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Afrovibes 2022 Rupture/Rapture — ‘showing the diversity and power of change in the African continent’

Afrovibes 2022 Rupture/Rapture — ‘showing the diversity and power of change in the African continent’
Kwanele Finch Thusi performs a solo from his work ‘Pina’ in the auditorium at the Afrovibes Take Over of the venue at the Rotterdam Kunsthal. Image: John Hogg

The throb and pulse of Africa have been rippling through Amsterdam at the 19th Afrovibes festival of art and performances, which will close on 16 October.

Titled Rupture/Rapture, the 19th edition of the Afrovibes festival in Amsterdam is all about performance and “the delight and pleasure of contact with others and the division and disruption between people and cultures”. With the festival also reaching out in Utrecht and Rotterdam, this year’s focus is mainly on West Africa and the West African diaspora in Europe. 

However, as in the past, there is a strong South African thread. The poster was designed by Sindiso Nyoni, who also has an exhibition of his work R!ot by Design showing at various venues.

Choreographer, curator of Infecting the City and academic Jay Pather is once again the artistic director (James Ngcobo and Gregory Maqoma previously also held the position). Representing on stage this year are Kwanele Finch Thusi and Lulu Mlangeni.

For ‘Pina’, South African dancer Kwanele Finch Thusi talked to black men of different ages. Finch Thusi says: ‘As black people, our bodies are still seen as exotic exhibitions for freedom. I ask the complicated question in this work: what do you see when you look at me? With so much conflict that arose in 2020 and 2021, the Black Lives Matter movement underpinned the necessity and purpose of this work.’ Image: John Hogg

For ‘Pina’, South African dancer Kwanele Finch Thusi talked to black men of different ages. Finch Thusi says: ‘As black people, our bodies are still seen as exotic exhibitions for freedom. I ask the complicated question in this work: what do you see when you look at me? With so much conflict that arose in 2020 and 2021, the Black Lives Matter movement underpinned the necessity and purpose of this work.’ Image: John Hogg

The choreographer of ‘Pina’, South African Kwanele Finch Thusi, received the Thami Mnyele Foundation Residency Award in 2022. The foundation is named in commemoration of the South African artist and freedom fighter Thami Mnyele who died as a result of his actions as a member of the Medu group. His visit to Amsterdam inspired Dutch artists, politicians and people interested in cultural exchange to set up an artists-in-residence programme. Initially, the focus was only on artists from South Africa but soon came to include artists from all African countries and the diaspora. Image: John Hogg

The choreographer of ‘Pina’, South African Kwanele Finch Thusi, received the Thami Mnyele Foundation Residency Award in 2022. The foundation is named in commemoration of the South African artist and freedom fighter Thami Mnyele who died as a result of his actions as a member of the Medu group. His visit to Amsterdam inspired Dutch artists, politicians and people interested in cultural exchange to set up an artists-in-residence programme. Initially, the focus was only on artists from South Africa but soon came to include artists from all African countries and the diaspora. Image: John Hogg

The second part of ‘Pina’ is a duet performed by Kwanele Finch Thusi with Kgosi Flietor. Finch Thusi says: ‘Pina’ asks for a revision around prehistoric implications that still subjugate the black person as “less than, inadequate and to be feared”.’ Image: John Hogg

The second part of ‘Pina’ is a duet performed by Kwanele Finch Thusi with Kgosi Flietor. Finch Thusi says: ‘Pina’ asks for a revision around prehistoric implications that still subjugate the black person as “less than, inadequate and to be feared”.’ Image: John Hogg

Kwanele Finch Thusi and Kgosi Flietor on the red carpet in the auditorium of Rotterdam Kunsthal with an adapted excerpt from the duet from ‘Pina’ as part of the Afrovibes Take Over programme this past Sunday. Image: John Hogg

Kwanele Finch Thusi and Kgosi Flietor on the red carpet in the auditorium of Rotterdam Kunsthal with an adapted excerpt from the duet from ‘Pina’ as part of the Afrovibes Take Over programme this past Sunday. Image: John Hogg

Babacar Cissé performs an excerpt of dance, music and performance from ‘La Derniere Danse du Monarque’ by Cissé and Germaine Acogny (who was present on video projection for the theatre performances). Image: John Hogg

Babacar Cissé performs an excerpt of dance, music and performance from ‘La Dernière Danse du Monarque’ by Cissé and Germaine Acogny (who was present on video projection for the theatre performances). Image: John Hogg

Red carpet improvisation by Babacar Cissé in the auditorium of the Rotterdam Kunsthal for the Afrovibes Take Over. Image: John Hogg

Red carpet improvisation by Babacar Cissé in the auditorium of the Rotterdam Kunsthal for the Afrovibes Take Over. Image: John Hogg

