One of the first assignments I had to write during my bachelor in anthropology was an ethnographic exercise. We had to choose a certain community or group of people and write about different social aspects of that group. At the time, I had practiced capoeira for about three months and as my interest and curiosity for capoeira was already growing, I chose to look at my capoeira group for this assignment. Admittedly, looking back at this essay I feel slightly humored for the somewhat naive work I produced. Then again, after studying anthropology for just a few months, and having just gotten a taste of capoeira, I wrote all that I could write at the time.
A few years later I find myself in a slightly different position. First of all I can say that I have a signed piece of paper stating I am a Bachelor of anthropology. I also have a colored cord I wear with my capoeira clothes that symbolizes my few years of experience within capoeira. Above this, I have found myself in São Paulo – Brazil, studying capoeira in its urban context to complete my Masters. Though I am still in the process of learning both anthropology and capoeira, I hope to be able to produce something slightly more profound than that first essay I wrote a few years back. As I am one month into my fieldwork at the moment, I wish to share some of my experiences and thoughts from the field through this blog.
I have found the capoeira community to be a very reciprocal one: meaning that capoeiristas (capoeira practitioners) are always supporting each other by sharing friendship, help or knowledge. Because of this I wish to try and share some of my experiences during my fieldwork to show my appreciations for this community. Having said this, I would like to add that I will be sharing my personal experience and vision of capoeira through the eyes of an aspiring anthropologist. Unlike my thesis, I intend to write about specific themes, experiences, or anecdotes from the field rather than producing an academic work.
This is it for now. You will hear from me soon with more talk about capoeira.