Aug 26, 2014

UNPO Gathers Support for Indigenous Rights and Culture at Fiesta Latina 2014

This weekend, between 22 and 24 August 2014, UNPO participated at the 13th edition of the colourful and vibrant “Fiesta Latina” summer festival held in Brussel’s urban park Bois de la Cambre. 

This year the festival had one main objective; its aim was to reveal the diverse cultures of Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and the Mediterranean. The attendees of the festival could hop from Colombia to Brazil, Jamaica to Lebanon; and immerse themselves in exotic new tastes, enjoy traditional steel drum music, participate in salsa dance workshops, or watch zumba and capoeira dance, while sipping trendy, refreshing drinks.  

The multicultural context of the festival provided UNPO with the perfect occasion to represent UNPO’s Latin American and African Members, raise awareness of their unique cultures, but also struggles for recognition and representation.  The UNPO stand boasted of a variety of colourful Member flags, pamphlets, post-cards and publications, which were distributed to those who passed by, while also providing a rare occasion for direct interaction between UNPO staff and the friendly public, particularly those, who are interested in indigenous culture and global processes impacting the lives of UNPO Members.

UNPO also implemented a new campaign entitled “BXL <3 INDIGENOUS”, which was inspired by our Mapuche Member, an indigenous group from Chile and Argentina (numbering approximately 1.5 million and 200,000 respectively). The Mapuche nation is the most numerous of the indigenous people in Chile and constitutes one of the largest indigenous societies in South America. The idea behind “BXL <3 INDIGENOUS” was simple. UNPO prepared special badges and tote bags for the occasion and garnered a strong collection of photographs of festival-goers with our “BXL <3 INDIGENOUS” bags, as part of a new strategy of interacting with the public, and raising awareness and support for the activities of UNPO.