Below you will find information on all artists and performers and speakers confirmed so far for the El Sueño Festival 2019. For more info on the festival click here
To view the 2019 festival programme online, click here
The Festival kicks of FRIDAY AFTERNOON at 2.30 PM TILL 5.30 PM with an afternoon of speakers, films and performers to kick of the 2019 ESE festival. This will be an introduction to the diverse programme on offer over the weekend based on the twin themes of Mexico’s politics, history and culture and women of Latin America! Adelante!
Cultural Programme: The Bonita Chola, Angela Camacho
The Bonita Chola, Angela Camacho is an Indigenous decendent, creative, Bruja, community organiser and ancestor in the making, whose work is rooted in the need to take back a sense of space and a place of origin. Moving away from colonialism and from constructed terms such a ‘Latinidad’. Her practices nurture the connection with the Bruja (read: witch) person that is inherent in all womxn, evolving collective memories and stories, exploring reconstruction and deconstruction of identity, and focusing in feelings and thoughts. Angela collaborates with womxn and children in underrepresented areas of London to produce and deliver healing arts and crafts workshops that are grounded in her indigenous culture and traditions; with the hope to pass knowledge, to heal and to recover the herstory of womxn of colour and to reconnect with the past to project on the future. Angela will be running a hands on workshop during the festival…
Her work brings together communities, artists and activists to explore issues of sexism, environmental crisis, multi-national exploitation, housing and welfare for refugees and migrants.
Political Programme for Saturday and Sunday
Trump an unequivocal manifestation of the empire’s decline
Donald Trump is on our news and social media almost every day, usually as a result of making provocative statements which he has calculated will appeal to his supporters. Whether it’s his policy on immigration, on trade with China, his plans for a Wall between the US and Mexico or his threats to Iran, his comments and actions are designed to give the message that the US is the most powerful and influential country on the planet and that what it wants it gets, and that no one is capable of stopping it. But what is the reality behind all the speeches and showmanship? Is the US really as powerful as it thinks it is? In this workshop Dr Francisco Dominguez will discuss and analyse what is happening in the US today.
Venezuela’s been in the news over the past three years, with stories of violence, economic collapse and alleged governmental corruption. But the reality is quite different from you’ll hear on the BBC or read in The Guardian. Increasingly viciously sanctions from the warmongers in Trump’s administration are designed to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nicolas Maduro. And of course, Venezuela’s huge oil reserves have got nothing to do with it! Dr Francisco Dominguez will discuss and analyse why Venezuela is in crisis, and who is to blame.
AmLo – historic opportunity to recover Mexico’s independence
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, commonly referred to by his initials AMLO, was candidate for the Presidential Elections in Mexico in 2018, representing the coalition Juntos Haremos Historia (‘Together We Will Make History’). He won in a landslide victory with 53% of the vote. So what does an AMO presidency mean for Mexico? His policy proposals include increases in financial aid for students and pensions for the elderly, double the minimum wage, construction of 100 universities and universal access to public colleges, and ending the war on drugs. Many have high hopes that he will be able to transform the country, while others are more critical. Dr Francisco Dominguez, of Middlesex University will explore and analyse AmLo’s progress.
Dr Francisco Dominguez
Workers not Maids! Domestic workers organise in Mexico
Marilyn Thomson worked with an organisation of domestic workers in Cuernavaca, Mexico, for 4 years while carrying out research for her PhD. This workshop will tell the story of the domestic workers organisations and their demands for their labour to be recognised and recent successes in their struggle. It will also discuss the lack of social value given to housework and cleaning jobs and how we can address this.
Reproductive Rights – Panel Discussion
Latin America has the second highest fertility rates among adolescents and the highest unsafe abortion rates in the world. The power of the church, anti-abortion laws, poverty, lack of education and discrimination all contribute to the dire situation which endangers and restricts the lives of millions of girls and women in the region. Marilyn Thomson, Margarita Rebolledo, Sonia Silva and Louise Morris will present information on the topic, then open it up for discussion.
Do Women do Politics Differently? Panel Discussion with Rachel Simon and Sonia Silva
Most of our politicians are men, most of the main political parties are led by men, and even social movements and many campaign groups are dominated by men. Clearly that leads to an environment in which it is difficult for most women to thrive, participate and contribute. This is an ongoing debate, but in this workshop we want to focus on something else: our question is do women bring something different to politics and political activity? Does women’s position in society mean they organise/campaign in a different way? To help us reflect on this Sonia Silva from El Salvador will talk about her experiences of being raised in a rural community largely created by women. Rachel Simon has researched and reported on environmental issues in Latin America and was involved in the Latin American Bureau’s Voices of Latin America project, recording the voices of Belizean indigenous land rights activists. She has been an environmental activist and campaigner in the UK and now in Belgium where she works on international climate change policy and climate and development issues at Climate Action Network Europe, a European network of climate NGOs.
