Capoeira Experience



arts festival

visual arts for social inclusion

Capoeira Experience Program Plan

Capoeira Experience program is an artistic intervention that mixes Capoeira and the Visual Arts to achieve a dialogue with society. This is a project inspired in the need to create a positive energy in the current challenging context in which we live. We are confronted with a health pandemic that threatens our social coexistence, with constant social inequalities and oppressive acts of racism. Our project provides society the energy and creativity it needs to heal, and to rethink social inclusion in a way that it liberates us from the colonial and oppressive mindset. Capoeira, a dance and a sort of martial art, was born from the daily struggle of slaves in Brazil, as a weapon against oppression. We bring it now to society as a tool for empowerment and inspiration source for our visual languages.

The project works as a laboratory to experiment with diverse proposals of human connection and social inclusion, which will be inspired by the practice of Capoeira. As this is an art that teaches to understand the energy of the other. The project offers Capoeira workshops and Visual Arts brainstorming sessions to a wide public, mostly centred in Amsterdam ZuidOost. It will take place at Lola Bae in Amsterdam Zuidoost, it starts on September 25 and ends on December 6. This program will inspire participants to gain awareness about their own capacity to connect with others, and question social exclusion. This will be reflected in the three day exhibition and (covid free) festival on 4-6 December 2020. We will take all Covid regulations into account, at all times to make sure we stay healthy and kicking.

Work process

Capoeira Experience is organised by visual artist Maga Berr and Capoeira mestre Sidney Tartaruga, who join forces to create an inclusive program, which will count with Capoeira workshops and Visual Arts brainstorming sessions, public debates, an excursion, a festival and an exhibition. Maga Berr will facilitate the Visual Arts brainstorming sessions, and invited diverse artists to participate and share their artistic perspective during these sessions. With the invited artists and people that have registered to the program, a peer group of creative people will be formed, many coming from Amsterdam Zuidoost. It is a diverse group of Dutch, Surinam, Caribbean, Brazilian, Peruvian, Eastern European and other international people, from whom many are second generation migrants. Their occupations vary between artists, musicians, designers, philosophers, students and healers. During the sessions we will reflect about our coexistence in the society we live in, and express this awareness through diverse artistic and creative mediums. During the sessions we will use diverse conversation techniques. The peer group will guide our creative process till the final exhibition in December 2020.

During the Capoeira sessions given by mestre Tartaruga, we will create a dialogue of bodies in movement. Letting the sensitivity of our emotions interact with the space, channeling and releasing thoughts, spirituality, energies, and emotions. Through Capoeira participants will strengthen body and mind, learn from this ancestral tradition, it's history, philosophy and technique. Participants will experience an empowering energy through its practice. This will contribute to the reflections of our coexistence in society and provide inspiration for a decolonial re-thinking of social inclusion.

Some of the brainstorming sessions will be used to create a public debate, to interact with a wider public a share our thinking and work process. There will be also an opportunity to travel to a Capoeira nucleus of mestre Tartaruga in Poland, where a Capoeira baptism will take place at the end of October.

Exhibition within a Festival

The exhibition that will present the work produced during this 2.5 month program, will be part of a festival where performative Afro arts, like Capoeira will be shown. During this exhibition we will present a decolonial re-thinking of social inclusion, through diverse artistic practices, and experimentation by all involved. There will be a diversity in approaches to the thematic. It is for us an urgent call to create critical thinking about our current human coexistence, though this exhibition. The present context demands to pay attention to the cultural manifestations that liberate us from the colonial and oppressive mindset. Capoeira is one of these manifestations, we will get inspiration from. Every artist will bring their own proposal for decolonisation of the mind set, and/or of society.

The festival will provide a podium to diverse performance artists and musicians from Amsterdam Zuidoost and Europe. During the festival participants of the program will be able to show their talents, and their achieved development in Capoeira. Many people who registered to the program are musicians with a focus on Afro music, during the project they will develop a proposal using their own talent. Mestre Tartaruga also invited his Capoeira colleagues living in Italy, Poland, and France to present a show with their own school. They will bring Capoeira music, and Afro brazilian music to the festival. Besides that, musicians with Afro music focus from Amsterdam Zuidoost will be called to present their talent during this festival.

The festival will also count with culinary arts, bringing the flavours of Afro influenced cuisine around the world. This will give the public a chance to taste food from Northeast Brazil, Caribbean regions, Surinam, and African countries.

Capoeira Experience in social media:


Who are we


*Maga Berr (Peru-Nederland)*

I will facilitate the Visual Arts brainstorming sessions. My international experience in art projects, with a participatory element helps me get inspiration to create an atmosphere of exchange and trust to construct our creative process. In my previous international project, A House for the Unknown, I explored the urban space, human and power relations, and urban cultures. I provided workshops and invited other artists to participate in my work. In this project people from different backgrounds and sociocultural classes interacted with each other for the first time. This created openness and inspiration for all.
My art work is inspired in society: Coexistence, power and social relations among diverse groups, (in)visibility, inclusion or exclusion of people and cultures, the effects of exclusion: What do we see? What is left out? Why? And what is still burning to become visible? How is this expressed within a territory? Inspiration comes from real life stories, starting with her own family and continuing with other people. Experiencing interculturality in her background, gave her the chance to become politically and socially aware of her position in the world.

