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Explore Afro-Venezuelan rhythms with a night of film featuring Adriana Vila Guevaras’ powerful portrait of the “Queen of the Quitipla” ‘Belén’ followed by live performance from musician and vocalist Luzmira Zerpa and guests with traditional Afro rhythms from her home country.

The Film: Belén

Director: Adriana Vila Guevara

Time: 94 min

Hands of earth, crystal eyes, ancestral bridge. Immortal humble wise noble warrior. BELEN a cocoa farmer and musician from a small Afro-Venezuelan village that, unaware of her powers, becomes main inspiration for her community and for people all over the American continent (during her life, and after her death as a spiritual being). Queen of the Quitipla. Master of bamboo’s sounds and silences. Core and bridge to the African American community, to its connected beats and historical fights.

A trip into the puzzled reminiscences of this woman’s life (and death), captured through more than 100 hours of amateur found footage  and expressed through the mirrored gestures of multiple points of view. An unusual musical portrait filled with personal and collective resonant rituals; a path to understand the power of music and modest authentic actions, for social transformation.

“The impossible portrait of a woman indifferent to her own extraordinariness becomes a collective venture between many friends and relatives of Belén María Palacios, La Reina del Quitiplá. The mixing gives their words a polyvocal aspect. The sound of the quitiplá, a rudimentary and little known instrument from Venezuela, preserves the efficiency and virtuosity of her performance. By unveiling the tricks of the shooting, by exposing the multiplicity of its sources, the film sheds light on its protagonist while sharing a collective tribute”. Gilles Grand (Fid Marseille)

+ Live in the bar after the film: Luzmira Zerpa & guests

Luzmira Zerpa is a prolific Venezuelan singer/songwriter based in UK who has performed internationally as a solo artist and toured extensively throughout Europe with her band Family Atlantica (Soundway Records). Luzmira has performed at prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and the Elbphailarmonie (Hamburg) as well as festivals including Glastonbury Festival, Womad and the World Music Festival in Udaipur, India. Luzmira’s music blends traditional, folkloric music from Latin America with world influences, notably Afrobeat, blues and jazz. Her band Family Atlantica was awarded best upcoming band by Songlines Magazine in 2015.

FLAWA is a new arts festival showcasing female Latin American talent in London. Over five days of events, guests will enjoy live musical performances (from Liniker, La Dame Blanche and others), take part in literary events, talks and discussions (with the likes of Yara Rodrigues and Alia Trabucco Zerán), as well as admiring an art exhibition and attending multiple films, including Marialy Rivas’ award-winning Princesita.

The Festival of Latin American Women in Arts (FLAWA), will be the first festival of its kind in the British capital, showing the perceptions of women from Latin America in film, music, literature and arts in a range of London venues between the 15th and 19th May 2019.