos de seus eventos nas mídias sociais!

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The Capoeira Freedom Collective Palestine and “camaras” (friends) are calling on capoeira groups and players around the word to hold rodas for Palestinian liberation and against Israeli Apartheid during the month of May, 2018.

Capoeira is about resistance against oppression. We sing about the past in our songs to never forget where capoeira comes from, to keep fighting wherever we need to and whenever we are called to.

May 15th is Nakba Day, a day that Palestinians call the world’s attention to their ongoing struggle. We call on capoeiristas to stand with them, doing AUs (cartwheels) to help Palestinians turn their unjust situation around.

At your roda you can:

  • Create a Palestine-themed song – ladainha or corrido
  • Make a photo exhibition
  • Put up the Palestinian flag and/or kuffiyeh (scarf)
  • Invite a speaker
  • Show a film
  • Read the statement!

*Don’t forget to post photos and videos of your events on social media!

CAPOEIRA PLAYERS STAND WITH PALESTINIANS ON NAKBA DAY

latuffNakba2015 2May 15, 2018, marks 70 years of Nakba, or “catastrophe”, for Palestinians; 70 years since nearly 800,000 Palestinians were forced from their country to make way for the creation of Israel. Those who remained—or who later came under the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip (now 50 years old)—have since been forced to live under the boot of a settler colonial regime which has denied them their rights, subjected them to wanton racism and simply treating them as undesirables. For those who became refugees, they have been unable to return simply because they do not belong to the right religious group. According to a recent UN report, and to countless anti-racism activists including South African leader Desmond Tutu, Israel’s treatment of Palestinians plainly constitutes apartheid.

As practitioners of the Afro-Brazilian artform of capoeira, we are inspired by the historic and present struggles of blacks in Brazil to resist slavery and ongoing racism. This history demands that we, as capoeiristas, continue this struggle wherever we are around the globe and that in addition to supporting efforts against anti-black racism in Brazil, we oppose oppression wherever and whenever we see it.

We are likewise inspired by growing cross-movement solidarity linking anti-racist movements such as Black Lives Matter in the US with the Palestine solidarity movement. Discussing her most recent book, Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement, former Black Panther and lifelong activist Angela Davis suggests that making such connections is key to the effective creation of radical consciousness:

It’s about racism, but it’s also about homophobia, and it’s about transphobia, and it’s about addressing ableism. It’s about creating a sense of international solidarity. And the extent to which Palestine has become central to efforts against racism in this country is an indication of how important international solidarity has become.

For us, to play capoeira is to actively identify with all of these different struggles. In this sense, we acknowledge that capoeira is itself a political act, and that by practicing capoeira we are identifying with a set of values that rejects oppression no matter who it involves.

In the case of Palestine, the sense of responsibility to act is augmented by the widespread expansion of capoeira into illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. These capoeira groups not only exclude Palestinians but they contribute to the viability and naturalization of Israel’s colonial enterprise.

According to Mahmoud Nawajaa, representative of the Palestinian national committee to boycott, divest and sanction (BDS) Israel until it ends its assault on Palestinian rights, capoeira is being used to “normalize” Israel’s system of injustice:

While Capoeira is a symbol of the black struggle against slavery and racism in Brazil, today there are Brazilian capoeira groups developing activities in Israel and within illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Capoeira shouldn’t be used as tool to normalize Israeli apartheid, occupation and colonialism against the Palestinian people.

The BDS National Committee has commended our initiative to hold capoeira rodas around the world in solidarity with the Palestinian people. They call on capoeira groups and masters to join other cultural and sport leaders—including rapper Talib Kweli, writer Alice Walker, rock legend Roger Waters and American football stars Michael Bennet and Kenny Stills—to heed the Palestinian BDS call by denying invitations for “events in Israel, in its settlements or for those around the world sponsored by Israeli and complicit institutions.”

In 2015, nearly 20 capoeira rodas (circles) in solidarity with Palestinians were organized—in Brazil, Palestine, the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Italy, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon—with the participation of some of capoeira’s most influential leaders.

Yet again this year, capoeiristas around the world are showing their support for Palestinian liberation by organizing capoeira rodas on or around May 15 to kick out Israeli racism and apartheid.

Iê viva a liberdade!

