We are thrilled to announce our Monday night headliners for this year’s festival. It’s been a long time in the making, but we know the wait will have been worth it!
For a few years now we’ve been talking to the amazing organisation that is In Place Of War. For the past thirteen years, In Place of War (IPOW) has been working with women in creative communities in some of the most challenging contexts in the world, providing a support system for community, artistic, creative and cultural organisations in places of conflict, revolution and areas suffering the consequences of conflict. Today, IPOW’s community spans over 100 grassroots community organisations with a collective reach of over 60 million people in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.
In times of growing divisions across the world, global instability and the increased movement of people fleeing war, the work by communities on the ground (and especially women, often called upon to hold the fabric of community life together) to make opportunity and peace is more important than ever. IPOW’s vision is a big one: to be a leader in the arts and peace-building / international development sector.
And now, at last, IPOW comes to Greenbelt … in the shape of GRRRL.
GRRRL is a bespoke electronic collaboration between fierce women artists from areas of conflict around the world, fusing sounds of dark techno, hip-hop, dancehall, reggae, soul and electronica. GRRRL showcases rebellious, independent, underground, revolutionary women who are promoting peace, fighting injustice and creating change through their music.
The collaboration will be under the musical direction of Brazil’s Laima Leyton (Mixhell/Soulwax). And the artists will include Mercury Prize Winning rapper Speech Debelle (who will have gigged in her own right on our Saturday bill), Zimbabwe’s Rapper Queen AWA (African Women Arise), the Queen of Brazilian Dancehall Lei Di Dai, the Young Lioness Of Africa Wiyaala, original Nu-Jazz and folk singer from Cape Town Nono Nkoane, Bangladeshi vocalist Sohini Alam and DJ and percussionist from Caracas, Venezuela – MABE.
As well as their mainstage closing performance, GRRRL and IPOW will also lead an afternoon of workshopping in our brand new Red Tent venue around Women, Music and War, where stories will be shared about the impact that music has had on their lives, the role of women in music, and the changes they want to make through music in their communities, their countries, and the world!
This is brave and important programming. We are excited and honoured to welcome In Place of War and GRRRL to Greenbelt 2017.