Human Rights in Mexico – Laura Morales
Since former President Felipe Calderon launched a war on drugs and organised crime in 2006, violence has escalated across the whole of Mexico, with official records for 2016 showing 36,056 homicides and over 30,000 people reported as disappeared. And these figures only show those cases that were reported to the authorities.. Justice Mexico Now, based in the UK since 2015 has campaigned to raise awareness of the human rights violations in Mexico, working closely with organisations and activists in Mexico so that first-hand messages and victims’ accounts can reach British audiences. This workshop will be an opportunity to find out what’s happening in Mexico now and how International Solidarity can support campaigns for justice, including for ‘Los 43’
Migrant Caravans from the Northern Triangle of Central America
Over the last decade, migration to the United States from Central America—in particular from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (known collectively as the Northern Triangle)—has increased considerably. Chronic poverty, toxic gang violence, extortion, death threats, and rising levels of crime have led thousands to flee and seek asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. Donald Trump has consistently taken a hard line on immigration to the US, vowing to stem the flow of migrants with stringent asylum policies and a fortified wall along the Mexican border, and controversial policies implemented by his administration in recent years include prosecuting adults who cross the border illegally, resulting in children being separated from their parents. Come to this workshop and find out more with Martin Mowforth of ENCA, The Environmental Network of Central America.
Rita Dobner & James Watson Environmental issues in Mexico
The top three environmental issues that affect Mexico are air pollution, lack of clean water, and deforestation, all of which are extremely serious and a growing crisis affecting millions in Mexico and its environment. Climate change is also having a massive impact, with an increase in temperature and extreme weather events leading to landslides, loss of habitats and food insecurity. The area around the border with the US also adds to environmental problems with ecosystem degradation due to military activities, border enforcement and illegally dumped toxic waste. ENCA, the Environmental Network for Central America, is an organisation of groups and individuals working for environmental protection and social justice in Central America, and this workshop with them will be an opportunity to find out more information on the current situation.
Saturday evening screening and presentation by director Pablo Navarette :
The film, shot in July 2016 in Havana Cuba, explores the lives of women FARC guerrillas as they negotiate peace with the Colombian government in Havana, Cuba. The documentary focuses on the role the women played in the negotiations, through the creation of a Gender sub-Commission, hailed as “historic” by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, who features in the film. These women have laid down their arms, left the Colombian jungles and are now in Havana, negotiating a peace deal with the Colombian government, which they hope will not only bring an end to the world’s longest armed conflict, but will also guarantee women’s rights and social justice in Colombia
After the early Saturday evening screening there will be a presentation by the film’s co-director Pablo Navarrete with an overview of 10 years of work of Alborada and Alborada Films, uncovering the real Latin America you won’t read about in the Guardian!
This year we are offering a wider range of activities for all families who attend the festival. Wonderful storytellers Peter Stevenson and Milly Jackdaw will regale us with Folk TAles from Old Wales and Mexico…. Make your own crankie box with Peter or come and create a beautiful Nature mandala with Ruth Hogg.Our very own Machynlleth based Ailsa Hughes will be leading s singing workshop especially for families and children after the creation of a beautiful Nature Mandala in the Yurt…The Great globalisation game is a fantastic educational game teaching us why some have too much and some have too little….Great for older kids and an eye opener whilst being fun ! Tito from Gozart will be running mask making workshops based on Mexican folk art…
Gisella Stapleton is leading an artistic mural painting workshop where a permanent piece of art work will be created by everyone who takes part…. Donations towards materials appreciated.
Music and Performances
Seize The Day
For two decades, Seize The Day have provided the sound track for protest and green resistance in Britain. Radical folk with pathos, humour and passion. Seize The Day is a tremendously vibrant and ultra-energetic 7-piece acoustic band whose songs draw on many popular traditions but have a radical new content, reflecting the political and personal struggles of our times. Described as the voice of the environmental movement, Seize The Day inspire, enlighten and entertain; they make you laugh, they make you cry and they empower. Recently, they have been on the front lines of Extinction Rebellion protests, where singer Theo was among the many hundreds arrested for Non Violent Direct Action.
