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Festival of World Cultures "Window onto the world"

Gdańsk, 17-07-2015 - 19-07-2015

IX Festival of World Cultures "Window onto the world"

Festival of World Cultures “Window onto the World” is a cyclic (biennial) cultural event created to promote the ideas of tolerance, and inter-cultural dialogue and to encourage sound interest in 'otherness' and to make that 'otherness' more familiar. The Festival is intended to juxtapose different music genres and surprise the audience with various creative combinations; to mix tradition with innovation. It promotes artistic cooperation, international projects and artists working in places other than their mother countries. The audience can discover artists from various cultural backgrounds, creators working in countries far away from their homeland or those inspired by other, exotic cultures.

What makes us different
The Festival of World Cultures is more than just another festival of ethno, folk or world music. Its uniqueness is due to the fact that the musical programme of the Festival is based on the social ideology that reflects the idea of a particular edition. The Festival presents not only the aesthetic aspect of music, but also its role as a tool of social movement, an important medium in inter-cultural dialogue.

The 9th edition of the Festival, celebrated under the slogan “Immigration/Integration” puts a spotlight on the current musical trends and phenomena associated with the issue of immigration. The performing musicians will include representatives of various nations and ethnic groups coming from different continents but sharing the social status of immigrant. The main star of the Festival will be Aurelio Martinez – musician, singer, social activist and politician from Honduras, cultivating the musical heritage of a Central American ethnic group Garifuna. Other performers include a young star KC Nwokoye, Nigerian-born but raised in Poland, who plays R&B, jazz, pop and reggae; Ikenga Drummers – a Polish-Nigerian band combining traditional West African gospel with Polish folk music, as well as Pad Brapad from France – a band presenting a new take on Romani and klezmer music – so-called Urban Tzigan Music. A unique event will be the Songhoy Blues concert. The young band, originating from Mali in West Africa but working in Europe, presents so-called desert blues with elements of rock. Neither Songhoy Blues nor Pad Brapad have visited Poland before. During the Festival, Polish audience will have the opportunity to discover their debut album released in April 2014 in the premiere concert promoting the album in Poland.
Migration and travel is not only an image of the real world, or the blending of nations and roots, but also a major trend in modern art: the different genres travel and blend to form a space–time continuum which the viewers can freely explore with their senses.


17 july 2015
– outdoor stage on the Targ Węglowy

    19.00 Ifi Ude (Nigeria/ Poland) 
    20.00 Pad Brapad (France) 
    21.30 Ikenga Drummers (Poland/ Nigeria) 
    22.30 Aurelio (Honduras) 

18 july 2015
– St John's Centre, Swietojanska 50 street

    19.00 KC Nwokoye (Nigeria/ Polska) 
    20.30 Mamadou & Sama Yoon (Polska, Senegal) 

19 july 2015
- St John's Centre, Swietojanska 50 street
    19.00 Songhoy Blues (Mali) 

Accompanying events
In addition to concerts, there will be workshops for children and young people as well as art exhibitions. The musical part of the Festival of World Cultures “Window onto the World” will take place in July 2015. (17th–19th) at Targ Węglowy and the historic St. John's Centre (a unique place combining a sacred and a profane zone) - visit www.centrumswjana.pl

18 july 2015 - Old Town Hall in Gdańsk, Korzenna 33/35 street, Great Hall
     12.00 Romski Pstryk - pinhole photography workshops with photographic interpretations of romani writer Jan Mirga's poems
     17.00 Romski Pstryk - exhibition preview and meeting with project authors
19 july 2015
     12.00 GDAŃSK CULTURAL CARTOON – cartoon workshops, Old Town Hall in Gdańsk, Korzenna 33/35 street, Great Hall
     18.00 Haiti - The realm of naive painting - exhibition preview, St John's Centre, Swietojanska 50 street

Romski Pstryk

The sculptress Małgorzata Mirga-Tas and art photographer Martushka Fromeast have been running the Romski Pstryk project for eight years already. Their great dream is to change the perception of the Roma people and Romani culture. In cooperation with Roma communities, the artists prepare illustrations to fairy tales and poems by writers of Romani origin. Earlier editions of the project have become internationally recognisable, with the works presented, among other places, in the Roma Pavilion “Call the witness” during the 54th International Art Exhibition in Venice in 2011.
  • PINHOLE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS; Guided by the instructors, workshop participants will discover the principles of pinhole photography. They will build their own camera obscuras and fairy tale stage sets, together create photographic interpretations of Jan Mirga's poems, and then develop them. The project is aimed at young people aged 10 to 16.
  • EXHIBITION PREVIEW; At the time the Polish-Roma conflict in Andrychów hit the front pages, two artists and a group of activists of Romani origin travelled to the Roma settlements in Lesser Poland to take photos different from those showing the stereotypical image of poverty and exclusion. Exhibition will be on view until 31 august 2015
Join the cartoon workshop for young people people and adults to talk about the multi-cultural face of today's Gdańsk – can we see any traces of the multi-cultural past of our city? Is it part of its identity? What do we know about the present residents of Gdańsk? Who are they? Where do they come from? The workshops are aimed at people with no previous experience of cartooning as well as those who have already done a bit of drawing. The workshops will be run by cartoonists Beata Sosnowska and Jacek Frąś.

