The third edition of the annual Porlwi festival of contemporary culture has begun. During five days and nights, our historical capital city was instilled with a big dose of Arts, Culture and Nature (this year’s theme!) Each year, Porlwi picks a theme that encapsulates a key element of the city’s urban regeneration. Mauritian citizens and travellers from afar come to Port Louis to discover the innumerable artistic creations, the multicolored street art, performances, sizzling street food, music and art. It is also just a chance to gather with friends and family in a city, which, on a regular day, is quiet come 5:00 p.m.
The festival was conceived around three main îlots (Îlot Citadelle, Îlot Grenier and Îlot Caudan) and two connectors (Bourbon Street and The Waterfront.) Each of these locales integrated components of the Porlwi DNA and invited festival goers to wander the city and take in its energy.
In additional to the astounding habitual creations, Porlwi offered some novelties this year such as Porlwi Kids (a series of workshops and activities for the little ones) but also Talks and Workshops with industry specialists (part of the IBL Porlwi Lab) which will occur throughout the year.
Another novelty was the Mwa mo kontan lari Bourbon** a pilot project that aspires to transform the bustling Bourbon street into an animated pedestrian street. Every night, the crowds flocked to the usually inanimate street to delve into sizzling hot street food, gather around itinerant musicians, and watch famed street artist repaint the city’s walls into stunning works of art.
While most of the installations are ephemeral, there are now about 45 ‘Street Art’ walls, and soon, endemic trees will be planted on the Citadel slope as part of a project, Ciel One Beat One Tree by artist Naziha Mestaoui. While most disappears post-festival, the idea that the city can be revived after 5 p.m. is a fact and should encourage citizens to contribute in however way they can to the creative industries, to art, to culture.
*Creole for “Breathe. Feel. Reconnect.”
**Creole for I love Bourbon Street