"Dame dame dame, que te voy a dar ... una guayabita de mi guayabal."


Cultura Afrolatina en Londres/Afro-Latin Culture in London

Un evento super-interesante en Londres para celebrar las culturas afrolatinas. Habrán conciertos, talleres, exhibiciones, y charlas académicas. Entre los que están programados para los eventos del festival están el profesor Peter Wade, el músico guapireño Emeris Solís (hermano de la reconocida cantadora Benigna), el activista y cultor afrovenezolano Chucho García, y mi persona. Están todos invitados. Detalles del evento están abajo.

A very interesting event in London to celebrate Afro-Latin culture. There will be concerts, workshops, exhibitions, and academic talks. Among the events will be presentations by Dr. Peter Wade (author of Music, Race, and Nation, among other brilliant works), Afro-Pacific musician Emeris Solís, the Afro-Venezuelan activist and author Chucho García, and myself. If you're in London, stop by. Details of the event are below.

C I M A R R ó N!
A Celebration of the African Cultural Legacy in Latin America
11th to 23rd FEBRUARY 2008 FREE EVENT
www.cimarronfestival.com / info@cimarronfestival.com

Last year saw important celebrations of the bi-centenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade in the English-speaking world. Our event has been designed to address such a historical occasion from a Latin American perspective, by highlighting and celebrating the African cultural legacy in Latin America.

Latin America is the synthesis of various peoples, races and cultures merged together into one, after a painful and inhumane process brought about by the colonization of the so-called New World with the transportation and enslavement of Africans as well as the Indigenous peoples. Latin American countries with their unique syncretistic culture have come to realize their true identity. Africa has undoubtedly played an important, vital, but often overlooked and forgotten role.

Africa’s influence is ever present in the cultural make up of Latin America. The ‘cimarrón’ or runaway African slave symbolizes for us the free and live spirit of Africa in Latin America, hence the name for our event where we will pay homage to its cultural legacy. It is their contribution, together with the Amerindian and European that make Latin America so special and unique.

CIMARRON! will take place on the 11th to 23rd February 2008 in Canning House, Bolivar Hall, Conway Hall, SOAS University and other smaller venues across London, this will be a free for all special event that will celebrate the African cultural legacy in Latin America, through music, dance, art, film, ethnicity and culture as a whole. The event will feature:

- Cultural lectures by renowned academics, such as Peter Wade (Manchester University), Matthias Rohrig Assuncao (Essex University), Alessandra Basso Ortiz (UCL, London), Michael Birenbaum (New York University), Jesus Garcia (Venezuela)

- Music and dance workshops by renowned UK based Latin musicians and dance specialists: Bosco de Oliveira (Brazil), Emeris Solis (Colombia), Wilmer Sifontes (Venezuela), Jim Le Mesurier (Britain), Flavia Chevez (Peru), Lazaro Lopez (Cuba), Miriam Ojeda (Colombia), Yuli Fuentes (Vasallos del Sol – Venezuela)

- Films and videos

- Photographic exhibitions: Lenin Arvelo (Venezuela) about the ritual of mask making and the importance of the devil in the traditional celebrations of ‘Los Diablos Danzantes de Yare’ in Miranda State, Venezuela; Iona Hogendoorn’s work (Holland) pays homage to the courage of an Afro-Colombian peace community in the rainforest near the Pacific coast, ‘La Comunidad de Paz de Cacarica’

- Music and dance performances by various Latin American artists and community groups representing different countries

CIMARRON! is organized by Bambuco Dance Project, Ola Latina and PercuDance and is funded and sponsored by Awards for All and Festival Encuentro Latino, with support from Canning House, Bolivar Hall and SOAS University.

For more information, please contact:
Luz Elena Caicedo , luzesabroso@yahoo.es / +44 (0)7956 495 179
Leoncio Caicedo, info@olalatina.co.uk / +44 (0)7950 507 798



11th Feb Canning House 6.30pm – Lecture and discussion
‘Music, Race and Nation in Colombia: Musica Tropical in Colombia’ Peter Wade, Manchester University

Long a favorite on dance floors in Latin America, the porro, cumbia, and vallenato styles that make up Colombia's música tropical are now enjoying international success. How did this music-which has
its roots in a black, marginal region of the country-manage, from the 1940s onward, to become so popular in a nation that had prided itself on its white heritage? Peter Wade explores the history of música tropical, analyzing its rise in the context of the development of the broadcast media, rapid urbanization, and regional struggles for power.

Using archival sources and oral histories, Wade shows how big band renditions of cumbia and porro in the 1940s and 1950s suggested both old traditions and new liberties, especially for women, speaking to a deeply rooted image of black music as sensuous. Recently, nostalgic, "whitened" versions of música tropical have gained popularity as part of government-sponsored multiculturalism.

Photographic Exhibition: ‘The Colours of Cacarica’ Iona Hogendoorn
From 11th Feb to 16th Feb Canning House Library. Times: 2pm – 6pm on following days

Iona Hogendoorn’s exhibition pays homage to the courage of an Afro-Colombian peace community in their struggle for survival amid the violence they experience regularly in the rainforest, near the Pacific coast. Cacarica, designated a Peace Community, is situated exactly in the spot where they plan to complete the Pan-American Highway, this and other mega-projects: an inter-oceanic canal, wood, palm oil (bio-diesel), make this a very valuable stretch of land for various powerful groups, including the National Army, who fight over its control and ownership.

