Why the Hiatus?

OK, ladies and gents, you might have been asking yourselves what happened to us over the last two years. Not that we think you sit there thinking about us all day, you’ve definitely got better things to do! There has been a hiatus, however, and it’s time to explain.

Let’s break this down: Brum Spirit – Professional Incredibles‘ fabulous cultural exchange between Birmingham and Brazil –  was founded in 2011. Back then, it was known as Espirito Brum, due to our partnership with a Europe wide network of festivals called Espirito Mundo, run by a production company from Brazil.

We ran three editions of Espirito Brum, in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Every year, a whole new bunch of visiting artists came to visit Birmingham, from all over Brazil. They created, performed and shared alongside artists from Brum, and from the wider UK, in neighbourhoods all across our beloved home city. We had a wicked time, we learned a lot, we made loads of mistakes, and we made magic happen.

In 2013, we partnered with Kings Heath Business Improvement District to bring a carnival inspired focus to South Brum’s favourite High Street. Campinas raised Flautins Matua led the parade as part of their European tour.

We also curated the Welcome to Kings Heath mural – painted by Brazilian artist Ficore, alongside Kings Heath’s very own Hoakser. Three years on, the mural is still there, untouched and brightening a little corner of B14. Its gets seen by around 4500 road users per hour, and as you can see from this article, it’s become synonymous with the neighbourhood.

Ficore also collaborated with Mr. Christian – in house designer at indie boutique The People Shop – on a one of a kind graffiti dress. Why the heck not?

People Shop Dress - Dan Burwood, Model Talie Hurdwell

Our 2013 edition was lush. It was also quite stressful, and due to ethical differences between ourselves and the makers of Espirito Mundo, briefly centring around our belief that artists should be paid for their work, so that they don’t die of exposure, in 2014 we rebranded to Brum Spirit.

This also meant that we could extend the cultural exchange up to involve visiting artists from other nations, as well as those from Brazil. The name Brum Spirit encapsulates the sense of welcome, tolerance, self determination and eclecticism that Birmingham embodies as a city, and we wanted to open our homes and our hearts to artists from all over the damn globe.

For Brum Spirit 2014, we did just that. As well as welcoming back visiting Brazilian musician Jota III for the 4th time, we called on Kadialy Kouyate from Senegal, and CASCA from Cameroon, through our partnership with Celebrating Sanctuary and Muzikstan.

In line with our commitment to brighten up neglected corners of Birmingham with crowd curated public artworks, we hosted French graffiti artist RCF1, while he completed a collaborative mural in homage to Brum’s underground music scene, alongside Hoakser.

So, nicely settled into our new name, and continuing to build on our small but carefully formed exchange model, Brum Spirit was going swimmingly. Then, one day, our Director Tessa Burwood decided it was about time she set herself a new challenge – one which would take up a heck of a lot of time. So she buckled down to studying for a Graduate Diploma in Law, at BPP Birmingham, and she blooming well passed.

What with that, and creating our sister project Levitate, there was no time to run a full edition of Brum Spirit in 2015, so we took a year off from public events. We did make this wicked film though, all about Birmingham’s music scene, with a little help from Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whisky.

So, that explains the hiatus. But fear not – Brum Spirit is back in 2016! Yey! We have loads of cool things to share with you this year, and we cannot wait to get started 🙂 Thank you big time for bearing with us 🙂 Tamojunto familia!

 

Adeus por agora!

For those of you who haven’t been to or even heard of Espirito Brum until right now, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? This summer, we like to think has been our best yet with even more dates, even more venues, and much more Braziliance than ever before!

With the help and support from all you lovely lot we have gone from being a weekend long festival to a three month long extravaganza ensuring you all got the most from our home grown British artists and our visiting Brazilian friends. We have made ourselves quite at home in Kings Heath so a big thanks to all the residents who welcomed us into their community, showing the spirit of Brum and embracing the spirit of Brazil!

So without further ado let’s take a look back at Espirito Brum 2013:

We kicked off with a celebration of all things Espirito Brum and teamed up with local foodies “Brum Yum Yum” and June 8th brought live music from our veterans Oye Batacuda, North London new-comers Defkon1,  and EB favourite and Birmingham’s own Mendi Singh. We were also lucky enough to host quite the treat for the crowds when Moshka Medicine Men took to the stage, offering their fresh and unique sounds, Rohit Ballal and Ste Scott came together with a Sitar and Bass Guitar fusion and last but certainly not least was Danni’s People, a Birmingham funk band, because it’s always nice to finish on some funk right?

We felt like a part of the community in Kings Heath and to prove it Brazilian artist Ficore and Kings Heath original Hoakser collaborated on the graffiti masterpiece that is the ‘Welcome to Kings Heath’ community inspired mural, taking prime place on the side the high street. Of course, it could not possibly have been complete without the inclusion of the Kings Heath Monkey Man who visited the proceedings the day before his 60th Birthday. We hope those of you who made suggestions to what should be on the wall had your creative visions realised as it has recently been finished – what do you think?

