GARAMAN HALL (VILLAGE DE GINOZA) – OKINAWA
Colab Quarter theme: Territory
Values: Democratization of culture
Skills: Theater Management, Event Organization, territorial and cultural development
Experiences: Development of a jazz scene, festival around coffee, folklore festival
Fields: Artistic Diffusion
Disciplines: Music, transdisciplinarity
Projects: Mediation to the public by the culinary design tool.
The village of Ginoza is in the north of the main island of Okinawa at an hour drive from Naha the capital. Located in a mountainous region, 50% of its territory is used by the US Army as a zone of military exercises.
The majority of the population lives from agriculture, especially in tropical fruit production and sugar cane.
Managed by the Association of Culture and Community Arts of Ginoza, the Garaman center is home to a 400-seat performance hall as well as a municipal library. Inaugurated in 2003, the center alternates between local programming based on the traditional arts of Okinawa and since 2014 it has taken an international dimension with the arrival of young european artists, from the jazz scene.
Traditional art shows regularly fills the hall with an average of three quarters spectators from Ginoza. Despite a price policy reasonable with special rates for its inhabitants they are only a third when concerts are performed by foreign artists. This part of the programming is considered elitist and reserved for the people of the capital.
Conversely, artists who perform at Ginoza appreciate the singularity of the place. During the tour of foreign artists on the metropolis, they are often surprised to see on the posters the name “Garaman Hall” associated with clubs as prestigious as the “Cotton Club” or the “Blue Note” of Tokyo. Since it has taken over the artistic direction of the hall, Seigo Matsunaga managed to convince many artists to make the long trip to Okinawa. Far from centers like Tokyo and Osaka, they enjoy a warm and familiar welcome from the staff composed of young people from the village. The purpose of the association is to ensure that the artists perform in the best spaces. Whenever possible, it makes them discover the history of the island, its traditions, its culture, its problematics. This creates a link with the place and very often influences the musicians in their approach to the concert. Not being able to compete with the halls of the metropolis, the association has created networks with traders and restaurateurs from the village and volunteers to offer a personalized welcome to the artists, allowing them to live the local culture and the special hospitality of the people from Okinawa.
For Colab Quarter, Garaman Hall wants to build on the skills of partners to find ways to connect people from Ginoza and Garaman Hall, in particular by exploring the culinary practices of the inhabitants as well as the surrounding producers.