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

American History

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

A community in solidity

Dance and Exercises

The Circle Inside


Friendly haggling at a market

Martial arts sparing

The Circle Outside

Disposition Towards Others

Safety and Justice

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.

Quilombos - a Film by Carlos Diegues