Dekmantel faces criticism over lack of Latin American artists at 2019 festival

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    Wed, 23 Jan 2019, 22:13
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  • Brazil-based artist Valesuchi posted a statement on Instagram about the Amsterdam festival's failure to book Latin American talent despite holding multiple South American events.
  • Dekmantel faces criticism over lack of Latin American artists at 2019 festival image
  • Dekmantel has responded to an Instagram post from Brazil-based artist Valesuchi, who criticized the festival's failure to include Latin American artists in its 2019 program. Valesuchi posted the statement following Tuesday's Dekmantel lineup announcement, which featured more than 100 acts. The Chilean-born, Rio de Janeiro-based artist, who has played both of Dekmantel's Brazilian events in 2017 and 2018, points out that this year's Amsterdam edition features no Latin American or Brazilian artists, even though Brazil is the promoter's "so called second home." Valesuchi asks, "Was there any intention of any kind of true cultural exchange?" Dekmantel has since issued a return statement on the producer's Instagram post. Among hundreds of other comments from the international dance music community, they posted an apology. "We are sorry for this," they wrote. "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 Valesuchi's original Instagram post.
    Read Dekmantel's full response from Valesuchi's Instagram comments.
    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.
    Max Pearl, Steph Lee, Matt McDermott and Carlos Hawthorn contributed to this report. Read more / Opinion: Cultural exchanges must work both ways