Ubumuntu Arts Festival -  Newsletter May

Our Line-Up is here!

We are proud to introduce to you 2016's Line-Up. Participants from 18 countries are going to grace our festival with a broad variety of sensational performances.

Day 1 - Children & the young

Childern’s Choir, Rwanda/South Africa 
Rafiki Foundation Nyamata and New Life Choir featuring Thembi Mtshali-Jones, Peace Jolis and Rosette Karimba 

Ma petite Colline, Rwanda
directed by Carole Karemera

Papa’s Hat, Rwanda/Belgium
directed by Lore Uyttendaele

Voices in Sync, Rwanda/Burundi/Syria

Africa’s Hope, Rwanda
directed by Hope Azeda

Day 2 - Women

Movement for Humanity, UK/Netherlands/Rwanda
directed by Hilde Cannoodt and Tjarda van Straten

Mother to Mother, South Africa
directed by Janice Honeyman

Afro Man Spice, Uganda
directed by Linda Nabasa

My Story is My History, Switzerland/Rwanda
directed by Andrea Grieder 

Day 3 

Face Off, DRC/Rwanda
directed by Abdoul Mujyambere

Go Forth, USA
directed by Kaneza Schaal

The Tears of a Man Flow in his Belly, Gabon
directed by Amaël Mavoungou

Those you pass on the Street, Northern Ireland
directed by Paula McFetridge

Body Revolution, Iraq/Belgium
directed by Toneelhuis / Mokhallad Rasem 

Day 4

Solidarity, DRC/Ireland/Germany
directed by Gudrun Lange

The Room of Lost Names, Kenya
directed by Sitawa Namwalie

The New Dictionary, Uganda/Sudan
directed by Phillip Luswata

Waiting for Train, Kosovo
directed by Kushtrim Mehmeti

See you Yesterday, Cambodia
directed by Michael Lessac

Movement for Humanity

"Movement for Humanity" is a project designed by Tjarda Van Straten and Hilde Cannoodt. Both of them are dancers trained in Laban Movement Analysis. Originally from the UK and the Netherlands they will come to Rwanda in advance of the festival to collaborate with local dancers. The shared creative process will create a possibility for exchange between two cultures and result in a unique performance that will be staged on day two of Ubumuntu Art Festival.
Watch Tjarda and Hilde's campaign on kickstarter - 
Spotlight on Cambodia: See you yesterday

The Asian country of Cambodia suffered it's own genocide from the Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979 is sending a team of thirty people to Rwanda. Contrary to the practice in Rwanda the incidents are not talked about in their country. So they use art as a way to talk about the unspeakable. As circus artists their language is physical and acrobatic which creates an extraordinary performance about the scars of a nation.

Letter from the director

See You Yesterday is a collaboration across borders. It comes from the voices of 19 young Cambodians who used their incredible circus skills to imagine a genocide they never lived. Their only guideposts were fragmented memories and imposed silences handed down by their elders from birth.

This partnership began in 2012, when I was fortunate to be invited by the founder and artistic director of the Phare Ponleu Selpak circus school, Khuon Det, to bring our actors, teachers and directing team from Kosovo, South Africa, Belfast, Ghana and the USA to Battambang, Cambodia, to share the process they had gone through when creating their own stage stories born out past experiences of violence and atrocity. Between that time and now we’ve worked with these extraordinary young people for a total of seventeen weeks over a period of four years. 

When we return to Rwanda in July, it will be for the second world premiere of a Global Arts Corps production in Kigali. The first was for our South African production, Truth in Translation, which premiered at the French Cultural Centre ten years ago. Then we were asking the question: Can we forgive the past to survive the future? Now, ten years later, we are looking to ask: Can we reconcile what remains unsaid between generations after violent conflict so we can talk to each other again?

When the cast performs See You Yesterday for you, they will be sharing what in my opinion is a vision and memory of incredible honesty and imagination -- hope out of despair.

My thanks to Hope Azeda for inviting us.  It’s always good to come full circle.

Michael Lessac

Get a glimpse of what is going to come and watch Cambodia's inspiring promo video.
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