Choreographed by Nadia Beugré, ‘L’ Homme Rare’, from Ivory Coast, is a provocative choreography centred on the pelvis. At the start of the performance, audience members were encouraged to join the cast onstage. This they did with much enthusiasm. Image: John Hogg

Choreographed by Nadia Beugré, ‘L’ Homme Rare’, from Ivory Coast, is a provocative choreography centred on the pelvis. At the start of the performance, audience members were encouraged to join the cast onstage. This they did with much enthusiasm. Image: John Hogg

In ‘L’Homme Rare’, Nadia Beugré from the Ivory Coast brings together five high-heeled dancers, scantily clad and sometimes naked, who are trained in sensual South American dance styles such as Passinho and Carioca funk. The work is a French collaboration. Image: John Hogg

In ‘L’Homme Rare’, Nadia Beugré from the Ivory Coast brings together five high-heeled dancers, scantily clad and sometimes naked, who are trained in sensual South American dance styles such as Passinho and Carioca funk.  Image: John Hogg

Is your masculinity in jeopardy by swaying your butt, hips or pelvis? ‘L’Homme Rare’ from the Ivory Coast is a provocative choreography centred on the pelvis and the obsession of the dancers with their gender and their body. Image: John Hogg

‘Is your masculinity in jeopardy by swaying your butt, hips or pelvis? ‘‘L’Homme Rare’ from the Ivory Coast is a provocative choreography centred on the pelvis and the obsession of the dancers with their gender and their body. Image: John Hogg

In ‘Hominideos’, from Cameroon, six dancers and musicians, their bodies covered with white clay, go on a journey back to nature, to the cradle of man. Choreographer Merlin Nyakam found his inspiration in the poem ‘In The Cradle of Humankind’ by Karen Press and the music by composer Giacinto Scelsi,’ Four Pieces Each in One Tone’. Image: John Hogg

In ‘Hominideos’, from Cameroon, six dancers and musicians, their bodies covered with white clay, go on a journey back to nature, to the cradle of man. Choreographer Merlin Nyakam found his inspiration in the poem ‘In The Cradle of Humankind’ by Karen Press and the music by composer Giacinto Scelsi,’ Four Pieces Each in One Tone’. Image: John Hogg

‘Hominideos’, according to Ivorian choreographer Merlin Nyakam’s notes, ‘is a powerful connection between dance, percussion and song. Images about the chaos of our world and the contradictions between people are projected on screens. At the end of the journey, the question for the dancers and performers is, what remains of our dreams of retracing the lifeline with Mother Earth?’ Image: John Hogg

‘Hominideos’, according to Ivorian choreographer Merlin Nyakam’s notes, ‘is a powerful connection between dance, percussion and song. Images about the chaos of our world and the contradictions between people are projected on screens. At the end of the journey, the question for the dancers and performers is, what remains of our dreams of retracing the lifeline with Mother Earth?’ Image: John Hogg

‘Hominideos’, according to Ivorian composer Merlin Nyakam, is ‘carried by a unique language, the meeting of contemporary and African dance, with which I forge my own language that makes visible the complexity of human relationships’. Image: John Hogg

‘Hominideos’, according to Ivorian composer Merlin Nyakam, is ‘carried by a unique language, the meeting of contemporary and African dance, with which I forge my own language that makes visible the complexity of human relationships’. Image: John Hogg

‘Hominideos’ is met with rapturous applause, in keeping with the theme of this year’s Afrovibes Festival. Image: John Hogg

‘Hominideos’ is met with rapturous applause, in keeping with the theme of this year’s Afrovibes Festival. Image: John Hogg

‘R!ot by Design’ is an exhibition by South African/Zimbabwean designer Sindiso Nyoni. ‘A riot is the language of the unheard’ is a statement by Martin Luther King that inspired Nyoni in his work as an activist artist and designer. Image: John Hogg

‘R!ot by Design’ is an exhibition by South African/Zimbabwean designer Sindiso Nyoni. ‘A riot is the language of the unheard’ is a statement by Martin Luther King that inspired Nyoni in his work as an activist artist and designer. Image: John Hogg

Some of South African/Zimbabwean designer Sindiso Nyoni’s works in the foyer of the Frascati Theatre in Amsterdam. Image: John Hogg

Some of South African/Zimbabwean designer Sindiso Nyoni’s works in the foyer of the Frascati Theatre in Amsterdam. Image: John Hogg

South African/Zimbabwean designer Sindiso Nyoni talks through each of his designs at the opening of his exhibition ‘R!ot by Design’ at the Frascati Theatre in central Amsterdam. Image: John Hogg

South African/Zimbabwean designer Sindiso Nyoni talks through each of his designs at the opening of his exhibition ‘R!ot by Design’ at the Frascati Theatre in central Amsterdam. Image: John Hogg

DM/ML


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