Haiti - The realm of naive painting
What makes Haitian naive art known worldwide, with works by Haitian artists displayed in museums around the United States, Europe and Asia?
According to the famous French humanist Andre Malraux, “it is unique magic painting of the 20th century”. Naive painting blends the worlds of people and demons, intertwines voodoo rituals with Christian liturgy and features everyday life motifs, smiling women or scenes from the marketplace, street and work in the eld.
We present paintings and metal sculptures by talented artists including Saint Jean Saint Juste, Paul Lionel “Onel”, Jean Exavier, Herve Montreuil, Vixamar, Jonas Reginald, Jerome Kader, Serge Jolimeau, Paul Montes, Junior Garnier and Herold Vielle.
The exhibition will be on view until 31 August 2015 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. at St. John's Centre.

The artists invited to perform at the 9th edition of the Festival present an excellent image of the world of music and its new trends.

SONGHOY BLUES (MALI) - is a group of young musicians from Timbuktu in Mali, playing desert blues and punk. During the 2013 unrest in Mali, while the artists were exiled to Bamako, they received an invitation from Africa Express musicians to record together at the ‘Maison des Jeunes’ youth club. Since then, the band has given concerts in many countries. Their debut album, 'Music in Exile', produced by Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) was released in February 2015

- a group of six artists from dierent musical backgrounds (from jazz through electronic and classical music to indie rock). They enriched the sound of traditional instruments typical of gypsy music (violin / accordion / viola / double bass / percussion) with the rhythm of drums and the sound of a vintage record player.

AURELIO (HONDURAS) - musician, composer, social activist and politician from the Caribbean coast of Honduras. In his music he celebrates the legacy of the Garifuna, an ethnic group from Central America, descendants of the Caribs, the Arawak and African slaves brought to work on plantations. Aurelio's work is a combination of Latin American, Caribbean and African music. He is the rst black member of the National Congress of Honduras. He has worked together with such artists as Orchestra Baobob from Senegal or Youssou N’Dour.

MAMADOU I SAMA YOON (SENEGAL/POLSKA) is a combined Polish and African project ran by Mamadou Diouf, a Senegalese musician and instrumentalist living in Poland. He sings in his native Wolof language, in which 'Sama Yoon' means 'my way' or 'my choice'. He has released many records in cooperation with such artists as Voo Voo, Tam Tam Project and Włodzimierz Kiniorski (African Snow, 1994). The artists performing in the project include musicians known from some legendary bands: Daab, Hey, T.Love, Asunta, Kayah, Kapela ze Wsi Warszawa, Trebunie Tutki or Budka Suera.

- a band set up in 1997 in Sopot by Lawrence Okey Ugwu, a Nigerian musician and composer. It plays African gospel music combined with Polish folk music, as well as jazz, funk and afrobeat. The band performed at a number of festivals in Poland and abroad. It has released an album titled “Lustereczko” (Little Mirror), recorded in Radio Gdańsk Studio with suchmusicians as Zbigniew Namysłowski or Leszek Możdżer. This year Ikenga Drummers will put out their second album “Movement for the Future”, some pieces from which will be performed during the Festival.

KC NWOKOYE (NIGERIA/ POLAND) - a Nigerian singer, composer and author of lyrics, residing in Poland for several years. He is known from “X-Factor” and other shows. In his music he blends rhythm and blues, reggae, jazz and pop. The artist is currently promoting his second album titled “Shine”.

IFI UDE (NIGERIA/ POLAND) - independent Polish artist of Nigerian descent. A music producer, composer singer and author of lyrics. FRYDERYK 2014 award nominee for debut of the year. With support of her fans, she released independently her debut album IFI UDE. She became widely known thanks to her participation in the show Must be the Music and release of a cover version of the popular song “Nie masz cwaniaka nad warszawiaka” with African musicians. She has performed at Open’er Festival, Fjúžn Festival (Slovakia), Art Geni Festival (Georgia), Ethno Jazz_Festival and Transkaukazja Festival.

Outdoor concert - free entry
St John's Centre concerts – 20 zł, tickets available at www.interticket.pl, in PWN Bookstore, ul. Korzenna 33/35, Gdansk and at St. John’s Centre, one hour before concerts
Workshops – the participation form and terms of participation are available at www.festiwalkulturswiata.pl
Exhibition – free entry