Migrants, Multiculture

¡Vamos!… a mix of Latin-American and Spanish culture

In it’s seventh year, the ‘¡Vamos! Festival’ aims to promote Spanish, Portuguese and Latin-American culture in the United Kingdom.


El Inca, la Boba y el Hijo de Ladrón

Luis Domínguez

This annual celebration is made up of a series of cultural, artistic and musical events that range from concerts, film screenings and art exhibitions, to dances and cuisine from countries like Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, Spain, Portugal and Cuba.

For six weeks, from the 1st of June to the 15th of July 2012, the ¡Vamos! Festival will be held in North-West England, in cities including Newcastle, Gateshead, Middlesbrough, North Tyneside and Durham.

Jaime Gil - Work in Caracas

The opening of the festival on the 1st if June will be held at the University of Newcastle and will highlight the participation of Cuban violinist Omar Puente and the Colombian group Los Independientes del Vallenato.

Opening night will also include a photographic exhibition that takes a retrospective look on the festival’s past.

To celebrate the culture of Spanish Flamenco, an event entitled “Peña Flamenca II” will be held on the 2nd of June, and will introduce talented dancers Jesús Olmedo, Javier Macías and Demi García.

On the 16th of June there will be a Mexican style fiesta, with music, dancing and traditional food from the country.

Garrido-Lecca Toropukllay

Throughout June several Latin-American artists will be taking part in exhibitions and cultural events. These will include Venezuelan Jaime Gili and Peruvian Ximena Garrido-Lecca whose exhibitions will be launched on the 13th and 22nd of June, respectively.

Various samba sessions will be held on the 27th of June as part of the event “International Samba Night”. At the event participants will be given the opportunity to dance to the rhythm of this Brazilian music with the introduction of a samba band lead by Nick Alevroyiannis.

The 30th of June will be a another Latin-themed musical evening with performances by Cuban, Domingo Candelario as well as Rumba NE and Burundanga.

Peña Flamenca II

The Tyne Carnival will also be held on the same day, touring Northumberland Street in Newcastle with plenty of music and dancing for all.

There will also be a space for Latin-American film. On the 24th of June there will be a screening of the film “Heleno”, which tells the story of the life and career of Brazilian footballer Heleno de Freitas. Also, a film that explores contemporary Peru, “El Inca, la Boba y el Hijo de Ladrón” will be screened on the 27th of June.

The ¡Vamos! Festival includes a series of educational events including Spanish lessons and lectures on the culture, society and politics of countries like Bolivia, Mexico, Peru and Spain. On the 5th of July, a lecture will be given on Bolivia, at an event titled “Language, identity and symbolic power in the Bolivia of Evo Morales”.

The festival will close on the 15th of July with a musical fiesta that will showcase the best mix of Latin-American music.

Since the first festival in 2006, ¡Vamos! Festival has held over 240 events and attracted an audience of over 100,000 people.

Organisations that have supported the festival this year include the University of Newcastle, Arts Council England, the Cervantes Institute and the Mexican, Brazilian and British Embassies.

For more detailed information on events and where they are being held please go to the website: www.vamosfestival.com/programme/2012.

(Translated by Grace Essex: grace.essex@gmail.com)

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