Ubumuntu Arts Festival Returns to Kigali with Artists from 16 countries

Author: Rutayisire Patience
On:9/07/2019 10:29
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Africa’s premier performing arts event for social change, Ubumuntu Arts Festival, returns to Kigali to celebrate humanity with artists from 16 countries.

This year, the festival will focus on the role of art to break down the barriers that cause hate and discrimination, and promote honest conversations in society.

Hope Azeda, a festival curator, contextualized the aim of the festival: Our lives are increasingly marked and divided by borders and boundaries. At a time of increased migration, refugee crises and unequal visa policies, geographical borders are becoming more visible as lines that separate countries, regions and people. These borders influence, shape and limit our lives. Boundaries that are hidden, sometimes even invisible, have the same effect. Whether structural, historical or emotional, the boundaries that exist in our minds hold us back from connecting deeply with the world. 

Through performances and workshops, participants will explore the theme refered to as ‘When the Walls Come Down - Truth’ and connect with concepts and stories of openness and authenticity by sharing perspectives and experiences. The festival activities will examine the effect of physical and emotional boundaries on social cohesion.

Hope Azeda, Festival Curator, says the fifth edition of the festival seeks to pose questions and share answers about the state of social relations around the world - from inequality and injustice to hate and discrimination. 

“Our world is facing indifference and prejudice. Barriers limit communities from free expression and connection. As artists, it is our duty to spread positive thinking and change hearts and minds. We want to inspire the next generation to be peacemakers and empathic leaders. The festival is the perfect space for transformative arts. I encourage everyone to join us for Ikaze Night Party and this year’s festival,” said Hope Azeda, Festival Curator.

The festival has partnered with local creatives to host side events that explore this year's theme. In collaboration with Huza Press, the festival presents a literary evening with the renowned author Lola Shoneyin at Kigali Public Library on 13 July 2019 from 5:30pm. Spoken Word Rwanda will bring together poets and feature South Africa’s Lebogang Mashile on 10 July 2019 at Lavana Restaurant, from 8:00pm.

The Ubumuntu Arts Festival brings together people from different walks of life to speak to each other in the language of art. To keep the festival world-class and free for all. Funds raised from ticket sales for Ikaze Night Party support in bringing talents artists to be part of the festival in remarkable Rwanda.

Ubumuntu is the Kinyarwanda word for ‘humanity’, and calls for unity amongst all peoples of the world, promoting love and inclusion- rejecting hatred and discrimination.The fifth Ubumuntu Arts Festival takes place from 12-14 July 2019 at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Amphitheatre. Entry is free for all.


Rutayisire Patience


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