Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Kanthie Athukorala


This research paper explores the current use of Capoeira Angola as an outreach and development tool in the communities of the periferia within Salvador, Brazil. Specifically, this project was conducted in order to first survey the means by which this Afro-Brazilian martial art has been employed and further to assess the impact that these programs have had in instilling a sense of personal empowerment and/or community engagement within their students. Finally, it examines the attributes of contemporary Capoeira Angola and inquires as to how they play a role in the development of these results. Research was undertaken through a series of interviews with senior practitioners of Capoeira Angola, other martial artists who engage with students in these programs, and former students who are currently employed within partnered community development programs.

Emergent from the research was an observation of a multi-faceted approach to working with participants, in addition to relating the movement, music, history, and philosophical underpinnings of Capoeira Angola. Each program examined offered, in its own fashion, a form of mentorship, education, sharing of values, and cultural exchange. As a result, these grassroots programs have made some degree of impact on the self-identity of the students and has provoked some measure of change in their values and behavior.


Civic and Community Engagement | Social Psychology and Interaction


Image Location