Call for humanity as Ubumuntu Arts festival ends

Published: 15 July 2015 at 22:30

It was a slew of art centric stage productions, contemporary dance, panel discussions and workshops at the inaugural Ubumuntu Arts festival at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre amphitheater in Gisozi over the weekend.

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Arthur Nkusi (R) and his father Kennedy Mazimpaka act in Bridge of Roses

Organised by the Mashirika Performing Arts and Media Company and held under the theme, “One world. One problem. One solution”, the two-day festival attracted performing groups and volunteers from 13 countries.

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Mashirika Performing Arts in Bridge of Roses

The performances, workshops and forums featured individual artists, artist groups, and media practitioners from the US, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Serbia, Canada, Lebanon, Egypt, DR Congo, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, and hosts Rwanda.

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Angel Uwamahoro acts in a play titled, Bridge of Roses

Some of the recurring themes explored were; love, hate, race, sexual and gun violence, empathy, forgiveness, tolerance and war.

There was a general feeling of camaraderie as the MC kept urging the audience of their duty to the cause of humanity.

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A scene depicting the plight of a street child in Mine Child

“I am because you are. You are because I am. Together we are human,” festival goers reminded each other in between performances.

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Amina’s Stories from Egypt

The festival kicked off at 6p.m on Saturday, with workshops on art themes like acting, stage design and contemporary dance, followed by media and youth panel discussions.

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Anita Pendo acts in a scene in Bound Together on the opening night

These were followed by a performance of Mine Child, a joint venture between the Theater Factory comedy troupe from Uganda and Mashirika Performing Arts of Rwanda.

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Bound Together

There was a solo performance of Amina’s Stories from Egypt, Cut off my tongue from Kenya, and Bound Together by Mashirika Performing Arts.

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Bridge of Roses

On Day II, on Sunday, the session opened with a panel discussion about the role of the media in fostering humanity, organised by the Institute of War and Peace Reporting. This was followed by a brief workshop on Clay Therapy, before the day’s first stage performance –Antigone from the US.

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Cut off my tongue from Kenya

The Sri Lankans, the largest cast among the foreign performers present, came next on stage with Dear Children, a collaborative effort with Rwandan artists. This was followed by Desperate to Fight from Ethiopia, which was performed by a Ugandan and Rwandan cast.

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One of the scenes from Bound Together
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Part of the cast of Mine Child, a collaboration between Mashirika Performing Arts and Theater Factory from Uganda on stage
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Philip Luswata acts in the Ethiopian play, Desperate to Fight
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The Kenyan cast of Cut off My Tongue on stage
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Umuhire Eliane acts in the play, Bridge of Roses
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The two-day festival was well-attended by people from all walks of life

The festival closed with a performance of the Rwandan production, Bridge of Roses, by the Mashirika Performing Arts and Media Company.

Source: The NewTimes.

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