If one ever doubts the necessity of nourishing cultural diversity, if one ever thinks an uniformed world would be a good idea, one may only need a visit to Womex to be reassured.
Where else today can in one place one experience music (culture in general) enthusiasts from all around the World in various roles – from volunteers to professionals, from artists to those who do anything that those artists have opportunity to share their message.
Concerts, film screenings, discussions, soul-family reunions….
From Albanian polyphonic choir whose performance brought a purifying sound shower that particular night to vivacious Polish mazurka.
p.s. Hover over each photograph to see the name of the performer(s).
This year Womex was held in a unique city of Thessaloniki in Greece. How much the site matters was palpable at every step. The warmth of climate spreads the hearts wide open as well – those of the locals and us, the visitors. I’ve been going to Womex since 1999 and this was one, if not the one, of my favourite editions.
Not only for the choice of artists that were presented but also for everything else that made our stay more pleasant than usual. Starting from the helpful locals who answer every question with a dedication and go that extra bit to help you with whatever you need, the most polite and cordial security professionals, the delicious food in restaurants where we felt like eating at our aunt’s and not some “this is business” establishments. The list is much longer yet have to mention one more “group” that usually has challenging reputation anywhere – the taxi drivers. According to our own experience they deserve a special praise in Thessaloniki.
All in all, being in one city for the first time and feeling so “home” contributed to the overall experience of Womex 2012.
“Womex is a lung. It is a place that we gather in to breathe, to replenish ourselves to go back refreshed. It is about music, but it is about a lot more than that. It is a shared community of ideas, values and ideals…”. This statement from Lemez Lovas at the closing ceremony on Sunday, the last day of Womex, describes what Womex means to so many of us.
Here are also a few snapshots of the fair:
p.s. The song is by Kristi Stassinopoulou and Stathis Kalyviotis