When it was announced that Brazil would hold the 2014 World Cup, it was as if the moon and stars aligned and the world suddenly made sense once again. As one of the most celebrated (and obsessed!) footballing nations, there couldn’t be a more apt place to host the biggest contest in the footballing calendar. But for all of you (like me!) who like to look beyond the football, just occasionally, Brazil just happens also to be a very exciting and culturally fascinating country.
Thankfully, the Rich Mix picked up on this point too and will be dedicating a weekend to Brazilian theatre, book readings, photography and visual arts… and a bit of football too, if you must! Running across Saturday and Sunday, the event follows the stories of Brazilians who moved to the UK in 60s, 70s and 80s. It also features a theatre performance about their obsession with food and later in the evening, a chance to sample some Brazilian cuisine. Saturday evening also celebrates the irrepressible music of Brazil: an essential part of life for all Brazilians and alongside football, it’s possibly what it is most famous for.
A visit to Rich Mix this weekend will also give you the opportunity to see the street art mural on display in their main space. Produced by Daniel Melim and three members of the legendary street poster art collective SHN, the mural is created from hundreds of silkscreen posters featuring playful graphic icon and worked over with stencil art. (Words: Laura Thornley)
On 5 and 6 July. For more info visit: www.richmix.org.uk
Sanchita Islam‘s enviable artistic career spans 25 years and still continues to influence and inspire her audiences today. Working as a filmmaker, artist and writer in the Borough of Tower Hamlets since 1999, Rich Mix evidently felt it time to celebrate this much-deserved practitioner; cue this multi-disciplinary exhibition presented as part of their Bangladeshi independence festival.
Islam is all about engaging her audience and her start-up company Pigment explosion is living proof of this. The core motivation behind the organisation is to create projects that engage audiences that wouldn’t usually encounter the arts and this includes everyone from older people to women suffering from domestic violence and children who live in the slums of Bangladesh. The exhibition at the Rich Mix will feature projections of her films and artworks, poetry performances and an interactive doodle room – echoing the artist’s interest in encouraging audience engagement.
The doodle room will start off as a blank canvas, simple white walls which will slowly be filled with anything and everything that its audience comes up with in response to the theme: imaginary landscapes and notions of home. The walls are open to all and there will be a variety of workshops and artist interventions dedicated to the space too. The doodle room will also be broadcast live on the web, making it a live performance.
On opening night. Islam’s imposing 30-foot scrolls will be exhibited. Each scroll depicts whole landscape panoramas, with imaginary and real elements – quite an awesome sight. As part of this multi-disciplinary show, the artist will also take part in a debate discussing the lack of high profile British Asian artists. The diversity of elements to the exhibition exemplifies Sanchita Islam’s approach to her work – and for this reason, shouldn’t be missed. (Words: Laura Thornley)
Sanchita Islam: The Rebel Within is on until April 28th. For more info visit: http://www.richmix.org.uk/whats-on/event/sanchita-islam-the-rebel-within-mar13/
If you are thinking that the festival season was well and truly over two months ago and you’ve packed your tent away until next year, then rest assured, this is not the kind of festival that requires the usual napsack of overnight paraphernalia. Housed in three venues in East London’s Shoreditch, and running on just one day, London Remixed Festival is a celebration of just how global the capital has become – channeled through the medium of music, naturally.
The locations of the venues – Rich Mix, Bedroom Bar and The Village Underground – promise to create the Bermuda triangle of festival mayhem as revellers journey between musical destinations. Rich Mix is playing host to Africa Rootmaster, an area dedicated to the African music scene that continues to develop in London. Performers include United Vibrations, and the mesmerising sounds of Moroccan Gnawa Master Simo Lagnawi alongside Soundspecies band under the moniker Electric Jalaba.
Bedroom Bar will become the Polka Tent presenting a wealth of Gypsy punk style music. Artists to watch out for include: Gypsy Hill (from Norwood!), The Monster Ceilidh Band (from Newcastle!) and The Turbans (an Egyptian Yemeni folk band). The Village Underground houses the Latin Quarter, celebrating the growing South American music culture in the capital. Interested in how Cuban music meets Ska? This is the place. Plus a chance to see Womad lovies Los Chinches, a Peruvian chicha band that blast out Peruvian psychedelic rock’n’roll from the ’60s and ’70s.
If you have had the pleasure of experiencing one of these party powerhouses at any of the UKs summer festivals, then you won’t need to be told this is not to be missed – and tickets are well priced, which makes it all the sweeter. A perfect party to chase away the winter blues, we thinks. (Words: Laura Thornley)
The London Remixed Festival takes place on November 24th. For more info visit: www.londonremixedfestival.com