WOMEX Opening: Musical Diversity, Culture, And Tradition

WOMEX 21 Opening | photo by Jacob Crawfurd

After two years of challenges to the cultural sector, the WOMEX 21 Opening: Porto ReFolk Express at Casa da Música was buzzing, together again, with more than 1,000 guests in attendance, rich with sounds of Portuguese music from all regions and in all directions. The Opening presented a showcase of music made in Portugal, with diverse artistic voices, languages, variety; reinventing and uniting the richness, forms and instruments from Portuguese popular cultures.

The Opening: Porto ReFolk Express - was curated by Mauro Rodrigues, Revolução d’Alegria. The four artists, all hailing from Portugal were Galandum Galundaina along with special guest Pauliteiros de Miranda, Retimbrar performing with special guest, Galician artist, Uxía Seiva, and Sopa de Pedra.

The evening reception was supported by Why Portugal, Fundação GDA, ATPN and Audiogest.

The evening confirmed the desire of the global music community and the global music business to come together and rebuild what has been fragmented in recent times: a strong confirmation of the need for live music on stage, the need for the power of music in uniting diverse cultures and people most peacefully and naturally where growing nationalism, racism and intolerance around the World is on the rise.

Alexander Walter, WOMEX director, opened the speeches and introduced this year's local partner António Miguel Guimarães from AMG Music, who thanked and acknowledged everyone involved in bringing WOMEX to Portugal for the first time.

António Miguel Guimarães, managing director, AMG Music, the local partners for WOMEX 21, shared:

"In a period in the history of the World where exacerbated nationalism is re-appearing, as well as racism and intolerance, amplified by powerful communication networks, such as some social networks, the respect for diversity is fundamental and few will promote it as well as Music, and the WOMEX project, in particular."

On hosting WOMEX in Porto this year, Ângela Ferreira, Secretary of State of Culture, Porto, Portugal shared:

"In a time when Creative and Cultural Industries are centre-stage on European policies when we see programmes like Creative Europe having their budget doubled down for the next six years...I challenge all the art workers and agents present here to get to know each other, build partnerships and collaborative networks - because we need more of the unique role that culture plays in the World, of promoting a better understanding and a deeper empathy amongst all countries and regions."

article posted by:Juliane Bahl, Piranha Arts