de Mánchester on Deansgate for the launch party of this year’s Eurocultured Festival. There was a guest list, but I’m too cool for that; I just said I was invited by
, and was let straight in with my guest, Mr. Ralph from Bab Kubwa.
The Spanish Institute is a deceptively large and surprisingly beautiful building which often plays host to impressive artistic events (I last went there for Centrepoint Collective’s Streets of Identity). It is grand and old, but has been excellently modernised; glass and steel sympathetically fills the spaces between the stone. (It is what I always hoped The Storey Institute in Lancaster would become.) As well as hosting events it main focus is on Spanish culture; it has a library, dance classes, language exchange, etc.
Eurocultured is Manchester’s annual street festival of European art, music, culture, food, dance, drink, performance and all the rest of that good stuff that make you feel alive. Focus is both on traditional and contemporary and aims to make us feel at one with our European cousins. After all, we are part of Europe, not ruled or dictated by it. It runs in Manchester on the bank holiday weekend 29-30 May 2011, and also in Turku, Finland 21-22 May 2011.
The launch (Urban Stains) was full of excited punters of all ages, mingling, imbibing free beer and sangria, yellow crisp-like potato and corn snacks, and listening to the spinning tunes. A short presentation was given by Ben from Spearfish which basically smashed the champagne bottle on the side of the great ship Eurocultured 2011. He talked about some of the events going on, welcomed us to the launch, and bid us an exciting time at the forthcoming festival. His words were somewhat masked by the rooms terrible acoustics, but the spirit was there.
The room was then bum rushed by breakdance troupe The Floor Riders, a group of pretty skilled breakers, with the now customary prodigal kids. It was a lot of fun, and elicited satisfied woops and roars from the mixed crowd. As the Riders rode the floor, a toddling wee baby staggered bravely across the stage in the background.
The most striking sight of the whole event was instigated by Posca (UniBall), allowed by the Instituto, and provided by the public wielding the awesome marker pens provided. As mentioned a huge amount of the building’s interior is glass; glass walls, stairs, balconies, doors, banisters, and floors (maybe not floors?). Besides drinking the most popular activity was doodling. We all worked together, individually, random and coordinated, to cover every glass surface with colours, lines and words. The overall effect was stunning. A stark and bright mess of contrasts and compliments.
I spoke to someone (Nick?) who had drawn an excellent owl; he told me about his method of creating digital interactive reproductions of gallery exhibitions. I imagine this as being something like the Google Art Project. If you read this Nick (was it Nick?), get in touch; I’d like to know more about it. Also spoke to a young lady, whose name I don’t recall, drawing a silhouetted castle in the style of Jan Pienkowski. Please get in touch and share your photos of the Posca/glass doodles from the night; anyone who has some!
I’m really excited about Eurocultured, and you should be too!
(P.S. Posca, if you want to send me some free pens, I'll happily blog about them :)
|Eurocultured 2011 Manchester|