Monday, November 15, 2010


November is Black Awareness month in Brazil. The official day is November 20th but things got started early in Rio Branco with a very special visit from Fanta Konatê, Guinean singer/dancer and daughter of Master Djembefola Famoudou Konatê and her partner and music therapist Luis Kinugawa.


In addition to three performances of Fanta's remarkable troupe there were two workshops. The one at the elementary school Clínio Brandão (above video) liberated many magical moments when the powerfully free "kid energies" were unleashed and everyone from the students to the school principal was drawn into this extraordinary celebration of the vitality of life.

Actually, it was a conjunction of two very special energies. The Clínio Brandão school has won many awards for excellence in education. It began as a working class school that served the worker families and the rural poor at the edge of town across the road from the brick factory and now, many years later, it has retained a similar demographic.



One of the most interesting stories occurred some years back when the school system proposed to cut cut down the trees planted inside the school compound to create a soccer field (a must have in Brazil).


But the students and teachers resisted saying that they wanted their little "forest" more than an athletic field and they prevailed.

Here are more pics of the school and the workshop:

Nowadays, Fanta and Luis travel widely in Brazil and abroad promoting their special dream of building the Manden Cultural Development Center in Guinea. Check it out. It sounds like a beautiful project.

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