CAPOEIRISTAS APOIAM PALESTINOS NO DIA DA NAKBA

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15 de maio, 2018, é a data que marca 70 anos da Nakba, ou “catástrofe”, para os palestinos; 69 anos desde que quase 800.000 palestinos foram forçados a deixar seu país para dar lugar à criação de Israel. Os que permaneceram – ou que mais tarde en cararam a ocupação israelense da Cisjordânia e da Faixa de Gaza (hoje com 50 anos) – foram obrigados a viver sob o controle ditatorial de um regime de colônias ilegais, que negou seus direitos mais básicos, submetendo-os a um racismo institucionalizado e simplesmente tratando-os como indesejáveis. Aqueles que se tornaram refugiados  foram incapazes de retornar, simplesmente porque não pertencem a determinado grupo religioso. De acordo com um relatório recente da ONU, e com inúmeros ativistas anti-racismo, incluindo o líder sul-africano Desmond Tutu, o tratamento de Israel aos palestinos constitui claramente um Apartheid.

Como praticantes da arte afro-brasileira da capoeira, somos inspirados pelas lutas históricas e atuais dos negros no Brasil para resistir à escravidão e ao racismo ainda vigente. Uma história que exige de nós, capoeiristas, uma luta continua onde quer que estejamos, em todo o mundo e que, além de apoiar os esforços contra o racismo anti-negro no Brasil, nos oponham à opressão onde e quando a vemos.

Somos inspirados por uma crescente solidariedade que liga movimentos anti-racistas como Black Lives Matter nos EUA com o movimento de solidariedade palestina. Ao discutir seu livro mais recente, Liberdade é uma luta constante: Ferguson, Palestina e as fundações de um movimento, a ex-pantera negra e veterana ativista Angela Davis sugere que fazer tais conexões são fundamentais para a criação efetiva de uma consciência radical:

É sobre racismo, mas também homofobia, e a transfobia, e trata-se de abordar a questão do poder/capacidade. Trata-se de criar um sentimento de solidariedade internacional. E a medida em que a Palestina se tornou central nos esforços contra o racismo neste país é uma indicação da importância da solidariedade internacional.

Para nós, jogar capoeira é se identificar ativamente com diferentes lutas. Assim, reconhecemos que a capoeira é em si mesma um ato político, e que ao pratica-la nos identificamos com um conjunto de valores que rejeitam a opressão, não importa quem esteja envolvido.

No caso da Palestina, o sentimento de responsabilidade para agir é ainda maior por causa da expansão generalizada da capoeira em colônias e assentamentos israelenses ilegais na Cisjordânia. Esses grupos de capoeira não só excluem os palestinos, mas contribuem para a viabilidade e naturalização do empreendimento colonial de Israel.

De acordo com Mahmoud Nawajaa, representante do comitê nacional palestino para boicotar, desinvestir e sancionar (BDS) Israel até que termine os ataques aos direitos palestinos, a capoeira está sendo usada para “normalizar” o sistema de injustiça de Israel:

Enquanto a Capoeira é um símbolo da luta negra contra a escravidão e o racismo no Brasil, hoje existem grupos brasileiros de capoeira desenvolvendo atividades em Israel e dentro de assentamentos israelenses ilegais na Cisjordânia. A capoeira não deve ser usada como ferramenta para normalizar o apartheid, ocupação e colonialismo israelenses contra o povo palestino.

O Comitê Nacional do BDS elogiou nossa iniciativa de realizar rodas de capoeira ao redor do mundo em solidariedade com o povo palestino. Eles convocam grupos e mestres de capoeira para se juntarem a outros líderes culturais e esportivos – incluindo o rapper Talib Kweli, a escritora Alice Walker, a lenda do rock Roger Waters e estrelas do futebol americano como Michael Bennet e Kenny Stills – para atender a chamada palestina BDS negando convites para “eventos em Israel, nos seus assentamentos ou em qualquer lugar do mundo, patrocinados pelo governo israelense ou instituições que o apoiam.”

Em 2015, foram organizadas cerca de 20 rodas de capoeira em solidariedade com os palestinos – no Brasil, na Palestina, nos Estados Unidos, no Reino Unido, na Espanha, na França, na Alemanha, na Holanda, na Suécia, na Itália, na Jordânia, no Egito e no Líbano – com a participação de alguns dos líderes mais influentes da capoeira.

Mais uma vez este ano, capoeiristas em todo o mundo estarão mostrando seu apoio à libertação palestina, organizando rodas de capoeira em torno do 15 de maio, para expulsar o racismo e o apartheid israelenses.

Iê viva a liberdade!

