Africa’s premier performing arts event for social change, Ubumuntu Arts Festival, is returning this year to celebrate humanity with artists from over 18 countries.
This year, the festival will connect the world through a virtual event aimed at delivering meticulously curated art performances and showcases, to a global audience.
In 2020, due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the now seven year old festival was changed to Ubumuntu virtual arts festival and was live-streamed.
Continuing this year, the festival themed; REBIRTH, will run for two days for about six hours in total from July 16th-17th 2021 and will be streamed live on the Ubumuntu Youtube Channel as well as all social media platforms.
This year’s festival will feature collaborations by artists from Switzerland, Germany, Bosnia, USA, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Belgium, Sri-Lanka, Morocco, Belgium, Uganda and more.
According to the festival’s curator; Hope Azeda, “the relationship between Covid -19 and creative industries has been that of hate and love. It has become extremely been difficult to plan events in uncertain times of this pandemic.
Regardless of the formidable backdrop we have learned to receive each day that comes like a gift. We have heard to therefore re-situate, re-shift and re-create around the uncertainties of Covid-19”.
Leading up to the main event, Ubumuntu Arts Festival has been sharing regular content and leading conversations via it’s social media platforms.
Content such as #CreativityUnlocked on Mondays, #HomeChatsWithSonia on Wednesdays, and #Homelessness on Fridays in partnership with Keiga Foundation are featured regularly. The Ubumuntu Arts Festival is about bringing people together from all walks of life to speak to each other about our shared human experiences in the language of art.
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.
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