Dan Baron Cohen & Manoela Souza

Check the full bio of our wonderful Brave Kids group leaders from Amazon, Brazil.


Dan Baron Cohen is a community arts educator and eco-cultural activist of Welsh-Quebecois origin, living in Marabá City, Pará, Amazonia, Brazil. After completing doctoral research in Oxford University, Dan collaborated with young people and their post-industrial communities at risk in northern England and South Wales, and with conflicted communities in the North of Ireland. In 1998, a visiting professorship launched collaborations with landless, indigenous, trade-union and university communities across Brazil. He has dedicated his past 21 years to developing a ‘transformance pedagogy’ (sustainable transformation through performance), in collaboration with relevant networks in Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Europe. Since 2004, Dan has applied ‘transformance’ techniques to develop community policing, teacher education, community medicinal gardens, solar powered media and to nurture a new paradigm of integrated education through performance. Between 2001-12, Dan contributed to the Latin America Network of Arts for Transformation and the International Council of the World Social Forum. Between 2004-10, Dan was President of the International Drama-Education Association (IDEA), co-founding/chairing the World Alliance for Arts Education (2006-10), collaborating with UNESCO, and co-founding the Brazilian Network of Arteducators. Today, Dan prioritizes a 10-year paradigm project in the Afro-Indigenous community of Cabelo Seco, which has won national and international awards for nurturing youth collectives whose artistic-cultural leadership builds sustainable community. Dan has published essays, poems and the books: Theatre of Self-Determination (Derry, 2001), Alfabetização Cultural (São Paulo, 2004), Harvest in Times of Drought (Belem, 2011).

Manoela Souza is a community arts educator and eco-cultural activist, born in Santa Catarina state, south of Brazil, living todays in Marabá City, Amazonia, with Dan Baron Cohen since 2008. In 2000, she graduated in theatre education at the State University of Santa Catarina. She has been working with landless, indigenous, trade union and university communities in Brazil since 1998, in collaboration with Dan Baron Cohen, and has given dance-narrative workshops throughout Europe, Latin America, South East Asia and the Pacific region. As a co-founder and national coordinator of the Transformance Institute, has responsibility for the training of the youth coordinators of the Rivers of Meeting project, its medicinal gardens, library, and solar energy projects, in addition to its national Good Living Forums. Manoela is a founder-coordinator of ABRA, the Brazilian Network of Arteducators and was its President from 2006-2009. From 2007-2010, she was the International Coordinator of IDEA 2010, the International Drama/Theatre and Education Association World Congress. She has produced two books: Alfabetização Cultural: a luta íntima por uma nova humanidade (São Paulo, 2004), and Harvest in Times of Hope: cultivating pedagogies of life for sustainable communities (Belém, 2011), and co-authored bilingual articles and pedagogical calendars with Dan Baron Cohen.

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