Saturday, 5 October 2013

Brazilian books, art and music invade UK this weekend: Flipside, Mira Schendel, The Fontanas

One of the highlights of my trip to Brazil a few years ago was Paraty (pictured, left). It’s a colonial town a few hours from Rio and so pretty that it sometimes didn’t look real. It was while staying in the Pousada da Marquesa that I learnt Paraty played host to FLIP, an annual literary festival – the hotel’s walls were covered in photographs of authors, including Paul Auster and Margaret Atwood, who take part in the festival and stay at the Marquesa. In fact, the entire hotel is filled with participating authors during the August festival. I remember thinking how unlikely a setting Paraty was for an international literary festival – the town is tiny and several hours from Rio. But you couldn’t wish for a more picturesque location. I said I’d go back during FLIP. I haven’t managed to yet, but turns out FLIP has come to me; FLIPSIDE is taking place right now in Suffolk

FLIPSIDE is the English equivalent to FLIP and is making its UK debut this weekend. The line-up looks great and includes talks, readings, film screenings, concerts and Brazilian food. FLIP was founded by husband and wife Louis Baum (former editor of The Bookseller) and Liz Calder (former Bloomsbury editorial director) – there’s a short interview by The Bookseller here, where Calder maintains that this weekend’s event is not a one-off.  I like the sound of that. The festival runs until October 6.

But it’s not just FLIPSIDE that is hogging the Brazilian culture limelight in the UK. Anglo-Brazilian band The Fontanas are playing in Brighton tonight at the Blind Tiger Club, while in London, artist Mira Schendel is showing at The Tate Modern until January 19 (pictured, above). If you’re thinking she doesn’t sound very Brazilian, you’d be right – she was born in Zurich, but made her name in Brazil.

Have I missed any events? Drop me a line or a comment below if I have. And let me know if you attend any of the above.

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