WOMEX 19 Unites Musical Diversity And Multi-Culture Together In Finland

WOMEX 19 Opening by Jacob Crawfurd

Yesterday evening marked the opening of the remarkable 25th Anniversary of WOMEX in Tampere, Finland. The success of reaching a quarter of a century was a dazzling commemoration with more than a thousand guests in attendance at the Tampere Hall along with four meritorious performances from Pauanne, Pekko Käppi, Suistamon Sähkö, and Vildá, all representing this year's host country, Finland.

The Opening: Arctic Fire – Pohjoiset tulet - was put together by Music Finland and curated by internationally-noted choreographer and dancer Kaari Martin, together with composer, musician, producer Roni Martin. Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, the official media partners for 2019, broadcasted the event live on national television that is now available for streaming online via their website.

Equality, non-discrimination, multi-culturalism, cultural diversity, easy access to culture, freedom of expression, the right to - and responsibility for - cultural heritage and the right to choose one’s own culture were some of the subjects addressed in the opening speeches that resonated amongst the audience present.

Alexander Walter, WOMEX director, opened the speeches and introduced this year's local partner Tapio Korjus from Rockadillo Production Oy who thanked and acknowledged everyone who made this event happen.

On hosting WOMEX in Tampere this year, Minister of Science and Culture of Finland, Hanna Kosonen, shared:

"Finland can be considered as an example of the power of music; to help to construct and articulate national identities in the language of music, but also offer the most peaceful and natural way to fuse cultures together and express multi-culturalism...World music brings audible values such as equality, multi-culturalism, cultural diversity and easy access to culture. These values go extremely well hand in hand with the main goals and values of our Ministry."

Deputy Mayor of the City of Tampere, Johanna Loukaskorpi, was greeted with regular mid-speech applause, as she communicated:

"The value of music can be a personal emotion or on the other hand, its value can be the huge economic impact the music industry has. Cities and nations all over the world need you, the music professionals, to keep them going. Equality and diversity are things which have to be essential values in every decision and action we make...this is something to be celebrated."

The evening reception was hosted by Music Finland where a special toast was raised to the all WOMEX delegates who have attended every edition of WOMEX's 25 years of existence.

article posted by:Francisco Gonçalves Silva, Piranha Arts