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Ken Dossar

Founder of Mandinga LLC

Dr. Ken Dossar is a cultural historian well-known for working for social change and community enrichment through writing, lecturing, producing, and teaching courses on Brazil and Afro-Atlantic culture.

During his lengthly tenure as a cultural leader in Philadelphia and Bahia, he has collaborated with leading international and national cultural organizations such as the Center for African and Asian Studies in Bahia, Dance Brazil, the Caribbean Culture Center in New York City, the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, and National Public Radio in producing public events highlighting Afro-Brazilian aesthetics, cultural arts, history, and contemporary issues. 


In 1984 with the Bahian Tourism Agency, and the State of Bahia, he produced Philadelphia’s first BAHIA WEEK. As a member of the Pennsylvania/Bahia Partners of the Americas, Dr. Dossar represented Philadelphia and the State of Pennsylvania on numerous cultural delegations and exchanges with Bahia. He continues to work closely with the City of Philadelphia and Bahia's Center for Studies and Strategy in International Relations to support cooperative projects.

Professor Dossar is one of his generation’s intellectual pioneers in exploring Bantu aesthetics in Bahia. His research on Central African culture in Bahia opened new discussions of capoeira the Afro-Brazilian martial art. 

Ken Dossar's photographs of Salvador, Bahia ar featured in the 2017 publication BAT~ Bridging Art + Text. He participated in solo and group photographic exhibitions at Philadelphia's Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute in New York, Taller  Puertorriqueño, and the African American Museum in Philadelphia showcasing his “Spiritual Mothers of Bahia” series. His photos of  capoeira angola appear on the Smithsonian CD Capoeira, and in John Lewis’ book: Ring of Liberation.  Ken Dossar was a music consultant in 2013 for National Public Radio's World Cafe exploration of  - The Roots of Samba; and for seven years produced and hosted the popular program of Afro-Atlantic music -- Under One Sun for Temple University radio station WRTI.


Professor Dossar directed the Temple University Education Abroad Program he created in Salvador.  During the study away program, students from Temple and other universities researched Afro-Brazilian history and music with him. 

With his many years experience in Brazil, Professor Dossar creates and coordinates uniquely rich cultural exchanges and tours in Bahia for a wide range of educational institutions, organizations, groups, and individuals. These experiences provide in-depth and intimate contact with the full spectrum of Afro-Brazilian history, culture, and traditions.



In 2015, Dr. Dossar established MANDINGA, llc,  an international educational and cultural network that realizes innovative public programs that explore and celebrate the cultural history and traditions connecting Afro-Atlantic communities. In addition to its public programs, MANDINGA creates and coordinates uniquely rich cultural exchanges and study tours in Bahia. These experiences provide in-depth and intimate contact with contemporary Afro-Brazilian cultural artists, educators, community activists and traditional leaders.

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