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Dekmantel responds to criticism for absence of Latin American artists at 2019 festival

Valesuchi has called out Dekmantel for not representing artists from Latin America and its “so called second home”

  • Words: Patrick Hinton | Photo: Bart Heemskerk
  • 24 January 2019
Dekmantel responds to criticism for absence of Latin American artists at 2019 festival

Chile-born, Brazil-based arist Valesuchi has criticised Dekmantel in an Instagram post for the omission of Latin American artists on the line-up for Dekmantel’s flagship Amsterdam festival this summer.

Dekmantel threw its first festival outside of Amsterdam in February 2017 in Brazilian city São Paulo, and embarked on a South American tour later that year, heading to Santiago, São Paulo, Medellin, Lima, Bogotá and Rio De Janeiro. A second festival in São Paulo took place in March 2018, and the festival held showcases in South American cities including Buenos Aires, Porto Alegre and Nova Lima in the same year.

Valesuchi, who played Dekmantel São Paulo 2017 and 2018, has called out Dekmantel for failing to book Latin American artists for its 2019 Amsterdam edition after the promoter became involved in the region and made Brazil its “so called second home”, writing: “What did you actually come to do here in Latin America? You don’t like us? Nor the music we play and do? Was there any intention of any kind of true cultural exchange in time?”

Read Valesuchi’s post in full below:

Dekmantel responded to the post with an apology, writing: “It has been rightly pointed out that we didn't include any South American-based artists on the initial Dekmantel Festival 2019 lineup. We are sorry for this. It is now clear to us that inviting Latin American artists at our European events is an essential part of the cultural exchange, and we need to do better in strengthening and enriching these exchanges.”

Read Dekmantel’s full statement below:

"We've seen this post and the consequent reactions, have thought about it and would like to bring our perspective:

"We at Dekmantel never intended to just drop our name in other parts of the world and gain money or cultural cachet. Our horizons have been immeasurably broadened as a result of our collaborations.

"It has been rightly pointed out that we didn't include any South American-based artists on the initial Dekmantel Festival 2019 lineup. We are sorry for this. It is now clear to us that inviting Latin American artists at our European events is an essential part of the cultural exchange, and we need to do better in strengthening and enriching these exchanges.

"Our team has placed an enormous amount of time, energy and care into our events spanning São Paulo, Santiago, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Lima, Medellín, Bogotá amongst other cities in South America and do so in close collaboration with locals. Everything our local partners have undertaken in these wonderful cities with us sprang from an ongoing shared intention to showcase the calibre and extraordinary quality of artists far beyond our home turf of Amsterdam. We hope this could be felt at each event. Our commitment to Brazil and the wider network we have established in Latin America remains completely firm.

"We respect every opinion on our doings, but we hope that with providing these thoughts we have made clear that our intentions are sincere as we keep working on and improving the ethical elements of our role in the Brazilian and Latin American scene."

Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Staff Writer, follow him on Twitter

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