In a city shaken by war, the music and moves of capoeira are giving boys and girls a structure they can once again feel at home in–and pour joy into.
Bidna Capoeira, a grassroots initiative to bring the dance-like Brazilian martial art to the masses, is helping local and displaced children in Raqqa hone their play skills. One game that captivated kids involved listening to how their own voices changed when they smiled. And more and more children–at least half of them girls–are smiling as they learn to perform capoeira’s low, acrobatic moves.
The music that accompanies them also seems to dispel the mental “scatteredness” that their trainer, a refugee named Pulo de Gato, or “jump of a cat”, noticed in many of the children: a probably consequence of having lived through severe physical and emotional dislocation. But now, thanks to Gato’s dedication, instead of sitting through dread, his students are counting the hours until they can gather to sing and dance again.
For more info – Bidna Capoeira’s website