Sunday, July 4, 2010

This Blog Has Been Hijacked!


I hope you don't change the password because of the UNAUTHORISED post. I just read a little of something and thought you might find it interesting.

It's a treatise (yep, 26 pages IS a treatise) on the parallels between the philosophy of capoeira and Nietzchean Will to Power.

Let me say that:
1) you don't have to be a philosophy major to get this, and
2) you don't have to agree with it just because it was (possibly) written by a mestre or because it is in Portuguese. This isn't T.R.U.T.H.; it's just capoeira from someone's perspective, why he thinks he does what he does.

The entire PDF can be found here:

Title: Capoeira: A Philosophy of the Body by Camille Dumoulié

You can convert the text using Google Translate or, if you can understand a little Portuguese, Lingro.

Okay, enough gum-flapping. The part I'd like to share is on page 6.

Segundo plano de resistência : uma poética do espaço.
2. Um espaço de fuga contra o espaço dos blocos.
Na origem do pensamento grego, existe o círculo e a esfera, enclausurados em sua perfeição estática. Na origem da capoeira, existe a roda, esse espaço ritual e circular do qual brotam e se espalham os movimentos giratórios dos corpos que traçam no ar círculos abertos e dinâmicos. Lançados repentinamente, como que de improviso, os gestos parecem seguir as linhas de uma rigorosa geometria da qual hipérboles e arabescos invisíveis atravessam o espaço. Repetem e novamente lançam ao infinito as linhas de fuga traçadas pelos antigos escravos. Na roda, o dançarino encontra-se no centro de linhas de forças que percorrem todos os lugares heterogêneos. A continuidade das linhas de fuga atravessa o espaço quadriculado dos blocos : blocos raciais, sociais, urbanos, sem falar dos imundos « blocos » do pretenso carnaval de Salvador ou dos blockaus de resistência do exército alemão, durante a secunda guerra mundial, que se chamam casamatas
em português.

And this is my translation. Do be forgiving.
The second plan of resistance: a poetics of space.
2. A space of flight against a blocked-up space
In the origin of Greek thought, there exist the circle and the sphere, cloistered in their static perfection. In the origin of capoeira, there exists a roda, this space--ritual and circular--which germinates and reflects the spinning movements of bodies that trace in the air open and dynamic circles. Suddenly released, as if improvised, the gentures seem to follow lines of a rigorous geometry of invisible hyperboles and arabesques across the space. They repeat yet newly trace the infinite lines of flight drawn by the old slaves. In the roda, the dancer meets in the centre of the lines of force that travel all the heterogeneous spaces. A continuity of lines of flight cross the grided blocked space of Greek thought: blocks of race, society, citizenry, not to mention the filthy blocks of pretentious carnaval of Salvador or of the blockades of resistance of the German army during the Second World War that is called 'casamatas' in Portuguese.

"Wha...?" Some of you might be thinking. I'm pretty sure the poetry is inherent in the text, and not through some bastardisation through my translation. But you'll just have to take my word for it. :D

It seems like the (wo)man is making for a point that African (Brazilian) philosophy is not written in text (like Greek/Western thought), but is written in the bodies of its practitioners, and it offers a new way of understanding space, one that, contrary to the static immutability of Greek (i.e. 'White') space, is dynamic and alive.

"Huh?" you say? "Bro, I just want to play capoeira." Well then, please read the next post, friend!

Crouching capoeirista, hidden rasteira

1 comment:

Bambu said...

I love love love all these philosophy talk, give my mind a good workout hahahaha