A Community of Resistance
A Liberation Arts Cultures Workshop
What can we learn from Quilombos?
The quilombos were a network of inland settlements, hideouts, and farms in colonial Brazil where Africans escaping the plantation system lived together, worked together, and supported the cause of freeing more people. Culture and community thrived at a tenuous distance from Portuguese colonial activity on the coast.
Quilombos culture had its origins in Central Africa, where various tribal lineages found it pleasing to unite in agreement for mutual aid and protection. Quilombos Palmares (in the Brazilian state of Alagoas) included tens of thousands and persisted for over 80 years. Ultimately, colonial authorities defeated these liberators' attempts, but the legends and practices live on today in Afro-Brazilian folkloric arts.
In this workshop we will be comparing and contrasting the Quilombos movement to that of contemporary intentional communities in North America. What can we learn from this contemporary of our own Intentional Communities movement?
Assumptions About Community
Multiculturalism in our communities, the belief that our communities can should hold different cultures.
We should resolve conflict within the community.
Intentional Communities is a new movement
The quilombo communities were multicultural as the nations of the African continent were very diverse and the peoples taken to America came from different regions and nations.
Often the slave trade took prisoners of war from both sides of conflict on the African continent. Those who were once enemies, found themselves building a life together in the quilombos.
In North America we have the concept of the Deep Woods used by Black Americans to signify a place outside the site and sound of the plantation system.
Many important community norms and cultural practices have their essences stored in cultural art so that future generations can access.
These activities are sourced from Afro-Brazilian cultural rituals of community celebration modified to fit the workshop experience.
Crossing the Atlantic - Representing the middle passage crossing, stand in line and with hands on the sholders of the person in front of you. Move forward together in the steps of the Capoeira Ginga.
Having two personalities
Behavior alignment based on the the situation
Para os brancos verem
A community in solidity
Not A, Not B; A or B together
Dance and Exercises
Capoeira - Mealua and cocorinha
Samba Dance 2 by 2
With the police entering and leaving
Protecting the escaped
The Circle Inside
Friendly haggling at a market
Martial arts sparing
The Circle Outside
Disposition Towards Others
I choose who I live with
I live with you
Safety and Justice
Court in the Circle
Watch the Movie
We invite you and yours into a study of this phenomenon with a viewing of the following documentary and a discussion of the strengths, weaknesses, and potential progressive applications of Quilombos today. Will you gather your community and watch? It's two hours long; the video contains the film twice. Parental supervision strongly recommended.