The story of BATUKE! Festival
The Batuke! Festival started out of our passion for the music and dance of Afro - Portuguese countries. We realised that there is a special rapport and connection between all the Portuguese speaking countries, a recognition of common experiences through music and dance. In 2010, when we started there was no platform in the UK where Afro - Portuguese artists were represented, the community could experience their culture in a professional space, young and old, and share their common heritage. So, we decided to just go ahead and do it ourselves! We self produced initially through our regular events. It was very risky, but we believed in it so we made it work! The team derived from Iris De Brito social dance school at the time - Studio Afro Latino. Roles were delegated, artists contacted, plenty of volunteering support and voila! We became the go - to festival in the UK representing Afro-Portuguese culture, created a space for artistic development, cultural exchange and research. Guest artists came from the USA, France, Senegal, Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique and the UK. We were founded by the Arts Council for 5 years and developed creative partnerships.
In 2019 we achieved a fantastic milestone with our 10th Anniversary and decided to have a break.
We are now looking towards developing a new event, investing in organisational development and research. Make sure you continue to follow us and connect with us through Afro - Portuguese culture!
The Dream Team
Iris De Brito
Event Manager / Creative Director
Together with her team, Iris has created numerous social, community and club events in the UK as well as partnering with associations abroad with the sole incentive of promoting Afro-Luso culture. In 2006 Iris successfully created and directed “El Barrio” - a theatre production with Song, Salsa and Live percussion, which completely sold out three London dates.
She has been the Show director for BATUKE! Festival from the start with great public acclaim. She is also the lead director of Studio Afro Latino - a dance school dedicated to developing and promoting Afro-Luso culture managing a team of 8 people and 3 volunteers.
Feka is a liaison officer that brings extensive voluntary sector experience from his time managing funded creative educational projects to children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Feka has delivered a variety of projects during his 5 years managing a community arts charity, including projects funded by nationally recognised Trusts and donors such as Children In Need, Lloyds TSB and John Lyon’s Charitable Trust.
As the project’s Liaison Officer, Feka leverages his skills on BATUKE! Festival to engage minority ethnic communities, deliver creative educational content and build strategic networks.
From French West Indian descent, JV has a long held passion for the complex history & culture of the Caribbean and its influences on its diasporic communities around the world.
Directly working in the area of advertising and digital media, he brings in-depth knowledge of how to reach the press and form relationships with media partners.
As one of the original members of Kizomba UK, his professional background has added another perspective to the organisation’s profile and help reach a wider audience.
PR Officer & Event Administrator
Kemi is BATUKE! event administrator and go to person for all press and PR related matters. She has worked in the festival for the past 4 years. Kemi also works closely with Kizomba UK, on their press presence.
Having a professional background in creative design, marketing & PR, Kemi has developed a rich portfolio of UK contacts, which spans from fashion & beauty, food and drink, events, and the publishing industry.