Koffi Koko, Phot. Mateusz Bral

12th edition of Brave Festival 

"Outcasts - Wykluczeni"

1-15 July 2016

12th edition of the festival took place between 1st and 16 July 2016 and was organized under the title "Outcasts - Wykluczeni". It was a significant and symbolic edition, because in 2016 more than any in other year so far it dealt specifically with "exile". Organizers decided to discuss people who have always been different in their own communities or in foreign ones, for which they have been stigmatized. "Outcasts - Wykluczeni" was host to a number of events from across the world showing people whose everyday lives are, for a variety of reasons, very difficult and complicated. Brave Festival showed people who used art to change or even utilize their exclusion.

Have a look at Brave Festival 2016 website 


11th edition of Brave Festival


10-17 July 2015

11th edition of the festival titled "Griot" took place between 10th and 17th of July 2015. In the cultures of West Africa, griots are guardians of tradition, bards, poets, singers, storytellers and musicians, who for ages have had a great significance for the culture mainly from the area of today’s Gambia, Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Liberia and Mauretania. Their stories are tightly connected with sounds and rhythm. For centuries, the function of a griot has been reserved exclusively for men born in one of a few clans, where this honourable role was passed on from generation to generation, from a father to a son. The undeniable role, which they play in creating the African culture, especially today, in the times of sudden civilisation changes, when keeping and protection of own heritage are becoming more and more difficult – makes griots ideally align with the mission of Brave Festival. Among invited artists there were: Kassé Mady Diabaté (Mali), Abou Diarra (Mali), Zanzibar Taarab/Kidumbak Ensemble (Zanzibar) czy Coumbane Ely Mint Warakane (Mauritania).

Have a look at Brave Festival 2015 website


10th edition of Brave Festival

"Sacred Body"

4-17 July 2014

10th edition of Brave Festival titled "Sacred Body" took place between 4th and 17th of July 2014. The festival's program focused on the theatre, dance and ritual – all of them come from artistic traditions in which the body, the leitmotif, is shown either in a literal or in a symbolic way. Among others we invited Rama Vaidyanathan – mistress of classical Indian dance Bharata Natjam, Melanie Lomoff – French dancer with ballet education and Koffi Kôkô – voodoo priest and a representative of contemporary African dance. This year's Brave Festival main program was also accompanied by Film Program divided into three theme sections: Brave People Doc, Brave Contexts and Brave Focus, devoted to India. The Festival’s opening film was ‘The Light of Asia’ by Franz Osten from 1925 featuring live music – an original score composed and performed by the Divana Ensemble from Rajasthan.

Have a look at Brave Festival 2014 website


9th edition of Brave Festival

"Lost Rhythm”

7 – 12 July 2013

Brave Festival – Against Cultural Exile, 9th edition titled Lost Rhythm took place between 7th and 12th of July 2013 in Wroclaw. The program of the 9th edition of Brave Festival, as each year, consisted of performances, concerts, film screenings, exhibitions, workshops and open forum meetings. During six days we hosted many extraordinary artists from all over the world who presented a number of authentic and little known rituals, ceremonies, sacred songs and other artistic traditions from Asia, Africa, South Africa and Europe. Among others we invited those representatives of various distant cultures  (dancers, singers and actors) whose artistic activity circles around rhythm and its meaning. Our audience then had a chance to take part in the “One” – performance of Korean group “Cheong-bae” which presented the Yeon-hee style: a combination of ritual, shamanistic music, dance and acrobatics. Among others we also hosted Addal, group of a women from Berber people performing the addal dance, an unique form of ahouach and Rotal Drummers of Burundi. This year’s Brave Festival main program was accompanied also by a series of meetings under a banner of Brave Meetings . During this year's Brave Festival, the audience had the opportunity to get to know members of the guest performers in Wroclaw. In addition to the above, we screened 19 film images as part of Brave Festival film program and each of them referred to our this-year theme – the rhythm – in more or less obvious way. Also, the fourth edition of Brave Kids took place 25.06-13.07.2013 in Wroclaw, Puszczykowo, Warsaw, Lodz and Krosnice. We gathered 114 kids and leaders from following countries: India, Uganda, Zimbabwe, China, Georgia, Israel, Czech Republic, Laos, Iran, Kyrgyzstan and Poland.

Have a look at Brave Festival 2013 website


8th edition of Brave Festival

"Women Initiating”

2 - 7 July 2012

Between 2nd and 7th of July 2012 the 8th edition of Brave Festival – festival against cultural exile – one of the most unique initiatives in Europe, held again in Wroclaw (Poland). 2012 year’s edition was entitled "Women Initiating". The program included projects presented by women from around the world. Brave Festival is a unique event, as apart from revealing to the audience the secrets of vanishing cultures, it also provides help to others. 100% of the proceeds from ticket sales are donated each year to ROKPA International, an organization that supports children in Nepal, Tibet and African countries. During 2012 year’s edition we saw among others the prenuptial tradition of unyago, presented by Bi Kidude – a one hundred-years’ old drummer from Zanzibar; we also heard the voices of the elderly ladies from the Meninas de Sinhá group from Brazil, who shown us how one can face the adversities of life with the help of singing and playing music; while the descendants of the Tuareg people, whom the members of Tartit group from Mali are drawn from, proved to us that the blues derives from Africa.

