Korea Amazon Encounter 2017

October 23rd through 27th, Conviva Brazil is helping organize the Korea Amazon Encounter 2017 to promote a greater understanding of the challenges facing the Amazon Forest and its peoples.

Featured are two extraordinary figures in Amazonian society today. João Meirelles, author, environmentalist and director of the Instituto Peabiru, is one of the leading local organizations working in defense of the Amazon Forest and its peoples. Mestre Laíca is a master of the Afro-Brazilian martial art/dance capoeira, community leader and grass roots activist fighting for the rights of the poor and people of color in Brazil.

With decades of first-hand experience and 18 books published on the subject, as well as a collection of original Amazonian short stories that won him the prestigious SESC National Prize in Literature in 2017, João Meirelles is widely considered one of the most knowledgeable experts on the Amazon anywhere. His part of the talk will address the global threats to climate change in the Amazon context from a macro-perspective, suggesting alternative paths to greater sustainability.

Mestre Laíca, founder of the Zambo Capoeira Group and president of the Capoeira Federation of the State of Pará, will offer a more bottom-up point of view as he discusses his inspiring work helping children and young people come together through capoeira to rise above the conditions of poverty around them.

We thank the support of the SNU Department of Hispanic Language and Literature, faculty from other departments in Humanities, Natural Science and Social Science, the Brazilian Cultural Center in Korea, the Brazilian Embassy in Seoul, the Korea Foundation, the SNU Institute of Latin American Studies (SNUILAS), the SNU Faculty of Humanities and our other friends and contacts in and around Seoul and in Brazil.

Events, listed below, will be held on the campus of Seoul National University (SNU) and at the downtown Seoul headquarters of the Korea Foundation.

Korean Amazon Encounter 2017

(All events open to public)

-Wednesday, 25 October:

“Korea Amazon Encounter 2017: Education and Environment”

Double-lecture by João Meirelles and Mestre Laíca


Korea Foundation

Mirae Asset CENTER 1 Building West Tower,

67 Suha-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul

Seminar Room, 19th Fl. (세미나실)


-Thursday, 26 October:

“Amazon, Forest and Folk: Climate Change and Global Challenges”

Double-lecture by João Meirelles and Mestre Laíca


Seoul National University

Building 4, Room 309 (Shinyang)


-Friday, 27 October:

João Meirelles screens documentary film Letras que Flutuam (Director Fernanda Martins, 2016).


Seoul National University

Building 4, Room 301 (Shinyang)


-Capoeira Workshop by Mestre Laíca


Seoul National Univesity

Building 4, Room 309 (Shinyang)


(Note: for information on class visits and informal gatherings, please write contact@convivabrazil.org or visit our FaceBook page)



Rocinha Favela Video 1

Note: In solidarity with the people of the favela of Rocinha, in Rio de Janeiro, in the face of the recent violence there, we are posting two videos about the strong sense of community there.

Rocinha: At Home on the Big Hill (Rocinha: Em Casa No Morrão)

Shot on location in Brazil, this documentary explores a favela, or squatter town, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the students of the Two Brothers Foundation (an ONG working with education, community service, and international exchange) who live there. Although the film does not ignore the highly publicized problems of violence and poverty associated with Rio’s favelas, it attempts to avoid the sensationalist tendencies of many representations of favelas in contemporary television and film, highlighting instead more positive aspects of the everyday lives of their residents. The films features vignettes of three young people who live in Rocinha, Sarah (11), Philipe (14) and Joana (18), who discuss their daily lives and their goals and dreams. (30 minutes, in Portuguese with English subtitles)

Rocinha Favela Video 2

Note: In solidarity with the people of the favela of Rocinha, in Rio de Janeiro, in the face of the recent violence there, we are posting two videos about the strong sense of community there. 

Titled “Atalhos e Encontros,” or “Pathways and Encounters” (2012), this film was shot on location in Brazil. It explores informal education in the favela, or squatter town, of Rocinha, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, suggesting connections between social transformation and personal empowerment in “community encounters” in the daily life of the favela. The encounters highlighted include: training circles of the Afro-Brazilian musical martial art capoeira, AA meetings and Pentecostal worship services. This film has come about as collaborative projects involving community members and my students and colleagues at San Diego State University and the University of Kansas.(22 min., in Portuguese with English subtitles)

Conviva Brazil stands with Rio’s Rocinha Favela

Rocinha Invasion 2017

(Photo by Nino Mason, September 2017)

We of Conviva Brazil are keeping our friends in Rocinha in our thoughts and prayers. Rocinha is an incredible community with so many loving, wise people living there of all ages. We are saddened by this new violent episode in the life of the community there. For an article about this new violence in Rocinha, please see The Guardian:

“Brazil’s army returns to Rio favela amid clashes between gangs and police”

“Army heads to Rocinha favela in Rio de Janeiro after schools, businesses and a major road closed during fighting between drug gang members and police.” Read more.