Festival Events

AfroBrazilFest 2011 is a week-long event from June 6 -12 in Washington, DC. The events below are subject to change at any time.

Documentary Film Fest — Monday, June 6

Documentary Film Fest

Event Time: Monday, June 6 - 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Event Venue: Howard University/L. K. Downing Hall Auditorium

Event Price: Free

Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ilê Aiyê follows three women competing to be the carnival queen of Queen of Ilê Aiyê, a prominent and controversial Afro-Brazilian group with an all-black membership. The selection is based on Afro-centric notions of beauty, in counterpoint to prevailing standards of beauty in Brazil, a country famous for slim supermodels and plastic surgery. Contestants for the title of "Ebony Goddess" dress in flowing African-style garments, gracefully performing traditional Afro-Brazilian dances to songs praising the beauty of black women.

Maestrina da Favela documents a girl and her mission to liberate children from a life of drugs, violence and poverty. Filmed in the Rocinha slum in Brazil’s capital of happiness, Salvador, Bahia, with sounds from Africa a teenage girl beats empowerment into youth through drums. 

Following the screenings join us for a panel discussion on Afro-Brazilian identity and the notion of Brazil as a "racial democracy." The discussion will be moderated by public scholar and cultural activist Dr. Gisele-Audrey Mills. The panelists include Dr. Ana Lucia Araujo, Ana Luiza Flauzina, Mirian Silva, and Tonho Materia. Maestrina da Favela filmmaker Falani Afrika will be answering questions about the film.

Opening Celebration — Tuesday, June 7

Opening Celebration

Event Time: Tuesday, June 7 - 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Event Venue: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

Event Price: Free

Don't miss this opportunity to learn about the African roots of Brazilian culture.  Receive a good luck bracelet or fichinha do Bom Fim from a Baiana; see a capoeira roda with Capoeira masters from Bahia, Brazil; swing your hips to the hypnotic Afro-Brazilian rhythm, and learn the difference between Maculele and Maracatu.

The opening celebration kicks off the festival with Capoeira, Maculele, Afro-Brazilian dance, and Samba Reggae performances by Capoeira Malês DC, Samba performances by Sambart Entertainment, West African music and dance by Baba M, and Maracatu percussion by Maracatu de Baque do Mangue.

Culinary Tasting & Afro-Brazilian Drumming Performance — Friday, June 10

Culinary Tasting & Afro-Brazilian Drumming Performance

Event Time: Friday, June 10 - 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Event Venue: Josephine Butler Parks Center

Event Price: This event is FREE and open to the public.

You're invited to a complimentary culinary tasting and demonstration. Sample crispy mandioca frita and chocolatey brigadeiros and learn how to make nonalcoholic caipirinhas.

Batala, an all-female samba-reggae band, will entertain you with rhythms typical of the northeastern region of Brazil. The heavily syncopated music is rooted in traditional African drumming, and is accented with a heavy dose of Brazilian samba.

Afro-Brazilian Arts & Cultural Heritage Workshops — Saturday, June 11

Event Time: Saturday, June 11 - 10:00 am - 5:30 pm

Venue: The Capoeira Spot

Event Price: Introductory workshops are FREE


10:00-11:00  Intro Kids Capoeira Workshop  (FREE)

11:00-12:00  Intermediate/Advanced Youth Capoeira Workshop  ($5)

12:15-1:15  Intro Adult Capoeira Workshop  (FREE)

1:30-3:00  Samba/Afro-Brazilian Dance and Percussion Workshop  ($10) 

3:15-4:15  Intermediate/Advanced Capoeira and Maculele Workshop for Capoeiristas  ($10)

4:15-5:30  Capoeira Roda  ($10) 


All workshops are taught by Mestre Tonho Materia and Mestre Amen.

Closing Celebration — Sunday, June 12

Closing Celebration

Event Time: Sunday, June 12 - 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Event Venue: Columbia Heights Civic Plaza

Event Price: Free

The festival will conclude with a Capoeira roda, Maculele, Afro-Brazilian dance, and Samba Reggae performances by Capoeira Malês DC, Samba Regga percussion performance by Samba Trovao, Samba performances by Sambart Entertainment, Maracatu percussion by Maracatu de Baque do Mangue, and Brazilian fire dancing by Oju Oba Performers.