Whoever has travelled to Brazil during June, has already found out that all Brazilians celebrate the month with parties that can be even bigger than Carnival in some cities. The ‘Festas Juninas’ celebrate the harvest, Saints Anthony, John and Peter with lots of traditional food, drinks, music, and a theatrical dance inherited from the French called ‘quadrilha’ (a type of square dance). The Celebrations are very colourful with decorations of paper lanterns and flags. Men dress up as country boys with large straw hats, and women wear pigtails, freckles, painted gap teeth and red-checked dresses, all in a loving tribute to the origins of Brazilian regional music, with lots of dancing and fun games for the children.
Junina Fest’s debut took place at the Elephant Park in June 2019. In partnership with the world-renowned Gandaia Arts and Comida Fest, it will be an authentic and unique celebration of Brazilian arts and culture in the heart of London, a chance for the Brazilian Diasporic community and the wider UK demographic to experience and understand something of the traditional culture of Brazil. Offering a music/dance performance stage, dance workshops and a dedicated family area with face painting, workshops and costume making.
Alongside all the quality workshops, performances and creative experiences, food and lifestyle content the festival showcases, it promotes the integration of communities from different parts of London and beyond. Junina Fest transformed the Elephant Park to safely deliver research, culturally specific content and to exhibit authentic music, dance and artwork. Costume and carnival are central to Brazilian culture, but events like Junina Fest preserve the historic roots and reattach the ‘fun’ to the history.
In a climate of increasing segregation and racism, non-native communities are empowered by events that encourage the wider UK demographic to see their culture through a prism of artistic celebration and participation. Junina Fest develops:
– The quality of Braziliarty’s artistic partners.
– The reach of its events and marketing by partnering with The Brazilian
Embassy, Forro Foundations and Leros Magazine.
– A diverse demographic sited in the centre of London.
– A unique event that pushes the boundaries for Braziliarty, a showcase for its
artistic curation, production and management capacity.
Junina Fest is produced by Braziliarty CIC, Comida Events Ltd and Gandaia Arts.