Have a look at Brave Festival 2012 website


7th edition of Brave Festival

"The Mask”

2 - 8 July 2011

7th edition of Brave Festival took place between 2nd and 8th of July 2011. The title mask, instead of covering and hiding, brings closer the rich culture of various parts of the world, among others Bali, Sri Lanka, Furkina Faso or Sardinia. In 2011 the audience had a chance to meet the authentic culture, forgotten traditions, mysterious rituals and the art of the most remote regions of our globe. The indigenous artists and representatives of dying cultures have arrived to the capital city of Lower Silesia; cultures which can be searched for, in vain, during other festivals and on the omniscient Internet. The festival audience had the unique chance to see the representative of the Sardinian carnival – Mamuthones, dancers from Bali, the traditional Hindu drama – Kathakali, or Blind Note – a show by musicians performing, in complete darkness, on traditional, local instruments. Furthermore, the main events were accompanied by a series of documentaries, the Brave Kids project, exhibitions, meetings with the artists and workshops.

Have a look at Brave Festival 2011 website


6th edition of Brave Festival


2 - 9 July 2010

The 6th edition of Brave Festival was called 'Enchanters' and aimed to focus on the presentation a wide range of traditions in which word has a significant meaning, not being only a sound or an information carrier, traditions that recognize the energy of word and pay a great attention to it's poetic, power of expression, melody and rhythm. Invited by organizers to Wroclaw came the solo artists and groups from all over the world, among others: Korean mistress of ancient art pansori – Ahn Sook-Sun, Bi Kidude – 100 years old diva of taraab music from Zanzibar, Bulgarian group Bistritsa performing Balkan polyphonies and Sekouba Traoré, Malian master of donso n'goni.

Have a look at Brave Festival 2010 website


5th edition of Brave Festival

"Prayers of the World”

3 - 11 July 2009

The fifth edition of Brave Festival was entitled "Prayers of the World". The festival took place not only in Wroclaw, but also in other cities of Lower Silesia, namely Olesnica, Wolow, Swidnica and Klodzko. During the event artists and genuine representatives of traditional cultures performed original songs, rituals and ceremonies connected with prayers and observances still practiced in many religions of different cultural regions of the world, from, among others, Asia, Africa and Europe. The audience had the chance to take part in the rituals performed by a Korean shaman, Tibetan monks or Theyyam dancers.

Have a look at Brave Festival 2009 website


4th edition of Brave Festival

"The Ritual Starts in Africa”

4 - 12 July 2008

The fourth edition of Brave Festival was entitled "The Ritual Starts in Africa". The work of both African artists and others which was presented during this edition enabled spectators to witness new, unknown qualities of the continent and allowed them to discover the core of African culture – the ritual. The festival gave spectators the chance to learn about unique practices, to meet people from culturally distant regions and to learn about various artistic forms of "the dying world". The schedule of the festival consisted of, among other events, performances of dancers and musicians of the Fula tribe from Niger, performances by the women of the Tanzanian Wagogo tribe and many concerts, film showings, workshops, meetings and discussions with invited guests.

Have a look at Brave Festival 2008 website


3rd edition of Brave Festival

"Drowned Songs”

7 - 14 July 2007

The third edition of the festival was entitled "Drowned Songs". The organizers presented not only songs, performances and films, but also the context and sources from which they came. The artists from faraway corners of the world presented, here in Wroclaw, the Berber trans songs of Morocco, the Ukrainian "songs of the marshes", the refined, ancient polyphonies of Caucasus, the polyphonic dialogs of Belgorod, the mystical songs of Sardinia and "shoulder dances" of black Jews from Ethiopia.

Have a look at Brave Festival 2007 website


2nd edition of Brave Festival

"Voices of Asia”

8 - 15 July 2006

„Voices of Asia” was the theme of the second edition of the festival. During this edition the traditions of Laos, Japan, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Siberia were presented. In total 13 bands and 99 artists participated. There were performances, concerts and workshops of traditional dancing and singing. We also presented a series of Asian films which were accompanied by film workshops devoted to creating intercontinental documentary films and to the way films are shot. The audience were also able to attend lectures and meetings with festival guests.

Have a look at Brave Festival 2006 website


1st edition of Brave Festival

"The Magic of Voice”

24 - 27 November 2005
The first edition of Brave Festival was entitled "The Magic of Voice". It explored the subject of voice – broadly understood – through performances built around songs and through concerts and workshops devoted to various vocal techniques, and to learning how to play traditional instruments mostly from the former Soviet Republics. During the festival, which lasted four days, there were presented, among others, the Siberian ugadan kurduk, singing from Tuva, the music of Svans, Khakassian singing with quarter-tones and semitones, the music of the Sufi tradition, the liturgical songs of monks from Atos, traditional Ukrainian songs, the music of Ancient Greece and African stories.

Have a look at Brave Festival 2005 websit