Colombiage is an independent collective made up of a bunch of crazy art lovers, passionate about making a difference through intercultural exchange; in this case between Colombia and the UK. Launched in November 2007 in response to the lack of representation of Colombian art and culture within the UK’s cultural landscape, Colombiage is today considered to be one of the most influential showcases for Colombian talent across music, literature, film and beyond.
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A Brief History
Colombiage, whose name originates from the fusion of “Colombia” and “collage”, was originally conceived by Landa Acevedo-Scott as a one-day festival, which would offer audiences a “collage” of Colombian film, music and literature under one roof. The inaugural edition took place at the Riverside Studios in 2007, with guest speakers and performers including renowned filmmaker Sergio Cabrera, award-winning author Juan Gabriel Vasquez and influential producer/songwriter Ivan Benavides. The experiment was a sell out success. Hardly any empty seats, buzzing energy and an immediate sense that there should be more of this. There was clearly a need for it. No one else was specifically and consistently showcasing the work of Colombian artists in the UK at that time; nor was anyone highlighting the more edgy, contemporary side of Colombian culture at a time when things were just beginning to get really exciting, culturally-speaking. And so the UK’s first annual celebration of contemporary Colombian arts and culture was born. By the following year, Colombiage had become a three-day extravaganza with over 25 events over a number different venues; and by 2009 we had come to be regarded as the “best Colombian cultural festival in the UK and one of the most important in Europe”. Since then Colombiage has premiered the work of over 100 Colombian artists in London including the now internationally renowned Bomba Estéreo; we have been the point of departure for a number of wonderful projects including the highly acclaimed “What If Latin America Ruled the World?” by Oscar Guardiola-Rivera; we have entertained approximately 20,000 people with an unrivalled programme of events spanning music, literature, film as well as theatre, visual arts, gastronomy and children’s programmes; we have worked in partnership with the Barbican, the Southbank Centre and other major UK landmark venues; our work has received the support and recognition of international stars of the likes of Manu Chao; but most important of all we have helped to create a solid platform of intercultural exchange between Colombia and the UK, which we hope will become a legacy for many years to come.