How we live now

This year’s Latin in­spired Flip­side Fes­ti­val at Snape chal­lenges au­di­ences to think about their im­pact on the planet – in a vi­brant, joy­ful way of course. Cather­ine Larner pre­views the event

EADT Suffolk - - Arts -

SNAPE Malt­ings pro­vides the set­ting this month for the fourth Flip­Side Fes­ti­val, a vi­brant cel­e­bra­tion of lit­er­a­ture, mu­sic and art, in­tro­duc­ing Mex­i­can, Brazil­ian, Cuban and Canadian writ­ers, po­ets and mu­si­cians to a Suf­folk au­di­ence.

Flip­Side was launched in 2013 by Liz Calder, a lead­ing fig­ure in the world of pub­lish­ing in the UK and a founder of a Brazil­ian fes­ti­val of lit­er­a­ture held in Paraty, called FLIP. With three col­leagues, Liz formed Flip­Side, in her home county of Suf­folk, to show­case South Amer­i­can tal­ent and en­cour­age con­ver­sa­tions with key writ­ers and artists in the UK.

“Ini­tially peo­ple were sur­prised by the con­cept,” says fes­ti­val di­rec­tor Genevieve Christie. “It seemed slightly un­usual, but we put a lot of en­ergy into putting to­gether some­thing which had a Latin feel. The at­mos­phere is re­laxed and vi­brant, joy­ful. I think peo­ple have re­ally em­braced that.” The pro­gramme is in­no­va­tive and wide rang­ing, and, this year, has ex­panded be­yond a cel­e­bra­tion of the arts, to chal­lenge the au­di­ence to think about ‘how we live now’, the ti­tle of a key­note pre­sen­ta­tion from award­win­ning nov­el­ist, poet and environmental cam­paigner Mar­garet At­wood.

“There’s more of a theme to the fes­ti­val this year than we’ve ever had be­fore,” says Genevieve. “All our events are ad­dress­ing this con­cept in some way, to en­cour­age a spirit of en­quiry.” With the world in its cur­rent trou­bled and un­easy state, she says peo­ple are ready to ask pen­e­trat­ing ques­tions about all el­e­ments of daily life.

“What we eat, how we build our homes and of­fices, how we cope with bor­ders and bar­ri­ers, pol­i­tics. How can we nav­i­gate our way? Can po­etry help us? Can lit­er­a­ture help us? Who are the au­thors, the great writ­ers, who are ad­dress­ing these is­sues? We are look­ing at how writ­ing is ad­dress­ing all the dif­fer­ent el­e­ments of life that we are fac­ing.”

Au­thor of best­seller The Tulip, Anna Pa­vord, will cel­e­brate land­scape as she in­tro­duces her lat­est book Land­skip­ping: Pain­ters, Plough­men and Places. Ar­chi­tect Michael Pawlyn will give his per­spec­tive on build­ing for the fu­ture, while jour­nal­ist and broad­caster Sheila Dil­lon joins food writer Bee Wil­son to dis­cuss the im­pact of our food choices.

The lit­er­ary ses­sions will fea­ture dis­cus­sions with Ali Smith, He­len Mac­don­ald, Lucy Hughes-Hal­lett, and po­ets Jackie Kay, Anne Michaels and Ruth Padel. Brazil­ian poet, Leonardo Froés, and Mex­i­can writ­ers Ál­varo En­rigue and Va­le­ria Luiselli will be giv­ing their per­spec­tives. There will be read­ings of clas­sic works such as Bruce Chatwin’s In Patag­o­nia and Jean Giono’s The Man Who Planted Trees. In a cel­e­bra­tion of one of the world’s most im­por­tant writ­ers, the late John

‘“It seemed slightly un­usual, but we put a lot of en­ergy into putting to­gether some­thing which had a Latin feel’

Berger, film maker Mike Dibb, poet Anne Michaels and ac­tor Toby Jones will re­mem­ber his work, and there will be a screen­ing of a doc­u­men­tary about the iconic Latin Amer­i­can writer and No­bel Lau­re­ate, Gabriel Gar­cia Mar­quez.

“We want to mix the lo­cal with the in­ter­na­tional,” says Genevieve. There is an art in­stal­la­tion by Suf­folk artist Jelly Green, which was in­spired by and cre­ated in a Brazil­ian rain­for­est. Writer Iain Sin­clair, known for his Lon­don chron­i­cles, will talk about his ex­plo­ration of Peru, and will lead a walk along the river, and there is a chil­dren’s jun­gle trail, ex­ploit­ing and cel­e­brat­ing the Snape lo­ca­tion.

In a mix of free and tick­eted events, guests will be able to en­joy ses­sions of Samba Per­cus­sion and the Brazil­ian Choral Work­shop, as well as a Satur­day Night Mu­sic Party fea­tur­ing Brazil­ian clas­sics, and a dis­play of Capoeira dance. There is also an ex­pand­ing pro­gramme of ac­tiv­i­ties for chil­dren, both at Flip­Side but also in a ded­i­cated chil­dren’s fes­ti­val in Low­est­oft in the Oc­to­ber half term. This springs from an ed­u­ca­tional project which the team has been run­ning in schools in Low­est­oft and Great Yar­mouth.

“The fes­ti­val is now part of a larger remit of work,” says Genevieve. This broad­en­ing scope of work has seen Flip­Side be­come a reg­is­tered char­ity. So, in what could be seen as a crowded land­scape of fes­ti­vals both na­tion­ally and in Suf­folk, how does the Flip­Side team believe it will at­tract peo­ple to try some­thing new?

“It is risky to have a pro­gramme that is more about ideas than the big names,” says Genevieve, “al­though we have the big names too. But we’re look­ing for an au­di­ence that wants to get in­volved, that wants to think.” And to cel­e­brate and en­joy life in all its colour and di­ver­sity.

Flip­Side at Snape Malt­ings, Oc­to­ber 6-8, and Low­est­oft Oc­to­ber 24-26. www.flip­sideuk.org

Flip­side at Snape Malt­ings

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