This is what the Festival of Latin American Women in the Arts (Flawa), will do between the 15th and 19th May, in London. A way to show the perceptions of women from Latin America in film, music, literature and arts.
London and the UK are home to a rich crowd of Latin American creators – an important diaspora in this city and beyond – which is blossoming and growing in size, diversity and creative impetus. And women are the main force driving this community.
But the arts are not an equal playing field, and Latin American women are too often overlooked: neglected by curators and disregarded in discussion. Despite the presence of the Latin American community and their growing representation in different areas of London life, all too often it is a male experience we are presented with.
The Festival of Latin American Women in the Arts will be a platform for female Latin American expression, for reclaiming narratives, sharing myriad perspectives, and cultivating opportunity. Also, it will celebrate and honour the creative work of Latin American women – cisgender, transgender, queer and non-binary.
According to Teresa Guanique, director of Flawa, the festival was born out of the need to show what Latin American women have accomplished: “This is the time to create empowering opportunities for us, to create spaces where women’s expressions and perspectives are celebrated, where narratives are reclaimed”.
The festival will take place over a range of local venues in London, including Bethnal Green’s cinema and community arts hub, Rich Mix; the 18th-century renovated cinema on Mile End Road, Genesis; King’s College in Central London and the live music venue, Omeara.
Across these venues, the organisers have programmed a number of immersive workshops, talks, film screenings, live music and exhibitions for your learning and enjoyment.
Headlining the festival will be samba-soul trailblazer Liniker Barros, the vocalist known for fronting Brazilian soul band Liniker E Os Caramelows.
Genre-bending Cuban singer, flautist and percussionist La Dame Blanche will also take to the stage in a celebration of hip hop, cumbia, dancehall and reggae.
Fabiola Morales, Artist Development and Management tutor at BIMM Bristol will be chairing a panel discussion about the diverse experiences of Latin American women in the music industry.
Alongside others, she will discuss her own experiences in music management and pose questions about a woman’s role in the industry, especially in the UK.
Panelists including music director and producer Eliane Correa and Soundway Records’ Paula Durán will detail the gendered challenges they have faced throughout their careers and most importantly, will answer the question How can women support each other and work together?
Curated by Karoline Pelikan, filmmaker and director of Pelikan Pictures, and Susy Pena, documentary filmmaker at Gato Negro Productions and Sounds and Colours contributor, the programme will show off female Latin American talent through a wide-angle lens, offering shorts and features, documentaries and fiction – headlined by Marialy Rivas’ award-winning Princesita What’s more, Karoline Pelikan will give a workshop about self-portrait through filmmaking.
Daniela Galán, artist, philosopher and art historian will bring together a roster of Latinx artists in an exhibition running throughout the festival.
Galán will also lead a private tour through the Tate Modern’s vast collection exploring the work of female Latin American artists from the 60s to the 80s; women who fought to be seen in a male-dominated sphere, women who expressed their political views to the world through a female perspective and experience.
A group of first and second generation Chilean exiles who embroider to preserve the memory (of victims of state violence) and demand justice has a special initiative for a day: “Bordando la Memoria”. The community group embroider arpilleras, (brightly coloured patchwork pieces), and bordados, (traditional embroidered pieces) with the names of those persons who went missing or were executed throughout the 1973-1991 dictatorship as a response to the need for active efforts to preserve their memory. Some of the women from this community group will be on-hand to discuss their work with visitors.
The literary programme will be presented by Silvia Rothlisberger, multi-disciplinary journalist and founder of the Literary South radio show.
Rothlisberger will be in conversation with Yara Rodrigues Fowler, praised by The Observer as one of the hottest-tipped debut novelists of 2019, and lyrical Chilean writer Alia Trabucco Zerán, whose personal and political debut novel The Remainder has been lauded for its treatment of Chile’s dark dictatorship, written through the perspective of a younger generation on a pisco-fueled road trip through the Andes. Colombian poet Sonia Quintero will also lead a poetry workshop, followed by performances in an open-mic poetry evening.
More information: @FLAWAfestival, Faceboo/FLAWAfestival
(Information and photos provided by Flawa)