Skip to main content

We Are One: South Sudan Culture Fest

Batuki Music Society, in conjunction with the Sudanese Settlement & Community Services Presents:
We Are One: South Sudan Culture Fest
May 15, Toronto
(see details at the link)

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed on January 9, 2005, ended the Second Sudanese Civil War, which, together with and largely considered a continuation of the First Sudanese Civil War, engulfed the region in deadly fighting from 1955 right up to its signing. The violent clash between between the Sudan People's Liberation Army (formed in 1983) and the Afro-Arab and Muslim dominated northern regions killed an estimated 1.9 million civilians and displaced another 4 million in one of Africa's longest and bloodiest wars.

The good news is that left in its wake is the Autonomous Government of Southern Sudan, whose capital is Juba. The region, home to more than 60 ethnic groups and extending east and west along the White Nile River (or Bahr el Jebel) south of Egypt and the northern capital of Khartoum, has been a hotbed of conflict for centuries. Needless to say, there's nothing like 50 years of warfare to lay waste to the rich cultural legacy of any region in any era, including the destruction of documents, archives and tapes along with the complete disruption of societies that had been largely untouched by outside influences.

Toronto's Batuki Music Society, whose Executive Director Otimoi Oyemu is himself a native of the region, is looking to lend a helping hand in the rebuilding process through an event that's centred in Ontario, but with contacts that extend throughout the diaspora and back into the African continent. "Culture reinforces identity," explains Nadine McNulty, Batuki's Artistic Director. "This is our first attempt. We're hoping that it will be continued and replicated - not only here, but in Southern Sudan itself. We're hoping to light a spark."

Putting together a showcase of South Sudanese arts proved to be no easy task, however. While rich in heritage, most of the musicians and performance groups were community based, performing at weddings and church events. Reaching out took some time and legwork, including contacting the Sudanese Settlement & Community Services and the Liaison Office of the Autonomous Government of Southern Sudan in Ottawa, who've lent their enthusiastic support. After a concerted effort, the programme was put together, and now includes a wide range of talented performers showcasing everything from traditional song and dance to cutting edge hip hop, and people that are coming from all over the province.

Many of the Sudanese in Canada have come from refugee camps, some young people who've taken advantage of the federal government's refugee student programme. While admirable in intent, it unfortunately only provides for one year of financial support. "So many struggle here," Nadine says, "and not only with finances." Proceeds of We Are One will go towards setting up a scholarship fund to help out, along with providing a networking opportunity. While it's the first celebration of Southern Sudanese culture in... well probably ever, the intent is that it will be far from the last. "Hopefully, it'll be an annual event."

See you there?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Film News - imagineNATIVE Embargo Collective at the Berlin Film Fest

Hot Off the Presses:
(and gosh, doesn't that expression sound quaint these days?)

imagineNATIVE’s EMBARGO COLLECTIVE
to have its European Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival 2010
(Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin 11.-21.02.10)

(Toronto, February 3rd, 2010) The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is pleased to announce the official selection of the festival’s Embargo Collective programme for the Forum Expanded section of this year’s Berlin International Film Festival. This programme of works was commissioned by the imagineNATIVE festival for its 10th anniversary and will have its European premiere Monday, February 15th, 8.30pm at Cinema Arsenal 2 and a repeat screening Wednesday, February 17th, 4pm at CinemaxX 6.

Curated by imagineNATIVE’s Artistic Director Danis Goulet, the Embargo Collective is an international group of seven Indigenous artists at the forefront of the changing global landscape of Indigenous cinema. Inspired by Lars von Trier’s The Five Obstructi…

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Guitar Rock | Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds Independent: May 31, 2019

Guitar Rock
Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds
Independent: May 31, 2019
Stream/Buy on Bandcamp
Stream it on Spotify

With tight musicians and intriguing lyrics, Happy Freuds delivers high energy guitar rock with stylistic flair on Echo Of Sounds, their debut release. Produced with a minimum of overdubs or fixes, the album consists of a mix of original material, rearrangements of works from others and selected, less known, classic rock.

A kinetic rhythm section is the bones of the music, offering interesting patterns that augment sometimes unexpected harmonic changes. It's brainy rock, in other words, meant for music lovers who can appreciate the quality. Teo's vocals are raspy and expressive, growly when necessary - perfect for the musical mode. Teo also covers lead guitar, adapt at ear worm leads, with a tone that can be clean or dirty as required

Their sound ranges from straight up hard rock in tracks like The Mountain to the pop-flavoured acoustic Background Noise and folky To …