 

International Palestine roda moved to May; rodas for Zumbi and Pastinha in November

November is an important month in the capoeira world. November 13 is the anniversary of Mestre Pastinha’s death, and Novembre 20 is the anniversary of the death of Zumbi dos Palmares and Black Consciousness Day. In honour of these events, we have decided to postpone this year’s roda in solidarity with Palestine until the week of May 15, 2017, Naqba day. We hope this will free up groups everywhere to focus on organizing rodas for Mestre Pastinha and Zumbi in November. Axé!

Novembro é um mês importante no mundo da capoeira. 13 de novembre é o aniversário da morte de Mestre Pastinha, e 20 de novembro é o aniversário da morte de Zumbi dos Palmares e do Dia da Consciência Negra. Em homenagem a estes eventos, decidimos adiar a roda deste ano em solidariedade com a Palestina até a semana de 15 de maio de 2017, dia da Nakba. Esperamos que isto liberte grupos em todo lugar para se concentrar na organização das rodas para Mestre Pastinha e Zumbi. Axé!

WORLD CAPOEIRA GROUPS STAND WITH PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

PORTUGUES ABAIXO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

11/28/2015

WORLD CAPOEIRA GROUPS STAND WITH PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
Groups to call attention to occupation of Palestine on November 29

Salvador, Bahía, Brazil –  Heeding a call from the Capoeira Freedom Collective – Palestine (CFCP), Capoeira groups around the world will host solidarity rodas on the 29th of November – the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Events are already planned among groups in Palestine, Brazil, England, the United States, Germany, Italy, Jordan, France and Spain.

Capoeira players, known as capoeristas, are seeking to call attention to the continued occupation by Israel of Palestine. Groups will use the traditional “roda de capoeira”, or capoeira circle, which has been recently recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, as a space for public education and awareness about the continued and increasing atrocities committed by the Israeli government against the Palestinian people. Since October 1 of this year, Israeli security forces have killed 94 Palestinians who are desperate to end the decades-old occupation.

“Capoeira is a traditional Afro-Brazilian martial art with a philosophy of freedom and resistance to oppression, so it is natural for capoeiristas to identify with the Palestinian struggle,” says Anthony Wells, capoeirista with the Washington DC branch of the International Capoeira Angola Foundation.

In 1977, the UN General Assembly established November 29th as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people. This year, rodas will also coincide with an October call by the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for a “solidarity wave” of creative actions with Palestinians around the world.

#capoeirafreepalestina
#SolidarityWaveBDS

Contact: Anthony Wells
Email: capoeira.palestine@gmail.com

 

PARA DIVULGAÇÃO IMEDIATA

28/11/2015

GRUPOS DE CAPOEIRA DO MUNDO INTEIRO SE JUNTAM À LUTA DO POVO PALESTINO
Rodas chamam atenção para a ocupação da Palestina no dia 29 de novembro

Atendendo a chamada do Coletivo de Capoeira Liberdade Palestina (CFCP, em ingles), grupos de capoeira do mundo inteiro vão organizar rodas em solidariedade no domingo 29 de novembro – Dia Internacional de Solidariedade com o Povo Palestino. Eventos ja estão confirmados na Palestina (Cisjordania), Brasil, Estados Unidos, Inglaterra, Jordania, Alemanha, Italia, França e Espanha.

Praticantes de capoeira, conhecidos como capoeiristas, estão procurando chamar atenção para a continua ocupação da Palestina por Israel. Grupos irão utilizar a tradicional roda de capoeira, recentemente reconhecida como Patrimonio Imaterial da Humanidade pela UNESCO, como um espaço de educação politica e conscientização sobre a continua e crescente atrocidades cometidas pelo governo de Israel contra o povo palestino. Desde outubro deste ano, as forças de segurança de Israel mataram 94 palestinos, que vivem desesperados em acabar com a ocupação que ja dura decadas.

“Capoeira é uma arte marcial tradicional da cultura afro-brasileira com uma filosofia de liberdade e resistencia à opressão, então é natural que capoeiristas se identifiquem com a luta do povo palestino”, diz Anthony Wells, capoeirista da Fundação Internacional de Capoeira Angola (FICA) de Washington, Estados Unidos.

Em 1977, a Assembleia Geral das Nações Unidas estabeleceu a data de 29 de Novembro como Dia Internacional de Solidariedade com o Povo Palestino. Este ano, as rodas pelo mundo afora vão coincidir com a chamada feita em outubro pela Movimento Palestino pelo Boicote, Desinvestimento e Sanções contra Israel (BDS) por uma “onda solidária” de ações criativas com palestinos de todo o mundo.

