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The Solstice celebrations June 2008 included the following (below). Enter only brief details of your organisation's event here. Place further details on your organisation's Minkapedia page with a link from this page. If your organisation has no page under its own name it/you can create one simply by clicking "Create new page" (at the bottom of most pages).

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Solstice celebrations 2008 – Andean New Year[]

The proposition that each cultural group in the United Kingdom should be able to celebrate – publically as well as privately – the New Year in their own way has been accepted by City Hall and local authorities for some years. For those with roots in the Southern Hemisphere there are of course some difficulties as the New Year usually marks the date at which days start to get longer and the nights shorter. The exact date will depend on the calendar system which is in use. In the Andes the period 21 –24 June is marked by the Festival of the Sun or Inti Raymi. This year in London there were multiple celebrations of the event.

CARILA Latin American Welfare Group at University College, 19 June 2008[]

On 19 June 2008 CARILA Latin American Welfare Group presented at University College, London (Chemistry building, Gordon Street, WC1E 6BT), a multi-faceted programme of talks, demonstration workshops, slide shows, videos and dance including a welcome by the Carila Project Manager Alba Arbelaez, an illustrated talk by university academic Paul Goulder on “Solstices, Stonehenge and Caral”, a workshop on the Andean quena or flute and on panpipes by Kausary musician Johnny F. Rodriguez, a DVD presentation and talk by Ing. John Dario Loayza on Inti Raymi and the Inkarri Project in London. Marcelo and Diana presented Revolution of the Kusillos and Solstice in Bolivia (Khoa Tihuanaku ceremony and Danza Pujllay). The lucky winner of the raffle won a free place to participate in the actual solstice celebration 4.45 am on 21 June at Stonehenge – joining a group organised by Carila friendship. The visiting Bolivian conjunto de danzas provided authentic Andean music and dance.

For further details go to CARILA or google "CARILA Latin American Welfare Group".

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Tottenham Festival, 21 June 2008[]

On Saturday 21 June the “Carnival of North London” formed part of the Lea Valley / Tottenham Festival which, following a street parade, was held in the grounds of Bruce Castle “the London home of the Kings of Scotland”. Today the “castle” houses a museum for the Tottenham area and for those visitors to the festival with time to spare explains the rise and fall of the area economically and socially, yet the festival demonstrates the on-going vibrant renaissance of the area (influenced by, amongst others, Latin Americans in the community). The economy of the area had once been dominated by leading-edge Victorian factories – notably the largest furniture factory in the world: Lebus, to which the museum devotes a whole room. But the museum leaves one with a sad feeling for a more prosperous past. Walk out of the museum and into the upbeat music of seemingly competing stages placed at either end of the main park area. There were two principal arenas: one Caribbean and the other Latin American. The park is no way as extensive as Burgess Park, which will be the scene for the forthcoming (South London) Carnaval del Pueblo, so if you stand midway between the two platform stages you hear a mix of the two great meta-genres of music. Such is the powerful influence of afro and new-tec, that at times there was little acoustic conflict between the two. For a revue of further aspects of the 21 June celebrations (in Spanish) see Minkanews 22 June 2008.

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The National Theatre 21 June 2008[]

(This event not part of Solstice 2008 unless the view is taken that everything that happens on 21 June is to do with the solstice!) Take a 243 bus from Bruce Castle to Waterloo Bridge (65 minutes!) and at 6.45 pm you were able to hear one of the hottest new musical performances of the foyer presentations in the National Theatre. Free-of-charge at the point-of-hearing the Ensemble Criollo provided high-quality innovative Latin American music – not necessarily criolla (unless we stretch definitions elastically) – which has something to do with travesia of place and the dominant Llanera melodies . It was innovative, at least for London audiences, by combining the impressively versatile percussion of Wilmer Sifontes, the exactly appropriate voice of Camilo Menjura and the brilliant harps (yes, two) of Diego Laverde. To quote an obvious cliché: the musicians were as inspiring as the audience was inspired. Our neighbour – let’s call her Dolly – perhaps was approaching her eighties and was inspired to dance for us, disproving the ancient belief that gringas have no rhythm. It was Dolly’s day as Wilmer Sifonte came down from the stage and complimented her on her ritmo - or vibes as Sifonte later called it.

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