12th Feb Canning House 6.30pm – Book Launch, lecture and discussion
’Los Ganga en Cuba’ Alessandra Basso Ortiz, UCL

The Ganga Longoba is a kin related community of African descent settled in the town of Perico, in thecounty of Matanzas in Cuba. They practice a religion that in many aspects resembles other Afro-Cuban religions but which they claim to be idiosyncratic. Alessandra Basso Ortiz, examines how religious tradition and group identity were forged among the Ganga Longoba, and what enabled an ethnogenic process to take place.

8pm VIDEO: ‘Esclavo, Cimarron y Guerrero’ Cuba 2000, Spanish (no sub-titles) 27 minutes, Ernesto Daranas & Rolando Almirante (Canning House)

The story of Esteban Montejo the last cimarron in Cuba, 103 years old in 1963 started recounting his life to Cuban writer Miguel Barnet, how he was brought from Africa as a slave, how he ran away and lived as a ‘cimarron’ and later was part of the Cuban liberating Mambi Army.

13th Feb Canning House – Lecture and discussion 6.30pm
‘The Abolition of Slavery in Brazil: Memory and Historiography’
Matthias Rohrig Assuncao (University of Essex)

The public perception of the Abolition of slavery in Brazil has changed dramatically over the last twenty years. The older historiography described it as a generous act of philanthropy by princess-regent Isabel or as the result of an urban, middle-class led abolitionist movement. The Brazilian Black Movement, in contrast, has emphasized the enslaved own struggle for freedom, and has elected the maroon leader Zumbi as the symbol of Black resistance.

The more recent historiography has also highlighted the importance of slave agency in the process that led to abolition. Yet at the same time the growing visibility of Afro-Brazilian culture has brought to the foreground the songs of black communities of the interior that praise princess Isabel and insist in celebrating the 13th of May, date of the Golden Law she signed in 1888. The lecture will introduce those complex and fascinating developments, where history and memory of Abolition are subject to permanent re-elaborations.

8pm VIDEO: ‘Memorias do Cativeiro’ (Memories of captivity) – Hebe Maria Mattos, Ana Maria Lugao Rios – Brazil 2005, 42 minutes (Canning House)

18th Feb Bolivar Hall - 6.30pm (t.b.c)
Afro-Venezuelan music workshop with Wilmer Sifontes
7.30pm VIDEO: ‘Los Dioses del Futuro’ – Cuba 1992, 55 minutes, Spanish (no subtitles) TVC

Documentary about different traditional and folk music and dance celebrations in various Afro-Caribbean countries: Venezuela, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti.

18th Feb SOAS UNIVERSITY – 7PM Lecture and discussion, Room G3
Lecture and discussion about Afro-Cuban music

18th Feb to 23th Feb Canning House Library. Times: 2pm – 6pm Photographic Exhibition: ‘Mask making and Los Diablos Danzantes de Yare in Miranda, Venezuela’ Lenin Arvelo

Arvelo’s work deals with mask making and the importance of the devil in Venezuelan folkloric culture.

20th Feb SOAS UNIVERSITY 7pm – Lecture and discussion, Room G3
‘The Development of Samba Music in Brazil’ Bosco de Oliveira

21st Feb Conway Hall – Afro-Peruvian Evening
6.30pm Afro-Peruvian dance workshop with Flavia Chevez
7.15pm Afro-Peruvian percussion workshop with Jim Le Mesurieur
8pm VIDEO: ‘Zapateo con clase’ – Documentary about Afro-Peruvian tap dancing – Flavia Chevez

22nd Feb Conway Hall – Afro-Colombian Evening
6.30pm (room 1) Afro-Colombian dance workshop with Miriam O. Patino
6.30pm (room 2) Afro-Colombian percussion workshop with Emeris Solis

7.30pm (room 1) Lecture and discussion
‘Abosaos, Lumbalús and Patacorés: Afro-Colombian Musical Practice at the Fringes of the Diaspora’ Michael Birenbaum Quintero, New York University

Although Colombia has the third largest black population in the Americas, the cultural expressions of black Colombians are largely unknown. This talk will describe the varied musical practices of black communities across Colombia, including the Caribbean coast, Chocó province, the runaway slave community of San Basilio de Palenque, and the Cauca Valley, with particular focus on the music of the southern Pacific coast.

This talk will examine the historical processes of retention and syncretism that have formed traditional Afro-Colombian practices and linked them to Colombian music in general, extending this discussion into the field of the newer popular musics that have been created and/or embraced by black Colombians. Finally, the presentation will touch on some of the reasons for the marginalization of Afro-Colombian musical forms both in Colombia and abroad, and the ways this marginalization is being resisted and counteracted.

23rd Feb Conway Hall 6pm – 12pm

Music and dance showcases by UK based Afro-Latin American groups representing Cuba, Colombia, Brazil, Peru and Venezuela, starting with an Afro-Cuban dance workshop in the main hall with Lazaro Lopez and an Afro-Cuban percussion workshop in room 3 at 6pm. In addition, there will be videos, arts and crafts and Latin American food and drink.

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