#capoeirafreepalestina
#SolidarityWaveBDS

Contato: Anthony Wells
Email: capoeira.palestine@gmail.com

My life and Capoeira

by Ramzy W. Natsheh and Mohammed H. Zughaiar

My name is Ramzy W. Natsheh. This is a story about my life, and how capoeira affects me in a good way. I have to introduce you to my cousin Mohammed H. Zughair. He is my cousin, but more like my twin because we do everything together.

When I was 7 years old I witnessed the intifada. My school was in Jerusalem, but I lived in a small town next to Ramallah, which is under the Israeli authority. It meant that I had to cross the Qalandia checkpoint every day not only to go to school, but also to reach Mohammed’s house.

During the intifada I witnessed so many bad scenes. I saw people shot, and other awful things. I was seven years old, so I had to take therapy to be a normal human being again. It took me four years to be normal.

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Ramzy running the wall near Bethlehem during the CFCP tour in 2013.

Mohammed had his school almost near his house, so he didn’t have those kinds of troubles. However, he was still living near Qalandia checkpoint  – on the other side – so he had no neighbors. The army was all the time in front of his house, so we couldn’t meet. It was so bad to not see your best friend / twin for almost two years.

Later, Mohammed’s father bought a house in my neighborhood so we got united after many years. We were very much into sport and movement. We heard about capoeira classes in Jerusalem. We had to go right after school to capoeira and get back at midnight. In terms of distance, it wasn’t far away, but because of the many checkpoints on the way, and the different transports between the Palestinian side of Jerusalem and the Israeli side – East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem – it took a long time. All of the classes were in West Jerusalem, and it took four transports to get to the class, and four more to get back home. We did it all for the love of capoeira!

After a couple of years we formed new classes in Jerusalem on the East side, in the old city, but it was in an area that was under threat to be taken by the Israelis. In order to maintain our capoeira space we had to fill it up with classes, so that it would always be busy and full of people. Israeli capoeira groups led all of the classes that we organized in the space. In these groups we didn’t feel very comfortable. To train with someone who one day might take your house, or if not him, then perhaps his father, or his grandfather took the house that they live in now, is very difficult. Even if it wasn’t him individually, he is still benefiting from what his parents, or grandparents stole, so there is some hate that we have toward him. Mohammad and I felt sure that it was a mutual feeling – they hated us and we hated them. The proof was there inside the rodas: always the Israelis cheer for their guy, and we cheered for our guy. It was so challenging, and so rough. Because it was Cordão de Ouro, that means regional, many flips and acrobatics were taught in the classes. You could always sense the racism inside the acrobatic class–like the Israeli teacher used to explain the movement to us in 5 minutes or less, and he would explain it to the Israelis students for half an hour. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we were better than them–of course we were–but still we also needed the deep details of the movement also.

This situation went on until one day we found a social capoeira class that was provided by Bidna Capoeira. We went, and there we met many great people like Goia, Peruca, Khaled, Arame and Karam. Together we had very nice classes, and after classes it was always a nice gathering with nice people.  This made us want to learn more about capoeira, and the best we could learn was from Goia. He was more than a teacher, he was also a friend. We used to go to his house for play musical instruments and sing. He was a great teacher! After that Jorge left, and Bidna Capoeira closed the office, so Peruca started to offer classes under his group, which was Dendê do Recife. For two years we had classes with Peruca.  We launched the Capoeira Freedom Collective in 2013 after a long talk, and during that first year we had a big tour hosted by us, Goia and Toca. It was so great! So many great people came from different nations! We toured all around the West Bank, and that same year we started the 29th of November Solidarity Day with the Palestinian People Roda. Many rodas in many countries all having Palestine flags in the background …

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From left to right (back): Peruca, Ramzy, Toca, Mohammad. Front: Goia

In 2014 there were rodas in 17 different countries around the world.  It felt really great to see that people knew our story and our struggle all these years. For people like Mohammed and I it was the best way to show support for our people – we are not the type of people that could hold a rifle and fight. We have so much to lose if we resisted that way. So in order to send our message internationally we chose the game that we love the most, which is capoeira because of its deep history of resistance to oppression.

