Language version


UGHE Hamwe Fest2021: Extraordinary Performances Depict Hard Times During Pandemic




Artists have been praised for the outstanding moral role they are playing in helping communities to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Peter Lewton-Brain, a British dancer and once a principal dancer with the National Ballet of Portugal and Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, says the idea of social health has been forgotten during the pandemic, “yet we need social cohesion. Art is needed for social health and dance is a sign that we need social interaction for good health and wellbeing.”

And in agreement, Tripura Kashyap, a Movement Therapist / Dance Educator and Choreographer who pioneered Dance/Movement Therapy in India in 1990s, says, “It’s a misnomer that dance therapy is only for people with disabilities but it’s not. It’s for everyone.”

The movement restrictions during the pandemic have given people trauma and for artists, it affected their freedom of dancing, meeting with a community of dancers, and they couldn’t do business as usual. It affected their emotions and mental health.

These were arguments raised during discussing at the ongoing 3rd edition of the Hamwe Festival 2021 organised by the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) taking place both physically and virtually from November 10 to 14, 2021.

The Festival is a platform that brings the health sector together with creative industries. This year, the festival will be a hybrid one, taking place in various locations around Kigali, as well as online.

On Thursday, during the launch of the festival, UGHE Vice-Chancellor, Agnes Binagwaho said that indeed lockdowns have led to many new social changes such as mobility limitations and more virtual interactions for meetings and education resulting in social isolation and mental distress. Yet, humans are not designed to live in isolation.

She added that the stress was also exacerbated by economic difficulties faced by many families, communities. “We need to come all together and find a way to save this African cultural heritage and because it could help save lives and improve our care experience, health, and wellness of our communities.” Prof Binagwaho.

Hamwe Fest 2021 taking place Kigali Library is hosting 76 speakers and artists from 30 countries, 20 performances and 16 panels addressing the impact of COVID19 and the role of art.

In his remarks, State Minister for Youth Edourd Bamporiki, who officially opened the Hamwe Fest 2021, commended the UGHE that took the lead by establishing such a festival in an extraordinary combination of health and creativity, which supports the Cultural and Creative Industry.

On Saturday evening, several performances were held, thrilling revelers with an unforgettable experience. Little Invisible Things, a perfect in every way dance performance told a story on the turmoil of people between different situations during the COVID-19 and play with the idea that our mental health and the person we are is shaped by the situation surrounding us. Little Invisible Things” follows Four dancers, bodies on a journey where their bodies are always in constant flux.

Several films were also screened. The films were produced to depict real experiences during the pandemic. “In this film, I wanted to highlight the healthy ways to navigate through life’s challenges. For example, the film shows the main character embracing music and dancing as a way of coping with her disappointment,” say Ines Girihirwe. Watch the film here:

“This film portrays how we’re supposed to deal with grief, loss, and challenges for our emotional well being and mental health,”Says Sharon Kalimba, the producer.

Meanwhile,the Festival also includes insightful interviews with artists and live musical performances.

For the second year in a row, Hamwe Festival is partnering with WellcomeTrust, the independent global charitable foundation, as part of Mindscapes, their international cultural programme about mental health.

Wellcome supports scientists, takes on big health challenges, campaigns for better science & helps everyone get involved in research.

Hamwe Festival embodies these values through the provision of a creative outlet where implementers and artists discuss better, more innovative ways to improve health care through the arts.


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Nosy Journalist Captures Pope Francis Sneaking Into Record Store



Since the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis has always wanted to sneak out freely onto the streets to meet people and even be able to buy a good pizza in the city.

“I miss going out into the streets; I truly long for it, the tranquility of walking down the street, or going to a pizzeria to eat a good pizza… I have always been ‘of the street’,” he said.

On Tuesday the Pontiff handlers organised for a cab and the Pope sneaked out onto a street corner to visit his old acquaintance operating a “Stereosound,” a record store whose owners he has known since his days as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

Although the Pontiff handlers thought they had concealed this short visit, there was a nosy journalist whose lens was cocked ready to grab anything- then he saw the pope and pressed the shutter button.