Using almost anthropological and archeological working methods; I observe human behaviour and follow material human traces. I interact with people that inhabit a territory, to understand living and coexistence within. My art work reacts with physical and metaphorical gestures to observations; mostly through installations and sculptures. Sculptures embody narratives, wishes, and claims. Installations reflect many layers of meaning, achieved through the interaction among objects that acquire an attitude.
There is sometimes use of collage, drawings and video. And lately I have been experimenting with performance, to enhance metaphorical relations.

*Sidney Tartaruga (Brazil)

Capoeira workshops will be given by mestre Tartaruga, a Brazilian man with more than 30 years of experience in training his students, both in Brazil and in other parts of the world. Mestre Tartaruga born and raised at the favela of Cantagalo in Rio de Janeiro-Brazil, has great experience in using Capoeira for social inclusion, both in his own community, as well as in other places around the globe. Through his work at the Museu de Favela (MUF), located at the favela communities where he lives, he encourages the diffusion of Capoeira as an art, and the recognition of collective memories from the favela. He is a founding member and the public relations director of MUF. The museum works as a territorial intervention, as it is located in the whole territories of the favelas. Using the houses outside walls as canvas, and passages as white cubes to show the history and resident memories, creating in that way a sense of belonging and reinforcing the added value of cultural manifestations from the favela.

Mestre Tartaruga Capoeira teachings focus in the knowledge that Capoeira contains, both in the movements and in the legacy of the struggle for the rights of black people. He encourages the participant of his workshops to make of the body an instrument of dialogue, for this the creation of an atmosphere of trust is very important. He also focuses on working on flexibility and balance. He uses elements of both Angola and Regional Capoeira schools, and teaches the basic movements and musicality. The workshops will include an introduction to music played for Capoeira and the instruments used for this.

Invited artists:

**Patricia Werneck Ribas (Brazil)

Is an Amsterdam based artist who works with mainly moving and still images. She photographs people, places, and create video installations. Her figurative work is often elusive, but it is never removed from a particular historical moment. It always belongs to and expands on the complexity of memory, time and location.  She takes what is familiar and makes it strange and compelling through creating unexpected juxtapositions and collaging ideas from often very distinct sources. She invites a gaze that is quietly unsettling,  but her work always remains suggestive and elusive.
Questions of ‘identity’ run throughout her work, a word which is always predicated on defining what we are not as a way of thinking through who we are. She sees the artist as someone who is always making decisions that have strong cultural and social ramifications- whether this is explicit in the artwork or not. Her focus is on inviting the viewer to imagine themselves in the place of the other. She disrupts familiar perceptions by investigating how personal narratives connect with wider political and social debates and concerns.
She studied Photography at the Fotoacademie in Amsterdam followed by an Audio Visual Arts degree at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. She has participated in several group exhibitions and screenings in The Netherlands and abroad including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (NL); Museum DE Pont, Tilburg (NL); Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht (NL); Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle (NL); Museum Hilversum (NL); Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam (NL); Reykjavik International Film Festival (IS); National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik (IS); Art Museum of Nanjing University of the Arts (CN); Manifesta, Amsterdam (NL).

Airco Caravan (The Netherlands)

• Conceptual artist, activist and painter, lives and works in Amsterdam and New York, tries to make the world a better place through art.
• Known for

  • A 120 cm high bronze Martin Luther King statue, placed without permission in the Martin Luther King Park, Amsterdam,
  • Monument for Martin Luther King, 50 identical statues of Dr. King, placed in Europe and the US to mark the 50th anniversary of his assassination, April 4th, 2018. - IG @MLKjr50
  • Founder of Nasty Women Amsterdam, two very successful editions of the Nasty Women fundraiser exhibitions (worldwide grass roots movement by female artists, after Trump was elected in 2016);
    ed.1: March 2017, 184 artists from 27 countries, raising €17.000 for women’s rights
    ed.2: December 2019, 235 artists including Marlene Dumas, raising €20.000 for women’s rights
  • ‘Art of What’: solo show made with thousands of silicon fetuses, questioning the pro-life movement using their own tools.
  • ‘Made in China’, a forbidden portrait of the Dalai Lama, illegally painted by 16 Chinese artists in China, symbolizing peace and unity in many ways.

• Group & solo shows and art fairs around the world: Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, London, New York, Lisbon, Vienna, Bristol, Mexico City, Tokyo, Melbourne.
• Studied at HKU, academy of arts in Utrecht (BA) and the Art Students League of New York.

In the project Capoeira Experience the recent developments of the Black Lives Matter movement and Zwarte Piet will be investigated together with the participants in the Visual Arts brainstorming sessions, connecting to Martin Luther King, the civil rights movement in the 60’s and Capoeira. The festival dates are during the Sinterklaasfeest, so it this an extra actual subject.

Arta Balina (Latvia)

Arta Balina art, design and coaching practice is produced with consideration for the wider impact of the work and its reception in relationship to its environments (social, economic, biophysical, emotional and cultural). A sustainable community starts from a personal level – from a happy, healthy and empowered individual who allows their daydreams into their experience through intuition, creativity and adventure. Arta believes that our connection to the physical senses is the gateway to that inner wisdom.