So at the end capoeira did so much to affect me in the best way. I became more social with many, many friends, both local and international. Capoeira community is my life, and my best friends are my capoeira friends. It just feels amazing after a long day, and many checkpoints and soldiers and cops checking me in Jerusalem on every corner to go and play capoeira in a good class with good people. Please believe it helps so much to relieve negative energy, and I think it’s the only reason why I am still alive now.

 

CROSSING LINES: CAPOEIRA, MOVEMENT, ACTIVISM

Article by Jabr abu Jordan. Re-posted from papernopaper.wordpress.com/

I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me.”

― Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

Muhammad Abu Thahr and Nadim Nuwara were shot down on May 15th of this year. Muhammad was 15 – Nadim was 17. Snipers of the Israeli Defense Forces assassinated them for protesting the military occupation of their country. Another 15-year-old child was shot in the left lung – inches from his heart – but survived the attempt on his life. His name is Mohammad Azzeh. I know him. He and his family lived just around the corner from me in Al-Bireh. He is a member of the Palestinian Circus School at Birzeit University, and had been preparing for an upcoming tour in Germany. I would sometimes see him outside his house, and he would flash a bright smile. He expressed an interest to learn Capoeira. I ate spaghetti with yogurt and drank mint tea at his house, talked with his father about calligraphy, got lost twice with his sister and friends on the way to performances of their dance troupe El Funoun in Jenin and Beit Umar, and had a beer with his cousin at a café in Ramallah. I met another cousin of his here in Washington, DC just after being detained and deported by the Israeli’s in November of last year.

The morning of May 16th I was looking at a picture of Hamoudeh – Mohammad Azzehs’ nickname – being carried to a waiting ambulance. He was bleeding profusely, and in obvious pain. A co-worker asked about the picture, and I told her that my friend was shot the day before protesting against the Israeli occupation. He is only 15 years old, and we don’t know if he’ll live or die, I told her. Apparently blind to the wounded, bleeding 15-year-old child in the picture, she replied coolly, “Yeah, but was it a peaceful protest?”

Mohammad Azzeh copy

Her response is an example of the casually, yet deeply held assumptions of most Americans regarding Palestine. Despite the grossly uneven contest between flak-jacketed, helmeted Israeli soldiers armed with an array of fully automatic weapons, small arms, tanks, armored vehicles, and sniper rifles, and the unprotected, unarmed teenaged children waving Palestinian flags and throwing stones with sling-shots, Palestinians are held guilty for any and all violence. Americans are conditioned to not see Palestinians, to not see Palestine. The only Palestine on Facebook is in Texas, the AAA will not issue an international drivers license for Palestine, and one cannot place a call to Palestine via Skype. Mention Palestine to most Americans, and they will think that you meant to say Pakistan. Palestine has been rendered invisible. How else is it possible for someone to look at that picture and not see a child in excruciating pain? How is it possible to not think about the agony that his mother, father, sisters and brothers are experiencing at that moment? How else is it possible to ask such a question with an air of cool scornfulness?

In Zora Neale Hurston’s’ novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie tells her friend Pheoby,

“… yuh got tuh go there tuh know there. Yo’ papa and yo’ mama and nobody else can’t tell yuh and show yuh. Two things everybody’s got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go tuh God and they got tuh find out about livin fuh theyselves.”

 When I read that novel, I took this statement to heart. Zora Neale Hurston was telling me to not be satisfied with comfortable, received opinions. I heard the voice of my father telling me that heaven has no open door, no easy ‘Jesus-died-for-me’ way in. I wanted to go to Palestine and see for myself. I wanted to learn, and, perhaps naively, to help in some way. I applied to a London based charity to teach Capoeira in Ramallah was hired and spent 9 months teaching Capoeira in the West Bank.

I worked mainly in three refugee camps: Al Jalazone, Al Amari and Shu’fat. We also did classes and workshops all over Ramallah and Al Quds (Jerusalem in Arabic) including in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. We worked with volunteers at the Palestine Red Crescent, and I took part in rodas in the Old City of Jerusalem, Ramallah and in Haifa. Capoeira has a strong presence in Israel, Jerusalem and, sadly, in the Israeli settlements all over the West Bank. You will find Capoeira in Ramallah, Kafr ‘Aqab and Qalandya, but not many other places behind the Apartheid Wall. In Ramallah
there is the Freedom Capoeira Collective
and Bidna Capoeira, Roda in East Jerusalemand in Kafr “Aqab and Qalandya there are some people who train with Menino Bom, and others who are training acrobatics with “Coach.”

