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Celebrating Culture and Diversity: One World By The Sea Festival

Published on Thursday, November 2, 2017

The inaugural One World By The Sea Festival in Bournemouth and Poole was launched in spectacular fashion with a series of internationally-themed events and performances that took place from Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 October 2017. The international festival, which was organised by the International Education Forum (IEF) with support from the Dorset Race Equality Council, Bournemouth University and the Bournemouth Town Centre BID, celebrated international culture and diversity. Events included international film screenings, music and dance performances, international cuisine, costumes and crafts and culminating in a mini-festival in the Triangle on Saturday, 28 October 2017.


One World By The Sea launched with World Discovery Day at Bournemouth University International College in the Lansdowne area of Bournemouth on Thursday 26 October 2017. The event commenced with an inspiring talk by Pride of Britain nominee Peter Thompson, who ran 44 marathons in 44 countries on 44 consecutive days to raise money and awareness for mental health charities. World Discovery Day included interactive cultural activities such as learning to say hello in five languages, count in Chinese or write your name in Arabic, a dynamic drumming workshop, face-painting, and a range of international foods.


An eclectic evening of music performances, drumming performances and song and dance followed on the evening of Thursday 26 October 2017 at Eden Garden Bar. The evening began with a “One World, Many Voices” show focusing on musical styles from around the world. Following this, a carnival procession featuring samba reggae funk band, Barulho, danced down from the Triangle area of town to Eden to commence the Carnival Club Night, featuring Cuban DJ, R-Nandez.


The evening of Friday 27 October 2017 brought the rare opportunity to attend a screening of the award-winning Icelandic drama, Börn (Translation: Children), by writer-director, Ragnar Bragason, at the Lighthouse Theatre in Poole. The director introduced the film in person and took questions and answers from the audience afterwards.


A vibrant mini-festival took place in the Triangle in Bournemouth on Saturday 28 October 2017 for One World By The Sea’s International Family Day event. Free to the public, the festival featured performers from around the world, including Chinese lion dancers, a Latino-jazz band, a Mexican dance group, the Bournemouth Male Voice Choir, Bulgarian folk dancers and a seven-piece Afro-Reggae band. The Triangle area was filled with stands offering international food and crafts from around the world, including tropical juices, kangaroo burgers and pan-fried ice-cream!


Running alongside the main One World by the Sea Festival were a number of fringe events, including international film screenings at the Vintage Lounge & Colosseum Cinema, free Italian wood-fired pizza tastings at The Libertine in Westbourne, “Wake the Dead” events at Ojo Rojo Mexican Restaurant in the Triangle, an international courtyard at the Bournemouth Metropole Market, and a Chinese Qipao Fashion Show at the Royal Bath Hotel.


Event organiser, Rachel Woodward-Carrick, director of Bournemouth University International College, said: “Wow, what a brilliant few days it’s been.  We’re really proud of the diversity of the festival events that we hosted – we have had everything from music, food and dance to film, fashion and education. It’s been great! The feedback that we have received from visitors to events has been fabulous too and the demand is evidently there for another festival like this!”


Rachel continued, “We are particularly delighted at the numbers that we attracted to our free International Family Day on Saturday, which took place in the Triangle area of town in Bournemouth. We were incredibly lucky with the weather; the sun shone and people came out in their thousands to enjoy the packed programme of events! There was so much live music and dance to enjoy and visitors weren’t shy about joining in either!  There was a mix of food stalls, including Greek, Italian, North African street food, speciality burgers and tropical juices. We even had Thai-inspired pan-rolled ice-cream!”


Chris Davis from Bournemouth University added, “We’re already looking forward to planning next year’s event, building on what we’ve learnt this year and making the festival even bigger and better.  We’ve loved show-casing the amazing international talent that we enjoy in Bournemouth and Poole and we are keen to ensure that we make the One World By The Sea Festival a permanent fixture in Bournemouth’s ever-growing calendar of events and to be a part of the town’s thriving BOMO festival programme.”


“We would like to thank all our supporters, but in particular the Town Centre BID, Dorset Race Equality Council and Bournemouth University – without their support none of this would have been possible.”


Following the success of the inaugural One World By The Sea Festival, the event organisers hope to be able to announce its return in 2018 with plenty more international music and dance performances and cultural food, costumes and crafts to look forward to and enjoy!

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