This project comes from a combination of three important areas of my life:  studies, Capoeira and community development.  It forms a part of a course in Community Planning, Engagement and Governance that I am currently studying at the University of Queensland and also ties in with my Capoeira practice and with the community sector, where I now work.

The inspiration behind this project I owe almost entirely to two separate events.  The first was a Community Planning, Engagement and Governance workshop held in March where I was first introduced to systems theory and the macro-history of western scientific thought (it’s a mouthful and I am yet to post about this, but I will get there!) These theories suggested to me that  we can enhance our understanding of the world by looking holistically at how things work together, rather than analysing ever-smaller components in isolation of the whole.

To test these theories out, I let go of my tendency to break things down and look inside me for inspiration.  Instead, I looked outward to the communities in which I am already a part.  I had a think about the knowledge and tools I have and the networks within which I conduct my life – what systems are involved?  How do these fit together? …And if the health of a system depends on the strength and number of connections between its parts,  what meaningful action can I take to build stronger communities?

The second event was a conversation I had with Contra Mestre Eurico following Capoeira training one week.  This helped me put it all together.  We talked about how the practice of Capoeira invites us to engage with each other in a way that is quite unique from other recreational activities.  We also talked about how this may be relevant to the work of community development practitioners – and that’s when the idea of connecting the two communities came to life in my mind.

So my objective is simply to start with my own communities before looking to create change ‘out there’.  For me, this means building stronger connections between Capoeiristas, students and practitioners with an interest in community development.  It is my hope that we can then, as a combined group, strengthen the number and quality of connections formed amongst marginalised populations with whom we  share our city and live our lives.

  1. Paula
    May 6, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Hi Jenelle – I felt I had to leave a comment on your blog, I’m so excited by what you’ve written! Your observations are so accurate, we (or at least I) do compartmentalise my life- what a fabulous concept you have picked up on by simply combining all your interests with a community driven focus. I am looking forward to reading more and truly appreciate the honesty that is evident in your writing. Thank-you so much for sharing, Yaaaay for you !!!!

    • May 8, 2010 at 12:37 am

      Aw…thanks, Paula! You’re awesome! And encouraging 🙂

  2. May 12, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Wow! I’m impressed. It’s so nicely organised and structured, not too mention a great explanation of why your doing your project and for whom you hope the blogs focus will be aimed towards! I hope to get back and check out more! Good Job! 🙂

    • May 12, 2010 at 11:42 pm

      Hi Alex, Great to receive your feedback – I was just deliberating over writing styles/content/audience in my post tonight too!

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