Ubumuntu Arts Festival shares the value of forgiveness and sustainable peace

The second edition of the Ubumuntu Arts Festival took place at the Kigali Genocide Memorial from 14-17 July and shared the importance of forgiveness and sustainable peace in Rwanda and around the world.

The festival showcased entertaining theatre, dance, and poetry performances by artists from Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Northern Ireland, Switzerland, USA, Iraq, Belgium and Uganda. Each country presented their histories and some of the peace building approaches that could be used to promote humanitarian actions among people.

Through the theatre acts that demonstrated life after Genocide and violence, the performers shared the message that we all have to act as human by promoting humanity in our daily activities. The poem “I forgive you though you are a monster” was among the performances which focused on forgiving though some might have committed unforgivable crimes. This also reminded audience members about the importance of giving every human the respect they deserve.

The third night of the festival featured a performance by Hum Kay, a Ugandan artist who donated a song to the Kigali Genocide Memorial which stresses the importance of teaching people to have humanity and compassion for one another.

The festival is supported by the Aegis Trust, which runs the Kigali Genocide Memorial on behalf of Rwanda’s National Commission for the Fight against Genocide. The Aegis Trust is a genocide prevention organisation working to prevent mass atrocities and build peace around the world.

Performing in the festival were artists from Kenya, Uganda, Soudan, Cambodia, DRC, Ireland, German, Iraq, Belgium, Gabon, USA, Switzerland, South Africa, England, Netherlands, Burundi, Syria and the host Rwanda.