10 days to go!

Ubumuntu 2016 is approaching quickly. Our artists are busy rehearsing and our stage at the Kigali Memorial Center is taking form. Together with you we are looking forward to 4 incredible days full of art, reflection and inspiration. Don't miss the chance to engage with our international artists and sign up for the free workshops on our website. For those of you interested in discussing the role of an artist in today's world we will be hosting a panel discussion on the 16th at 2:30pm. And last but not least we want to invite you to celebrate with us at our closing party at Chez Lando on the 17th starting from 10:30pm!

Come celebrate humanity with us!

Spotlight on
Those You Pass on the Street

Those You Pass On The Street is a hard hitting play presented by the group Kabosh, that explores the legacy of the 30-year "Troubles" in the north of Ireland. In the light of the recent developments around Brexit, Northern Ireland's conflict between unionist Protestants and nationalist Catholics around the country's independence from Britain gains new relevance.

Those You Pass on the Street is a play by Laurence McKeown that explores the complexities of dealing with the legacy of conflict, especially when that conflict is local and personalized. It contrasts party political positioning with individual needs and challenges the notion that any mechanism for dealing with the past is simply about ‘whose side gets what’. 

In an interview with "Care for the Future" Paula McFetridge, the artistic director of Kabosh, the company presenting the play, says: "2016 is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and the 100th anniversary of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic at the GPO in Dublin – two key moments in our history that we, as a divided society in the north of Ireland do not have agreement on. What links these two events? The working class being deployed as cannon fodder, the loss of endless young lives, the grief of endless mothers, the victor and loser, oppression and liberation."

Those you pass on the Street explores those tensions. It begins when Elizabeth, the widow of a murdered Royal Ulster Constabulary policeman, walks into a Sinn Fein office seeking assistance with anti-social behavior in her area, she begins a friendship with community officer Frank. The developing friendship challenges their personal preconceptions and beliefs as well as their family and political loyalties. In approaching the perceived enemy her life is changed forever.

Thus the game challenges the boundaries between "us" and "them" and allows for a more balanced view of the events. In the same interview Paula says: "I believe the role of the artist should humanize the silent voices, the individual players within these violent events from our past: giving voice to the revolutionaries, the reactionaries, those impacted by the choices of others in order to create a multi-facetted, 3D re-examining of events." 

You can read the whole interview with Paula
here or watch another one on youtube here. Or you can watch the play's preview below.

Click to see the play's preview!

Spotlight on Africa's Hope

"Africa's Hope" is a story of survival and hope and portrays the Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi through the eyes of a child.

It is a constant work in progress that has evolved tremendously since its first staging 2004 with a cast of over 1,000 people. The piece speaks to the beast that lives inside of everyone and questions the circumstances that cause that beast to be unleashed. The emotional difficulties and lingering traumas post-1994 do not outweigh the importance of telling the story; it is for those reasons that we must tell the story. "Africa's Hope" will be performed by Mashirika Performing Arts and Media Company on day one of Ubumuntu Art Festival.

It was written by writer and artist Hope Azeda. About the play she says: “We perform the truth in its raw form — we don’t want to dramatize what happened to make it beautiful. The challenge is how to take the testimony and make it believable. We have very talented young actors and actresses who perform other people’s testimonies and after performances they come and tell the actors and actresses ‘thank you for performing my story — that was me’. At Mashirika we don’t act — we feel and the audience’s emotions resonate with that.”

here or here to read more about the play and it's writer.

Spotlight on O'dabo

Dane Hurst is a South African born, London based Dancer, Choreographer and Creative Director. He founded the newly formed Moving Assembly Project that aims to connect people from diverse backgrounds and communities from all corners of the world, through facilitating the creation and tuition of dance.

Dane Hurst grew up in modest circumstances in Port Elizabeth. He loved dancing from a young age and when one of his neighburs received a scholarship to dance in the UK, the idea of making a name for himself and providing for his family through arts entered his life. After landing a bursary from the Linbury Trust in 2003 to study in London, Hurst went on to join Rambert Dance Company and has since become one of the biggest faces in the UK’s modern dance scene. Dane has performed nationally and internationally, has created and performed his own work an received numerous awards.

On the first day of Ubumuntu Art Festival he will perform "O'dabo" presented by Mind Leaps. In an interview with he says: “My inspiration is Nelson Mandela and the man behind his public face. He represents so much to me: he changed the apartheid regime in my country and literally played a hand in my career, having set up the scholarship that brought me to London. I’m so grateful to him on a personal level, and I want to honor his life and the intense emotional loss my country felt when he passed.”

