Over the course of 2023, HKW has been host to numerous communitarian cultures across its programmes. Central to the transmission and creation of knowledge and society making, participation, integrativeness, embodiment, and collective self-determination are integral to these practices.
The workshop series Bullerengue—Planting the Seeds for Community Healing lays a particular focus on rhythmic cultures, their contexts, and the intra-actions informed by the politics implicit in the particular poetics of its practising.
To continue expanding on this relational and sonic technology, and to wrap up this year’s live programmes, previous and new participants are invited to take part in a session led by Berlin-based drummers and vocal folklore facilitator Carolina Riaño, and the percussionists Leo Mejía and Dante Parraguez.
The workshop is followed by a screening of the documentary Cantadoras—Musical Memories of Life and Death in Colombia, expanding on how traditional music, including bullerengue, has served to resist, sooth, and narrate the experience of violence, and to lead the way out of it.
Bullerengue is a family of rhythms descending from West Africa that developed and remains alive in the Colombian Caribbean and the Darién Province in Panama. It is practised in ruedas, or circles, in which participants unify their voices through the repetition of mantra-like choruses that evoke elevation and power. Through a storytelling format of call-and-response, and an improvisatory practice of collective music making and dancing, these bailes cantados—sung dances—activate mutual awareness and a sense of connection and belonging. Preserved by women within spaces of intergenerational care and knowledge transmission, bullerengue has been used for centuries as a tool for healing and resilience. Today, its practice culturally affirms and upholds the histories of resistance rooted in the Afro-diasporic community.
Bullerengue is an emancipatory practice open to all! HKW welcomes those doing anti-racist, intersectional, feminist, queer activism and anyone interested in taking part in this music & dance practice with the aim of forming the base of a community interested in keeping this ancestral tradition alive in Berlin.
Join in with clapping, singing, dancing, or playing (bring your own drum or maracas if you wish).
English with Spanish and German-language assistance possible.