Though the number of people in Dublin and beyond who can claim Latin American origins has been growing steadily for many years, the organisation Latin American Native Community in Ireland (LANCI) was only formed in 2010. This is the second year of the LANCI festival, which has one simple aim: to celebrate the richness of Latin American culture. There are probably a lot of us pasty Irish whose understanding and appreciation of the diversity of South and Central American culture is limited to tequila, Shakira and Speedy Gonzalez, but here is a golden opportunity to alleviate our amiable but embarrassing ignorance.
Here at the Project Arts Centre, there will be shown a range of films from Ecuador, Mexico, Chile and Argentina as well as two chances to see an Ecuadorian dance performance by Raices de Tungurahua, performed to traditional Andean music. More information in a later post, or check out the programme here!
Elsewhere, there are happenings afoot at Exchange Dublin (Exchange St.), where there will be workshops, classes and literary readings on all manner of Latin subjects, from Cuban social development to flamenco guitar. (You can follow @exchangedublin on Twitter.) There will also be an exhibition of works by Venezuelan painter Ricardo Salas, and a photography exhibition where you’re invited to compare vintage shots from the 1950s onwards with contemporary photography from Spain and South America. (Clue: things have changed.) Admission to almost everything this festival is free so do come along if you’re even slightly curious.
There’ll be a tourism exhibition at Temple Bar Hotel from noon on Saturday, for anyone thinking about visiting any of the countries whose rich heritage is being mined for this festival. And on Sunday there’ll be an Art, Craft & Food Fair at Dublin City Council’s Amphitheatre on Wood Quay. (From the Project Arts Centre, just follow Essex St down to Fishamble St at the end and turn right onto the river. That’s Wood Quay!) It will run from 12-6pm.
All this “seeing” and “learning” is all well and good, but what about the nightlife? The very lively social aspect of their culture for which our Latin friends are justly celebrated? Where, in short, is the party at?
Well, things will be kicking off this Thursday evening, with ”Forró Night and Outdoor Fiesta Latina” at the POD in Harcourt Street from 9pm. There’ll be a live forró band followed by a DJ as well as a Latin Art, Craft and Food Market. In case you’re unfamiliar – I was – forró is apparently a type of dance music from northeastern Brazil; to get a feel for it check out this couple on Youtube. Don’t be intimidated. The kind of shapes being thrown at the POD may or may not reflect this level of complexity or co-ordination.
Friday night is Brazilian night (Boteco Brasileiro) at Turks Head on Parliament St., free in before 11pm. And on Saturday night, Labana, led by frontman Dany Martinez, will be at the Purty Kitchen from 9pm playing Latin hip-rock . That’s Santana-style Latin guitar-rock but with a hip-hop flavour. Obviously.
Or, if you prefer, there’ll be Latin food and salsa music at Havana Tapas Bar on George’s St. And on Sunday the Purty Kitchen is holding a Brazilian Carnival, taking up two floors with live music, dance, food and drink from 9pm til late.
It promises to be a very varied weekend so come along to something and celebrate the fantastically rich and diverse society that Dublin has become. Personally, the only thing I know how to say in Spanish is “how’s it going, little cat?” but I intend to use it at every opportunity. Also, “bienvenido a la fiesta!”