UGHE Hamwe Fest2021: Extraordinary performances illustrate difficult times during pandemic


The artists were praised for the exceptional moral role they play in helping communities cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Peter Lewton-Brain, a British dancer and former principal dancer of the National Ballet of Portugal and the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, said the idea of ​​social health was forgotten during the pandemic, “yet we need social cohesion. Art is necessary for social health, and dancing is a sign that we need social interactions for good health and well-being.

And alright Tripura Kashyap, a movement therapist / dance educator and choreographer who pioneered dance / movement therapy in India in the 1990s, says: “It is a misnomer to say that dance therapy is only for people with disabilities, but it is not. It’s for everyone.

The restrictions on movement during the pandemic traumatized people and for artists it affected their freedom to dance, to meet a community of dancers, and they couldn’t do business as usual. It affected their emotions and their sanity.

These were arguments raised during discussions during the 3e edition of the Hamwe Festival 2021 organized 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 together the health sector and the creative industries. This year the festival will be hybrid, taking place in various locations around Kigali, as well as online.

At the launch of the festival on Thursday, UGHE Vice-Chancellor Agnes Binagwaho said that indeed the blockades have resulted in many new social changes such as mobility limitations and more virtual interactions for children. 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 the economic hardships faced by many families, communities. “We must all come together and find a way to save this African cultural heritage and because it could help save lives and improve our experience of care, the health and well-being of our communities.” Prof. Binagwaho.

The Hamwe Fest 2021 which takes place Kigali Library hosts 76 speakers and artists from 30 countries, 20 performances and 16 panels addressing the impact of COVID19 and the role of art.

In his speech, Minister of State for Youth Edourd Bamporiki, who officially opened the Hamwe Fest 2021, congratulated the UGHE who took the lead in creating such a festival in an extraordinary combination of health and creativity, which supports the cultural and creative industry.

On Saturday evening, several performances took place, delighting revelers with an unforgettable experience. Little Invisible Things, an all-round perfect dance performance told a story about the turmoil of people between different situations during COVID-19 and plays with the idea that our sanity and who we are are shaped by the situation around us. Little Invisible Things ”follows Four dancers, traveling bodies where their bodies are always in constant motion.

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

“This film describes how we are supposed to cope with grief, loss and challenges for our emotional well-being and our mental health,” said 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 program on mental health.

Wellcome supports scientists, tackles big health challenges, campaigns for better science, and helps everyone get involved in research.

The Hamwe Festival embodies these values ​​by providing a creative outlet for implementers and artists to discuss better and more innovative ways to improve healthcare through the arts.


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