DRC: culture for preserving memory

In the city of Kisangani, cultural actors keep alive the memory of the violence that destroyed the city and killed at least 700 people.

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Three actors on stage and a very attentive audience. The play being played evokes democracy in Africa and its opposites. This is the 10th edition of the Ngoma Festival. The Taccems Group, which organizes it, specializes in indoor theater, but also plays what it calls intervention theater. It was in this context that he put on a show on the Six-Day War. A piece that was difficult to perform during the occupation of the pro-Rwandan uprising by the RCD.

Olivier Maloba is the artistic director of the Taccems Group. “They were very knowledgeable about the content of the show. And that posed a lot of problems. We were suspended during the RCD. It was forbidden to play this show in the whole area occupied by the RCD because we condemned the war and other injustices from the war on the social side of the population, ”he says.

“The theater is the mirror, the reflection of society”

But Olivier Maloba and his team find it important to continue to represent this violence. “The theater for us is mirrored and reflects society. We put the set on what society cannot say in the light of the political constraints to which we are exposed. We, as cultural, have the chance to be on stage without distinguishing the audience, and we send our message, ”he explains.

The armed violence of the early 2000s is also present in other artistic disciplines such as singing and dancing. A group called “Tshopo Road Map” is one of the city’s most famous folk ballets.

The show, as a book for the younger generations

Sylvain Asani is the coordinator: “We sang by saying that we no longer want war here in the province of Tshopo. The war did not benefit us, on the contrary. The war itself destroyed our cultural and traditional values ​​in addition to the destruction of human lives and buildings in our city. ”.

For him, the show is like a book for the younger generations. “Among these children, the orphans from the Six-Day War may be present. They need to know why they are orphaned. And why the city is in this state. We have to teach these people to avoid conflicts because it does not benefit anyone, ”says Sylvain Asani.

Tshopo Road Map also maintains a micro-library and a small art exhibition hall from the region. According to its promoters, the ambition is to draw from every culture in the province, objects that teach peace, justice and peaceful coexistence.

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