I can tell you that there is a lot of enthusiasm, desire and talent for Capoeira in Palestine. In Jalazone, there are some fearless children who fling themselves around with such abandon, that it makes you cringe in anticipation of them breaking some part of themselves. In the girl’s class, Aseel picked up percussion so quickly, that if she left the atabaque to go play in the roda the wheels would fall off of the rhythm. I would look at her pleadingly to get back on the atabaque. Fatia and Razan in Al Amari were natural talents at anything that involved standing on their hands, Kholud just had to have all eyes on her at all times, and Arwa is a natural polyglot. Her favorite song at the time was, “Sou Angoleiro, que vem de Angola”! I never taught that song in class, but she heard me singing it at a roda and picked it up on the spot.

I was invited to a roda in Beit Hanina in Jerusalem, and the kid on pandeiro started a corrido that I didn’t know. A 9-year-old child sitting next to me recognized the confused look on my face, and passed me the corrido. He gave me the thumbs up to make sure that I got the lyrics straight, then ran to other side of the roda so he could play me in the next game. At a roda in Beit Safafa, a game I was playing with a young girl developed into ‘who can be more creative with a head spin’. After one particularly amazing headspin of hers, I looked at the girls mother with the ‘damn, did she really just do that?” face, and her mother, smiling, simply shrugged and said, “Binti hek yani.” (My little girl is just like that).

Bota fogo na Qalandya

Despite the hard work of a very few dedicated people in Palestine, Capoeira there is suffering from a lack of attention. Many experienced Angoleiro’s and Regionalista’s regularly make trips to workshops and roda’s in Tel Aviv, Holon and Haifa. Some even go to teach in the settlements. But not many have ventured to East Jerusalem, and fewer still have dared to cross the Apartheid Wall. The Capoeira Freedom Collective hosted a weeklong tour of the West Bank to educate Capoeiristas about Palestine, her land, her culture and the effects of the ongoing military and economic occupation of this country that does not officially exist. Capoeiristas from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the United States and Brazil were in attendance, and traveled to Jenin, Al-Khalil (Hebron), Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. There was a beautiful roda in Jalazone camp. One of the subjects discussed was a possible BDS style boycott of Capoeira in the settlements and Israel. Those few capoeiristas in attendance have continued to support Palestine back in their own countries, but we have yet to see the BDS movement take root in the wider Capoeira community.

Why won’t more Capoeiristas travel to Palestine? Why won’t more Capoeiristas go to East Jerusalem, to Ramallah, to Jenin? Why won’t more of us take the time to learn about the thousands of years of Palestinian history, and the 66-year-old creation of the State of Israel? Why do so many people express an interest to know “both sides” of the conflict, but never actually read anything written by a Palestinian author, let alone talk to anyone from Palestine or the Palestinian Diaspora? How can we study and take to heart the narrative of Capoeira and its resistance to slavery and colonialism, yet turn a blind eye in support of Israeli settler-colonialism? What does it mean when it is possible to go to a roda in Israel, hear an Israeli group singing “Bota fogo no canavial / quero ver o patrão de raiva se queimar”, and know that some, if not all, of those singing this song have served, are serving in, or in one way or another support an army that violates the human rights of Palestinians everyday, protects those settlers who steal the homes of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah, and incarcerates, tortures and kills defenseless Palestinian children?

Karam and Khaled - Freedom Capoeira Collective
Karam and Khaled – Freedom Capoeira Collective

We are facing difficult questions. We must begin asking them of ourselves, or risk complicity in the oppression of Palestine. We risk becoming that which we rail against in corrido after corrido. And the argument for being apolitical, or neutral, is not valid. There is no neutral position – not when more U.S. tax dollars are spent in support of the Israeli military than are spent on public education in this country. In one way or another, we have all been made complicit in this tragedy, either by paying our taxes, buying a coffee at Starbucks or getting that new Sodastream carbonator. And now, even our beloved art is being compromised. Que vai fazer?

In Memoria

Nadim Nuwara
Nadim Nuwara
Mohammad Azzeh
Mohammad Azzeh

 Original article: http://papernopaper.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/crossing-lines-capoeira-movement-activism/

 


Jabr abu Jordan

Jabr A. JordanA student of languages, literatures and histories with an interest in displacement, diaspora, émigrés and exile. A deep fear of paralysis, with an overriding passion for movement – likely born of a family fractured in early childhood – led to an interest in music, dance and martial arts. For me, as for many, many others, Capoeira Angola is as necessary as breathing.