After running virtual and reaching audiences only via digital platforms for two seasons (In 2020 and 2021, due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic), Africa’s premier performing arts event for social change, Ubumuntu Arts Festival, is returning to the physical stage this year.
This year, the festival will connect local and global audiences through a hybrid of live performances and virtual screenings of specially curated theatre, music and contemporary dance performances and other artistic showcases.
Now in it’s seventh year, the festival this year is themed; GO FORTH and it will run from July 14th -17th at the Amphitheatre of the Kigali Genocide Memorial; Kigali. Admission is completely free.
The live performances will also be streamed to global audiences on the Ubumuntu Arts Festival YouTube Channel as well as all social media platforms.
This year’s festival will feature collaborations by artists from Rwanda, Uganda, Switzerland, Germany, Bosnia, USA, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Belgium, Sri-Lanka, Morocco, Belgium, The Netherlands and more.
The festival’s curator; Hope Azeda, says “the beauty of art lies in its ability to deal with the unspeakable. Art can revisit traumatic scenarios and horrific moments in human history on an emotional level that few other methods can accomplish.
Our festival confronts global topics without fear, such as police brutality, the refugee crisis, and gender violence. Above all, we encourage communities to fight hatred, dogmatism, and toxic ideas, all behaviors that precede deadly violence. Now, our mission is gradually unfolding into reality.”
ABOUT UBUMUNTU ARTS FESTIVAL
Since its inception in 2015, Ubumuntu Arts has continued to grow in scale and global recognition. The festival provides a platform for artists from all over the world to present performances dealing with difficult aspects of societal violence and human nature, from police brutality, to mass incarceration, to civil war and genocide.
Both the timing and location of the festival hold deep historical and moral significance. The festival takes place at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, built on the resting place of 250,000 Tutsi.
It occurs in July, during the final week of the 100-day commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The impact the festival has on visitors and artists, however, extends far beyond the flagship event, and many attendees have returned home to start similar festivals in their own countries.
Ubumuntu’s performances, workshops, panels and genocide memorial visits encourage participants to remember the past, celebrate the present, and build a more peaceful future.
Ubumuntu; The Kinyarwanda word for ‘humanity’, calls for unity amongst all peoples of the world, promoting love and inclusion and rejecting hatred and discrimination.