On 11 January, Spanish journalist Javier Martínez Brocal was passing through Rome’s Pantheon area and saw the Pope leaving the record store named “Stereosound.”

The black and white photo of the Pope exiting the “disc-store of the Pantheon” – as local Romans call the locale – carrying a classical music record given to him by the owner of the store, Letizia Giostra, and her daughter Tiziana, went viral on social networks within minutes.

The Pope himself saw the photo and thanked Brocal for this “noble” post.

Pope Francis grew up listening to the opera on the radio, is a fan of tango and milonga and thinks Mozart “lifts you to God.” But it still came as a something of a shock to see him coming out of a downtown Rome record shop.

Pope Francis sent a brief letter to Rome-based journalist Javier Martínez Brocal that recently photographed the Pope leaving a record store, and encourages reporters to fulfill their journalistic vocation even if it makes others uncomfortable.

At the same time, he wrote, “one cannot deny that it was a ‘terrible fate’ (a misfortune, ed.) that, after taking all precautions, there was a journalist waiting for someone at the cab stop.”

The Pope immediately clarified in his letter that this remark was a light-hearted joke: “We must not lose our sense of humor.”

He also encouraged reporters to “fulfill their vocation” as journalists, “even if it means embarrassing (‘mettere in difficoltà’) the Pope.”

Pope Francis is no stranger to trips ‘out-on-the-town’, having visited an optician’s store in 2015 and then an orthopedic store in 2016.

He had ventured out late Tuesday afternoon to the music store in the heart of Rome to bless the recently renovated premises.

IHe chatted for about ten minutes with the owner, an old acquaintance of his from the days when he stayed as Archbishop of Buenos Aires in the “House of the Clergy” in Via della Scrofa.

Continue Reading


Reggaeton King Don Omar To Perform At Miss World Finale



Miss World 2021 finale session will be like no other as the self-styled “The King” of reggaeton, Don Omar is scheduled to perform before a very large audience.

Omar will appear in the grand final of Miss World 2021 to be held in Puerto Rico on December 16, the organization of the event reported on Monday.

Don Omar joins the also Puerto Ricans Pedro Capó and Víctor Manuelle, the Cuban duo of Gente de Zona and the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Ángel Vélez, as the artists who will perform in the evening, to take place at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico, in San Juan.

Almost 100 contestants from an equal number of countries, a symphony orchestra of more than 60 musicians, entertainers and dancers will perform on stage in a production that will be televised live with 30 cameras.

Miss World 2021 is one of the largest events to be held in the history of Puerto Rico with a great opportunity to project the island as a top tourist destination before an audience of over 1 billion people in more than 100 countries.

Miss World is the oldest and most prestigious international beauty pageant, created in 1951.

The winner of the title will become the image of the organization that supports different social and charitable causes around the world.

Continue Reading


Video: New Rwandan Film, “Poetria La Muse” To Be Screened Soon



A young Rwanda film artists, NINA Aziza Umutesi Salim, has released a trailer of her masterpiece, Poetria LA Muse.

Poetria LA Muse is a story of a muse who came from another world,sent by the destiny to inspire poets whom she lived with in a cave. Poets would go for inspiration in that mystery cave, terryfying one. But one night Poetria couldn’t take it about her feelings.

She made a big mistake of loving a human being while she was not supposed to love humans.

The destiny which sent her decided to punish her. She would suffer before dying. While she was trying to escape, poems of those poets attracted her and blocked her. Death was also very near. Poetria tried to stay alive because love was her strength but in vain.

About the director:

Nina Salim is a Rwadan young artist, screen writer, poet, theater writer, and actress, born on May 19, 1992 in Bujumbura, Burundi. She has been writing short stories, poems, theatre scripts and quotes for 17 years.

This is her first full movie. She told Taarifa that the movie will be screened soon in Kigali.

Continue Reading