Culture

Brasilien trifft Berlin’ Festival Celebrates Brazilian Culture in Berlin

Edney Pereira, organizer of ‘Brasilien trifft Berlin’ festival, speaks to Berlin Global

November 11th, 2016
Irene Escacena, Berlin Global
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‘Brasilien trifft Berlin’ festival is taking place in Berlin between 14th October and 22nd November 2016. On 2nd November, Berlin Global had the chance to meet the organizer of the event, Edney Pereira, who is also co-owner of A Livraria, the only bookshop in Berlin with material in the Portuguese language.

When we entered the bookstore and first asked him about that place, Edney Pereira told us that the idea was born when, having just arrived in Berlin and without any knowledge of the German language, he had to rest following knee surgery and could not find books in his language.

He thought that that the circa 11,000 Portuguese-speaking people in Berlin would like to have a place in the city to find not only books but also some traditional products and activities related to their home countries. A Livraria is also a place where children can get familiarized with the Portuguese and Italian languages, as well as attending theatre plays and concerts.

However, this place is not only a meeting point for people from Portugal, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Mozambique or Angola; people from Germany and from all around the world are also attracted by the music, books and cultural activities organized by Edney and his colleagues.

It was this increasing interest in Brazilian and Portuguese culture which inspired Edney to create the ‘Brasilien trifft Berlin’ festival four years ago. It was 2012 and Brazil had been chosen as the protagonist country of the Frankfurt Book Fair. The occasion brought many Brazilian authors to Germany and Edney took the opportunity to organize a literature festival with the 15 Brazilian authors who agreed to come to Berlin.

It was the first edition of what is now the ‘Brasilian trifft Berlin’ festival. At the beginning, Edney could not find financial support and had to arrange everything by himself. The audience was also limited, and he told us how on some occasions there were only three people attending the festival activities.

Then, progressively, the festival started to became more and more popular in the city. By the second and third editions, the Embassy of Brazil in Berlin decided to support Edney’s project with some financial aid.

Support also came from the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, which is now an essential partner for Edney, as the Embassy is no longer contributing financially to the project, but is rather offering their space for hosting some activities.

This year, ‘Brasilien trifft Berlin’ is in its 4th edition and will be taking place from 14th October to 22nd November. Many artists will use this occasion as a chance to show their artworks which have been made in Berlin. The festival also unifies artists of different nationalities, such as the Angolan Kalaf Angelo, who will present his book ‘The Angolan who bought Lisbon’.

“This festival is not only cultural but also political” says Edney, explaining how the festival is also an opportunity to talk about Brazil’s current political situation. A panel discussion, Brazil Today, will be held in A Livraria on 22nd November. This will be a chance to learn about the current situation of a country passing through harsh political changes.

Make use of this great opportunity to enjoy the concerts, short film screenings, debates, poetry and literature that ‘Brasilien trifft Berlin’ will be offering until 22nd November.

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