Movement For Humanity
update 23rd May: WE DID IT! 106 backers donated 7535 euros in 45 days! We cannot thank our sponsors enough. Please stay tuned for all updates...
update 22nd May: last 5 hours... 99 backers and only 220 euros to go!
update 21st May: 2 more days! We're at 6510! 85 backers... 990 to go!
update 20th May: 3 more days! We're just over 6000 euros! 74 backers. Incredible... thank you all...
update 19th May: Last 4 days! We're now at 5810 euros! So near yet still so far to go! Thanks a million to everyone contributing! If you were planning on donating, make sure you do not miss the deadline! Donate via this link...
update 12th May: Last 11 days to go to reach our goal... and we just received 1200 euros in one day, giving us a massive boost to reach our goal! Thank you all who contributed, thank you for believing in this project! We still have 4000 euros to go to reach our goal, so please help us help the Rwandan arts scene grow by clicking the link below and donating for this project!
Thank you for backing our project so far:
Jan en Dirrie van Straten
Gustavo Adolfo González Alfaya
Darrel Reuben Hall
Stefanie van der Zwaal
Stephanie van der Klaauw
Stephanie Elizondo Griest
Astrid van der Velde
Roderick en Tanja van Straten
Simone van Dordrecht
Diane Elizabeth Shaw
Marcel van der Endt
Roel te Kolstee
June-July 2016: Ubumuntu Arts Festival, Kigali, Rwanda
In July 2016 myself and my colleague Tjarda Van Straten have been invited to choreograph a work each as part of the Ubumuntu Arts Festival in Rwanda. the meaning of Ubumuntu is Humanity in Kinyarwanda and during the 15-16-17th July 2016 artists from all over the world will be performing and collaborating at the festival. An opportunity for cultural and artistic exchange between numerous artists from different backgrounds. The Performances will take place at an outdoor theatre in Kigali, at the genocide memorial.
We are looking for funding to help us support this project. We will be working with professional Rwandan dancers who need to be paid a fair wage, we need to pay for travel expenses, studio hire, costuming,... and we need your help to help us contribute to the growing Rwandan arts scene. Please visit our Kickstarter page to find out how you can help us.
Tjarda and myself have chosen the working title: 'Movement For Humanity' working in the lines of the aims of the festival. Each of us will work separately with the Rwandan dancers so we explore two ways of working with them. At the same time, we support each other by observing each other's work in progress throughout this 3 week collaboration.
Rwanda For Calais - Voices In Refuge
As part of the Movement For Humanity project, I will be creating a work with working title Voices In Refuge. This work is a reaction to the global refugee crisis. In 1994, during the genocide against Tutsis, 1000s of Rwandans managed to escape the brutalities. 22 years on and Rwanda is a thriving place for arts, culture, economy, tourism,... Many Rwandan refugees went back to their homeland, including my own family. Many of them have worked hard to rebuild their country and despite its dark history, Rwanda is onwards and upwards.
Voices In Refuge is a work about displacement. In January 2016 I went to 'The Jungle' (a refugee camp on the UK-French border in Calais) to teach a dance workshop at the Good Chance theatre. What struck me the most was the resilience of the people there and the brutality of the people outside of this bubble. 1 month later most of the camp got demolished by the French police. Many innocent people got beaten, chased away from their homes, tear gassed, ... including many unaccompanied children that have since gone missing. I remember one little boy I danced with, I cannot remember his name but I remember his eagerness to dance and enjoy himself to the music that was playing. After the camp got demolished I saw a picture of this same little boy with the mention that he was missing. Over 100 other unaccompanied children have gone missing since the 29th February destructions have started...
After the 29th February, 12 Iranian refugees decided to sew their lips together and went on hunger strike. The strike lasted nearly one month. Most stories I have read or heard are linked to the fact that the refugees feel like they do not have a voice.
The voices, the music, the laughter, the sense of community, the dance, the arts, the stories that took place at the Calais camp evaporated with the destruction that took place. In my work I am aiming to give the Calais people a voice through the Rwandan dancers. A country that has suffered so much in the past and that can relate to the pain and suffering of the refugees not only in Calais but in Europe and all over the world. My aim is to create a connection to remind ourselves we are all humans and we all share the same hopes and dreams for a safe life surrounded by the people we love.