Back in Scotland I arrived to a cold house. As seems like a tradition on returning, the boiler had failed and the air was damp and unforgiving but I was buoyed with optimism continued after my amazing trip to Brazil by a chance meeting on the the London Glasgow shuttle with a young newly wed couple returning to Glasgow from Palestine. Their positive attitude about their future was inspiring.
And what of Novas Frequencias and Counterflows… There are so many similarities between the two festivals. Our aims to create opportunitiies for new work to be produced and to support artists locally but with a view to the global cultural impact their work can bring to themselves and to the communities that they represent. I had to keep reminding myself that Rio has a population almost twice the size of Scotland, nevermind Glasgow, but somehow, and this is a reflection I think on the vibrant Scottish arts scene, there is a comparable desire to challenge and look innovately at how we deliver the arts that is really encouraging. There are striking differences of course. These are , as you would expect, in the way that the arts are funded. But this is the endless puzzle and dichotomy of private and public funding. I think that it is a healthy thing to look at these things together as there are no simple solutions. Holding on to the integrity and belief in what we are doing is the key to this dichotomy and what I saw in Rio was a really strong belief in their festival. From the organisers and the audiences alike. I feel this also can be seen in Glasgow and with Counterflows.
So to the future… already for Counterflows 2015 Chico and I are planning the Brazilian invasion. Chinese Cookie Poets and Negro Leo will perform on the opening night of the festival, Thursday 2nd April and with some guests from Glasgow. The night will be a celebration of the collaboration between the two festivals. Counterflows 2015 line-up will be announced in the new year. Hopefully if all goes well Scottish artists will then return to Rio for the 5th edition of Novas Frequencias.
And finally to end these posts from Brazil I’d just like to thank Creative Scotland for supporting the beginnings of this exciting project and for supporting AC Projects so far in its endeavours. I’d also like to thank the British Council for initiating this partnership and collaboration and their encouragement across the international stage, their teams in Brazil and UK have been great.
See you at Counterflows 2015