How was Rio upon Thames?
Kingston Market Place was flooded by brazilian music, flavours and culture on the 23rd and 24th July at the celebration of Rio Upon Thames. Hundreds of people attended the one-off festival hosted by Quilombo UK and helped transform the town centre into a hub of entertainment with various performances, creative activities and workshops. During the festival we did not only celebrate in the spirit of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games with Samba music, dancers and other art performances, but also the diversity of Kingston upon Thames, as Quilombo UK is working to encourage open-mindedness and tolerance amongst the residents of the borough.
Quilombo UK used various activities at Rio upon Thames to make people stop and think differently – about cultural differences, groups from various backgrounds and their (potential) unconscious bias against these. The aim of these activities is breaking stereotypes and creating community cohesion.
Percussion workshops we held brought visitors at Rio upon Thames together and taught them how, music, like life, is best played together. Getting to know their fellow players and approaching them without any preconceptions enabled a fun, easy-going atmosphere where people could thrive together.
An optical illusion jigsaw puzzle was used to demonstrate how things can be seen differently, even if not at first sight – kids loved it and we enjoyed their surprise and the lesson they took with them.
Our main activity was called the Diversity Game, which we have just launched – a short quiz aimed at unveiling the unconscious bias in a fun, interactive way, thus addressing important issues in a more approachable way. Visitors could play the game at the Quilombo UK tent on our tablets and it will be soon launched online as well! If you score low, don’t worry – we all have preconceptions – and Quilombo UK will hope to make you think differently!