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Amazon Diary

Dan Baron is a performance educator, living in the Amazonian afro-indigenous community of Cabelo Seco, Pará. After doctoral research into ‘theatre as education’ at Oxford University, Dan began his ‘transformance’ project in Manchester, moving to Derry in 1988, to the Rhondda in 1994. and, in 1998, to Brazil. Collaborations with at-risk landless, indigenous, trade union and school communities, generated collective performances, murals, sculptures, and in 2008, the Amazonian Rivers of Meeting project. In 2012, Dan co-founded its Community University of the Rivers with the AfroRaiz Collective. As Chair of the World Alliance for Arts Education (2006-10), and member of the World Social Forum international council, Dan advocated arts education for sustainable futures. Dan publications include ‘Theatre of Self-Determination’ (Derry, 2001), ‘Cultural Literacy’ (São Paulo, 2004), ‘Harvest in Times of Drought’ (Marabá, 2011), and numerous essays.

Dan Baron Cohen and Manoela Souza first collaborated with the Pataxó People in Coroa Vermelha, Porto Seguro, South-East Bahia, in 2000, to build a monument to the 'Other 500 Years', to question the celebration of the 'Discovery of Brazil', by the then Brazilian government led by Fernando Cardoso Henrique. The monument in construction...
Record The youth stares at his imprisoned canoe a bleached skeleton in the cracked earth. Intuitively, he plants his feet on the arrowhead of earth where the Rivers Tocantins and Itacaiúnas meet and slowly, with shame, presses...
Rios de Encontro, the eco-cultural and social education Project, based in the community of Cabelo Seco, Marabá, since 2008, is in quarantine. Dozens of children and young people have been asking the coordinators since the beginning of March, when the Owl Cinema, the Leaves of Life Library, the Rabetas Audiovisual courses and the AfroMundo dance company...
At the end of their European tour of Belgium, Germany, Austria and Poland, performance troupe AfroRaiz return to their home city of Marabá, Pará, at the confluence of the Amazon rivers Itacaiúnas and Tocantins. Based in the poor neighbourhood of Cabelo Seco, AfroRaiz are part of Rios de Encontro (Rivers of Meeting), a community...
Rios de Encontro presents the origins and eco-cultural vision of the AfroRaiz Collective of young afro-indigenous performance-educators from the Brazilian Amazonian fishing community of Cabelo Seco. We advocate a sustainable future through powerful dance and percussion! Dance collective Rios de Encontro sets out in 10...
Folks, I live in Porto de Moz, Pará, on the Xingu river. We’re in the middle of Amazonia, and you have no idea what’s going on here. The press is focussing on the question of the fires, but that’s just one of the things that’s happening. It’s horrendous to realize that it’s much, much worse. Since...
Letter No 2 from Elisa Dias, Cabelo Seco, Marabá, 13 June 2019 Dear Friends, My experience in Belgium was really extraordinary.  We learned so much in just a few days. I’m gradually getting used to meeting a new organizing team twice a day, so my experience in Germany pushed me...
Letter from Elisa. Rios de Encontro. 4 June 2019 Dear Friends, When I was leaving Marabá, I realised I was entering on a new phase of my life, one which I'd always fought to reach. It’s not just through the knowledge I've gained thanks to the hard work I've put...

Brazil on the threshold

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‘Remember Germany, 1934,’ my moderate brother advises, ‘and be explicit’. For forty years, I have written from the threshold between resistance and liberation. I never imagined we would live on the threshold between ‘the least worse’ and fascism. My eyes brim with tears. I don’t want to leave the House of Rivers. ‘In times of fake news and seamless...
This is the second of three Letters from the Amazon, written in recent weeks by LAB collaborator Dan Baron Cohen. Further letters will be published in the next few months. You can see them all here. Cabelo Seco, Marabá. 2 October 2018. The motorcycle-taxi slows to a halt beside me on the Trans-Amazonia highway, in front of the Headquarters of...

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