The Anglo-Chilean band Quimantu creates a unique cultural blend through their exceptional use of the numerous traditional folk styles of Latin America, skilfully incorporated with contemporary influences, from Western Classical music, to Celtic, African and Indian styles to name just a few. Their performance for El Sueño will include a selection of songs featuring the rising star Laura Venegas-Rojas whose warm and velvety vocals are complemented by virtuosic violin and cello, the brilliance of guitars, charango and cuatro. Enjoy the vibrant rhythms of Latin percussion combined with the African beats of our guest drummer, the Gambian Griot Musa Mboob. Experience this multi-talented group of musicians who have quite deservedly gained a reputation as one of the UK’s best and most creative Latin groups. www.quimantu.net
City of origin: San Antonio, Chile. : Rock fusion, blues and noise.
The band Cactus Andante has a trajectory of more than seven years, time in which they have focused on presenting their original compositions. They have consolidated their presentations on Chilean stages, including tours of Latin America and Europe during the most recent years.
A milestone celebrated by the group in February 2019 was the release of their second videoclip, featuring the song “Texano”. The production is based on a poem by the writer Marcelo Mellado, a work that the band recorded for their album “Gritan las Nubes”. The lyrics speak of the population of Tejas Verdes, Llolleo, and what happened there during the dictatorship. The video clip, produced by Bison Films, seeks to be a tribute to memory and history, highlighting the importance of local history, as well as the people of the area, in order to avoid the crimes that took place during that time.
Clara Curteis is a feminist singer/songwriter and pianist from Nicaragua who will sing songs of Victor Jara along with powerful self penned songs from her recent CD; “Yo Naci De Mujer. Her songs speak of her encounters with social struggle and personal loss and her dreams of justice.The songs also reflect a commitment to her deeply held experiences of human vulnerability.
On the Friday evening there will be lively music from Collectivo Copihue ; a Latin American outfit based in London who will play a mix of Mexican ballads and Chilean cueca. They will be joined by an unusual act ; Quijada, a Cornish salsa band hailing from Penzance.
Rompiendo Fronteras (Breaking Boundaries) are fronted by Bolivian musician Milton Flores , who creates layered harmonised versions of some of the great Latin American folk anthems, including those by Victor Jara and Violeta Parra.
Cutting edge Welsh music will come from Meinir Gwilym; a brilliant young songstress who sings in the Welsh language.
Society Of Imaginary Friends
Another highly original act will be the Society Of Imaginary Friends . Fronted by the stunning operatic voice of Louise Kleboe; this duo create skyrocking musical soundscapes of sometimes exquisite beauty.
José Miguel Arranz
José Miguel Arranz is a Spanish poet and singer-songwriter. While living in London in the 70’s he formed part of the Chilean Group Epu Amaranto with whom he performed all over the U.K. He has published the books of poetry ‘Estación de las Nieblas’ and ‘Antesala de Crepúsculos’ and has recorded the CD’s ‘Caminos de un sueño’ and ‘Miguel Hernández, Sublime’ of his own songs, the latter to mark the 75th anniversary of the death of the Spanish poet who fought for the Republicans and died in jail shortly after the end of the Spanish Civil War. José Miguel’s songs draw inspiration from singers-songwriters such as Victor Jara among others. His subject matter ranges from personal themes to social comment and the lives of Spanish and Latin-American poets and songwriters he admires.
Alex Etchart is an Anglo-Uruguayan folksinger fire tending both the South American and British Isles folk traditions. And writing new songs for contemporary social movements.
This year, Alex departs from the classics to share “Vientos”; a new fusion of Latin rhythms, wild electronica and queer performance art -asking our own community ; “what is manhood? ; what is womanhood? And how can we transcend joyously in 2019?”.
Isabel Ros-Lopez is a Spanish-British social educator, singer-songwriter, poet, song-finder and multi-media artist. She is part of the poetry group Las Juanas and of Spanish and Latin American Poets and Writers (SLAP)
Expresion Inka is a Latin American dance and drama group who always add a strong splash of colour and lyricism to the festival. They focus particularly on powerful representations of indigenous groups in Latin America.
Gisella Stapleton / Cultural Programme
Mural painting in the marquee: ‘Leave your mark!’
Throughout Saturday and Sunday Gisella will be painting a board mural of Victor Jara and is calling all children and adults to leave their mark on the mural. You don’t need to a painter, just let yourself go…! Paints and protective clothing supplied.
A visual artist inspired by Latin American’s folklore and culture, Gisella, originally from Peru, creates large scale artworks in vibrant colours with social meanings in order to motivate and invite reflection. Her work combines realism and abstract art, mixing figures and patterns based on nature and Andean and Indigenous cultures. She focuses on issues of women’s empowerment, indigenous cultures and often paints portraits of iconic Latin American figures.