World Village Festival will again bring a wide variety of world cultures to Helsinki. Performers at the festival include UMO – Helsinki – Cotonou, Sahrawi singer Aziza Brahim and author Nnimmo Bassey.
The festival will be held 23–24 May 2015. The main theme for this year’s festival is development, and the regional focus is on Africa and the Middle East.
UMO – Helsinki – Cotonou debuting at the festival
One of the most interesting collaborations of the jazz summer will premiere at World Village Festival on Sunday, as Uuden Musiikin Orkesteri UMO and the composer duo of the Finnish-Beninese Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble take the Savannah Stage. Drawing from voodoo rhythms, guitarist Janne Halonen and percussionist-singer Nöel Saïzonou add new flavours to UMO, resulting in uncompromising jazz-funk and powerful afrobeat moods.
Performing on Saturday at the festival is Aziza Brahim, whose music combines West Saharan cultural heritage with flamenco and blues, and whose captivating voice has enchanted audiences around the world. The singer is a resident of Spain, and her latest album Soutak rose to the top of last year’s World Music Charts Europe.
The Saturday evening continues at Virgin Oil Co. at Decent Work Club, which features performances by Paleface & Räjähtävä Nyrkki and Koiton laulu. The full cultural programme will be unveiled on 9 April.
Featured author: the celebrated Nnimmo Bassey
In addition to music, the festival offers plenty of literary programme.
Nigerian environmental activist Nnimmo Bassey is one of the writers featured at the festival. Bassey’s To Cook a Continent – Destructive Extraction and the Climate Crisis in Africa (2012) was published in Finnish at the end of last year. The book discusses the exploitation of natural resources in Africa and the resulting effects. The Finnish translation was published by Like.
Bassey was honoured with the Rafto Prize for Human Rights in 2012 and in 2010 he was one of the recipients of the Right Livelihood Award. Bassey is the founder of Environmental Rights Action and he has served as the chairperson of Friends of the Earth International. The entire factual programme will be released on 23 April.
World Village Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary
World Village was first held in 1995. The festival is one of the largest in Finland, and last year’s event was enjoyed by roughly 80 000 visitors. In addition to music and factual programme, the festival includes street art, kids’ programme, food and hundreds of exhibitors.
World Village Festival will be held 23–24 May in Helsinki in Kaisaniemi Park and the Central Railway Square. Admission to the festival is free. The main organiser of the festival is Kepa. The main partners for this year are the Finnish Red Cross, Finland’s Slot Machine Association (RAY), the Trade Union Solidarity Centre of Finland (SASK), the European Union, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the newspaper Metro.
Maailma Kylässä World Village Festival 2015
Kaisaniemi Park & Railway Square, Helsinki
May 23–24, 2015