Ficore also kindly started another creative collaboration with our favourite independent clothing boutique People Shop. Ficore painted fabric which was made into a bespoke dress by in-house designer Mr.Christian! Wait till you see the picture of this beautiful dress – luckily it’s for sale so one of you lucky girls can get your hands on it!

This year we have had some of the best international collaborations, we saw the return of Mendhi Sing and Wanderson Lopez, after their successful tour of Brazil with their guitar and tabla concert. The pair graced us yet again at Jazz at The Spotted Dog (which was free entry so no excuses), and they continued to impress us at the Kings Heath Community Cinema Project, where they showcased their fantastic music, joined by Joelle Baker and cinema visuals from Expurgação.

We think everyone enjoyed the first event at Kings Heath Village square so much that we just had to have another one, only this time it happened to coincide with the hottest day of the year! With temperatures scorching we were really feeling the espirito of Brasil! This time we had the privilege to be shown how to Forrό in Brum with the quick stepped demonstrations to get all you Brummies dancing. The live jamming session with Flautins Matuá meant everyone was up on their feet and get involved with the fantastic interactive folk performance.

There were also drumming workshops for all the family, in conjunction with Our Big Gig – the nationwide event to encourage interaction with music. We were also joined by Brummie lads New Killer Shoes who gave us a taste of their ska and reggae inspired acoustic set, while we were of course fed by the food heroes Brum Yum Yum.

All summer we gave you teasers of the fabulously rebellious Don’t Cut off Your Dreadlocks video with Brazilian reggae singer and rapper Jota III featuring Pablo rider who performed live at the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath for the launch of the video. The video, which has been played on MTV Brazil and broadcast over FM radio in Sao Paulo, was filmed around Birmingham by 144 Media, and features many of our glorious landmarks, mostly in Digbeth showcasing some of the area’s finest examples of graffiti and street art. If you haven’t seen it go check it out here! You can also download the single here.

After the energy and vivacity of Espirito Brum 2013, we were drawn to a more contemplative end. At All Saints Church, Kings Heath Community Cinema screened ‘Waste Land’ directed by Lucy Walker and co-directed by João Jardim and Karen Harley. The film, that documents the journey of artist Vik Muniz as he travels to his native Brazil to visit the largest rubbish dump in the world, captures the lives of the people who live there and how the power of the human spirit

So, take a deep breath and wipe away those tears as you can always keep in touch with us via Facebook  and Twitter. And don’t forget it all kicks off again when we head to Brazil in Spring 2014! See you next year!

 

 

“EARTH WITHOUT ART IS JUST EH”

Earth without art really is just ‘eh’, and we truly believe this at Espirito Brum. That’s why this year, the city’s favourite cross cultural celebration has embraced all things art and has teamed up with a few of Brazil’s finest creators to deliver you some amazing artistic events this summer!

I Love KH

If you haven’t spotted it already, keep your eye out for the spectacular graffiti mural on the side of Mariano’s Cornish Café. The poignant piece is a creation by the wonderful visiting Brazilian artist Ficore and Kings Heath home body Hoakser, who have joined forces to mark the arrival of the cultural exchange in the bohemian suburb. If you want to get a look at this creation head to the Facebook page 🙂

The community inspired work of art explores the merging cultures of Birmingham and Brazil, and we think it’s fab!  The artists have even placed a focus on suggestions from local residents about their favourite things in Kings Heath, including the famous Kings Heath monkey man, who visited the mural the day before his 60th Birthday!

"Monkey Man"

Here at Espirito Brum we’re also really excited to tell you about another creative collaboration in Kings Heath. Graffiti painter Ficore is going to be working together with our favourite independent clothing boutique People Shop, painting fabric to be made into a bespoke dress by in-house designer Mr.Christian!

We were so excited to speak to Allison Saddler from the People Shop about this one of a kind opportunity, who told us: “We are really looking forward to working with Ficore and being a part of Espirito Brum. Shops like ours need to work together and to collaborate with other organisations on interesting projects more often. This keeps the excitement alive.”

Following this, Espirito Brum will be keeping its creativity flowing right through to the very end of the programme, and our final event is set to close the festivities in true artistic style! We have got together with Project U-Neek to organise an art trail around Kings Heath BID. We’re going to be putting prints of the exhibited works online for sale and at a special charity auction held in Loco Lounge August 8th, with all profits will be divided between the exhibiting artists and two amazing charities, find out more here.

Hand in hand, Espirito Brum 2013’s arts events work to inspire a community and showcase emerging artistic talents in a way that it has never been done before. As you can see, Kings Heath is Birmingham’s place to be this summer, and this is not one to be missed!