Popular festivals held during Carnival are typical celebrations that underscore the importance of cultural diversity in each of the regions of Brazil. Given the social relevance of this date, the program School Creatives, of Alana Institute, presents seven transformative projects for elementary and high school students that promote cultural appreciation of the city where they live.
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The cultural value of Carnival
One of these initiatives was led by a group of students from the High School of Mayor Dário Campos Feijó, from Martinópole (CE), who, upon realizing an increasing devaluation of Brazilian folk culture in his region, created the project that received an honorable mention in the 5th edition of the School’s Creative Challenge in 2019.
It all started when the teacher proposed to the boys and girls to carry out a project with the objective of providing cultural practice, using interpersonal empathy with the cultural celebration of Bumba meu Boi. Students researched the theme in several books, such as and, in Darcy Ribeiro, and also in related articles and festivals in Parintins, Maranhão and Ceará. They also conducted interviews with dance practitioners in the cities of Martinópole and Granja (CE).
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After the research, the students realized the importance of art for the city in which they live. They put together theoretical material on the culture of Bumba meu Boi and also a play on the theme, which was presented to the population of the municipality, schools and councilors at the Municipality of Martinópole. For the project’s authors, the main legacy of this experience was the possibility of spreading the culture of Ceará where they live.
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In addition to this initiative, the program lists six more cases starring children and young people that address the appreciation of culture and that were also highlighted in the School’s Creative Challenge awards:
Coletivo Erês – Messengers of the Winds
Collective was created by a teacher and students from Belo Horizonte (MG) to discuss and research issues related to race and gender through performances and the various artistic currents. The group is mostly black and from the periphery. And, from the meetings, self-knowledge, identity, self-valorization, identification with art, with culture and also among the members of the collective are strengthened.
The School and the Forró
It is in the culture that one learns: students from the Luiz Navarro de Brito Jequié State College, in the municipality of Jequié (BA), promote the rescue of culture through the forró de Julião, a local forró that used to happen and was part of the history of the community.
The students understand that “forró is the most present mirror of what is meant by northeastern culture”. They conducted interviews with residents to understand the impact that dance style has had on the locality for years. After research, they decided to reproduce Julião’s forró at school.
Rescue and Enhancement of our cultural heritage
The cowboy, hero of the sertão: students from the Antônio Honorato State Educational Center, in the municipality of Casa Nova (BA), decided to research the culture involving the region’s cowboys, who were called “heroes of the sertão”.
They visited several parties: vaquejadas, oxen’s handle, horseback riding, cowboy mass, among others. On these opportunities, they talked to several cowboys to better understand this identity and cultural heritage in the region.
Awareness, color and art
Racist practices, denial of identity and ignorance of black origins mobilized young people from the Quilombolas Livramento and Águas Claras Associations in Triunfo (PE), to act on this reality.
The students produced a documentary about the local culture and disseminated the learning of coconut dancing. The project strengthened students who became proud of their color and identity, as well as becoming multipliers of black history and culture.
Urban Art Revolution (RUA):
Girls and boys from the community of Santa Margarida, west of Rio de Janeiro (RJ), have used art to resignify spaces and also their lives. The collective was created in December 2013 and performs cultural activities on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro such as festivals, workshops and presentations.
Quilombo dos Anjos Dance Group
To enhance the quilombola culture, students from the community’s Colégio Batista Antônio Batista, in Candiba (BA), created a dance group of African rhythms. They use Afro-Brazilian rhythms so that children start to be interested and learn more about their culture. The Quilombola Community Lagoa dos Anjos is an important territory of resistance and preservation of Afro-Brazilian culture.