The piece will be performed to composer Paul Gladstone Reid's 'Symphony of Dust and Air'. It looks at the journey of man emerging from dust, moving from a primitive childhood into a complex adulthood, finding himself and facing the obstacles that accompany his journey towards the ultimate fate, death. 

Read more about Dane's incredible story here or here. Or watch him perform on YouTube.

Letter from Dr. Bizimana, CNLG 


The National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) was founded in 2007 with the mission to prevent and fight against Genocide, its ideology and overcoming its consequences. To fulfill this mandate, CNLG uses different ways like organinzing seminars and conferences, Talk shows, publishing materials, collaborating with other institutions and organizations that conduct events that are in line with this mandate. It’s in this context that we are happy to support initiatives like Ubumuntu Art Festival organized by Mashirika Performing Art and Media Company. Art has proven itself to be an efficient form of communication, expression and reflection. Since it was hugely used in propagating the genocide propaganda, we believe that it can be used as a tool to prevent and fight the ideology of genocide. 

Indeed, it has played a crucial role in tackling Rwanda’s post genocide challenges through being a platform for genocide perpetrators to give truthful testimonies and victims forgiving perpetrators, public performative acts have been part of the healing process and one of the stepping stones on the way to reconciliation and a peaceful future. We are convinced that art is a key piece for building a peaceful future.

The Kigali Memorial Center, where the festival will take place, was inaugurated in April 2004. It is the largest memorial site basing on the number of victims buried at the site. It is a resting place for more than 250,000 bodies of victims of the genocide against the Tutsi. The bodies were brought at the place from various places around Kigali City. These include victims who were killed and indecently buried in their homes or found under debris of demolished or burnt houses, those thrown in ditches and trenches, in rivers and other water bodies, from bushes and shrubs, etc.

We encourage visitors of Ubumuntu Art Festival to visit the exhibition to get a more complex understanding for this very special venue and the history of our country and its journey to recovery.

Dr. BIZIMANA Jean Damascène

Executive Secretary

Thank you!

Ubumuntu is made possible by our sponsors, partners and friends. If you want to support our cause you can donate easily on our
website, via Paypal, call +250 788 600131 or simply visit the gift-corner during the festival.

Murakoze Thank You Merci Murakoze Thank You Merci Murakoze Thank You Merci 
Have a look at 2016's engaging Workshops
Day One  

Workshop 1: Mind Leaps Class for Children
Workshop 2: Using Theatre as an Effective Means of Peacebuilding 
Workshop 3: Contemporary Dance Fusion

Day Two     

Workshop 1: Contemporary Movement
Workshop 2: Community Theatre and Social Campaigns
Workshop 3: Between Reality and Imagination

Day Three      

Workshop 1: Games and Exercises for Devisng Theatre 
Workshop 2: Partnering Work 
Panel Discussion: The Role of An Artist in Today’s World

Day Four

Workshop 1: Clay Therapy and Yoga
Workshop 2: Dance and Sustainable Development 
Workshop 3: Contemporary Ballet 

Here you can register for the workshops above.
Don't miss our four days of international performances
Day 1: Children        
Opening Act "Dry your tears, Africa" by John Williams (Children's Choir), Rwanda
Friendship, Rwanda/USA    
Safe.Umudendezo.Amani, Rwanda/Belgium
O'dabo, South Africa/UK
Ma Petite Colline, Rwanda
Africa's Hope, Rwanda

Day 2: Women        
Movement for Humanity, UK/ Netherlands/ Rwanda    
Voices in Sync (Monologues from Syria and Burundi), Syria/Burundi/Belgium/Rwanda   
Kivu, Burundi
Tomorrow is Another Country, Sri Lanka    
Afro Man Spice, Uganda    
Mother to Mother, South Africa  
Day 3         
To Be or Not to Be, Rwanda/Switzerland
Face Off, Rwanda/DRC    
Go Forth, USA    
The Tears of a Man Flow in His Belly, Gabon    
Those You Pass on the Street, Northern Ireland
Body Revolution, Iraq/Belgium    

Day 4        
A New Dictionary, Uganda/ Sudan 
Solidarity, DRC/Ireland/Germany    
The Room of Lost Names, Kenya
Waiting for Train, Kosovo    
See You Yesterday, Cambodia     

For more details, you can check our website:
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