Mela Festival - 2 for 1 for Skinny readers
Everyone knows about the Edinburgh Mela, right? So hands up who has actually been?
Well the good news is, whether you’re an old hand or a new recruit, this year’s event is bigger and better than ever before. Ocean Terminal will be crawling with a wide range of artists from Africa, South America, India, Pakistan, Japan… In short, it’s a celebration of all the cultures and identities that make up this richly diverse country of ours.
Contrary to popular belief, the Mela is not "just a load of people dancing". Edinburgh Mela 2008 includes theatre, music, visual art, film, dance, a ‘multi sensory children’s experience’, debates, DJs and cross-artform events (that’s everything else, kids). And did I mention the food? In fact, there are so many different things going on you may not know where to start.
So why not start at the beginning: screening in the VUE cinema at 19:30 on 26 August is Mistaken, a film about a Glaswegian Asian household who find their son up on terrorism charges. It’s the first ever feature film produced by Heer Productions, a local company promoting Scottish South Asian film makers. On 29 August at 20:30, head to the Big Top to watch some super high jinks by UpSwing, who mix kick-ass beats and hip-hop talent with, well, flying trapezes. If, like me, you’re a lover of America’s Next Top Model, you can round off your week with the Bollywood Contemporary Styles fashion show on 31 August at 4pm. Billed as "a heady mix of culture, sophistication and elegance" it’s basically the Mela condensed into one event.
And the very best bit of all? 2 for 1 tickets for Skinny readers on two of the festival's most anticipated pieces - Jihad: Inner Struggle, and The Gubi Family from Namibia. Reclaim Edinburgh from the tourists and end the festival celebrating our own homegrown culture in all its diversity.