Lourival Fernando Alves Leite – better known as Mestre Pop – is a self-taught professional recognized for more than thirty years of work in the field of arts, culture and social projects on the island of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. He has developed numerous projects, taught courses, lectures, and workshops in cities throughout Brazil and also in New Zealand and Portugal. He is a Capoeira master and social educator, aside from also performing work in various other areas of knowledge.
Within the Capoeira industry, the Mestre contributed highly towards the dissemination of this art. He pioneered the teaching of Capoeira in Florianopolis at the end of the seventies. Mestre Pop developed, directed and acted in the show “Charms Mil Brazil”, the company’s artistic Zumba-ou-Brazil, portraying manifestations of culture as African-Brazilian Capoeira Angola and Capoeira regional, maculelê, samba de roda with performances in several cities in Santa Catarina. He also performed for two years in a project called “Zumbalaeaká”, a cultural event whose purpose was to bring together the most diverse artistes and forms of cultural expression such as music concerts, theatrical performances, poetry recitals, art and craft fairs and others.
Another project called “Roda of the 1000 Capoeiristas” was also developed in Florianópolis. Roda of the 1000 Capoeiristas acted as a free space for various rodas of Capoeira whilst respecting the differences of groups and styles, with specific rodas for only women, only children, only Angola or regional rodas, as well as mixed rodas. It was meant as a space to express the art of Capoeira. Mestre Pop also carried out projects through the Confraternity of Santa Catarina Capoeira, in which he currently holds the position of Director of Culture, and participates in programs by other institutions such as the Cultural Association Quilombo Capoeira Angola and AÚ Capoeira School itself – where he is a teacher and director, extending work beyond the realm of Capoeira to also include teachings of African-Brazilian culture as a whole.
For nearly two years, Mestre Pop participated in Group Turns Theatre, where he developed the framework of the monologue in the play “Berimbau Fragments Catarinenses”, premiering in April 2009 at the 4th Colloquium Lusofonia on the island of Sao Miguel, Azores Archipelago (Portugal) and most recently starred in a number of Island Pictures, premièred at the 5th Colloquium Lusofonia in Florianopolis. He also had a stake in the fight scenes in the short film to November, Eduardo Paredes.
Outside of Capoeira, Mestre Pop is a master craftsman in leather, having worked for many years of his life producing footwear, accessories, and decorative objects. He also actively serves in the area of environment, and was Project Coordinator for Orchard Floripa, Florida – Municipal Environment Foundation, where in addition to coordinating several projects, he taught courses and lectures on reforestation, rehabilitation of degraded areas and the importance of riparian among others. He was also running for State Representative for PSOL – the Socialist and Freedom Party in the 2006 elections, and for many years was the Coordinator of the Rational Culture in Florianopolis. Currently, in addition to his many other duties, Mestre Pop is a member of the Municipal Council for Culture and the Town Chairman.
These are just mere highlights of the prolific life and achievements of Mestre Pop, for to list them all would require a book to be written. In all these activities, Mestre Pop remains committed to his social work, where he continues to develop educational activities in countless projects aimed at working with children and adolescents with low family income, taking this as a priority in their personal and professional lives.