There are an estimated 1 million Spanish and Portuguese speaking residents in the UK, most of whom live in London. Originally from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and elsewhere, we are professionals, artists, scientists, teachers, cleaners, key workers and much more, contributing to the city's vibrant culture and economy. Yet we are largely invisible, with no box to tick on official forms to acknowledge our shared identity. We are the 'other'.
The purpose of this film is to recognise the experience of our 'Latin' community under COVID lockdown. Woven into the performances are a series of short films exploring the loss, suffering, solitude, resilience, solidarity and courage of Latinos in London and wish strength, Fuerza, to everyone in this great city. It includes poetry, dance and stories told by key workers, family members who've lost loved ones, people who have found remarkable ways to survive and overcome terrible circumstances or have produced great acts of kindness and solidarity.
Fuerza London was commissioned by Latino Life and it was funded by The Mayor of London and The Arts Council.
Chapter 1 - LOSS
Loss is the story of the Marmolejo family, who lost their father to COVID in March.
Chapter 2 - RESILIENCE
Resilience is the story of Jose Miranda and Fabian Cataño, 30 days in ICU, COVID survivors.
Chapter 3 - ISOLATION
Isolation is a story in dance, by German Cornejo, Gisela Gaelassi, Pablo Egea and Nestor Garcia.
Chapter 4 - SUFFERING
The story of Erick and Bukina whose fragile immigration status under COVID left them destitute.
Chapter 5 - COURAGE
Courage is the story of Yoshi Bunce, a Kingston Hospital nurse for 40 years and a COVID key-worker.
Chapter 6 - SOLIDARITY
The story of Creciendo Juntas and Old Alone supporting the vulnerable under lockdown.
Chapter 7 - BREATHE
The story of Talitha, Priscilla, Satya and Bruna, Brazilian mothers-to-be, learning to exhale.
FUERZA LONDON - Complete project: concert & stories.
Taking in sounds from Cuba to Colombia and styles as diverse as classical to hip-hop, musical performances come from Dorance Lorza & Sexteto Café (vibes-based Colombian salsa) Grupo Lokito (Congolese/Cuban fusion funk) Alvorada (Brazilian choro) Classico Latino (classical/bolero/son), Penya (Latin folk/electronic) De Fuego (flamenco), Rene Alvarez (Cuban salsa) and La Raza: UK Urban Latin showcase (reggaeton, hip-hop, grime).
The UK is home to some of the world’s finest Latin musicians and these bands were voted the best in their field by the British public and judges at The LUKAS (Latin-UK) Awards.