Friday, January 18, 2008

Congolese interpretation of the Holocaust Remembrance Events

Congolese Holocaust Event
26th January 2008

A variety show of presentations and play acting based on the 3 Congolese tragedies which interpret the Congolese Holocaust. These performances will be fringed by a photographic and artistic exhibitions that remembers the African tradition, culture and the Slave Trade.

Congolese Holocaust in three parts:

Slave trade
The 16th-18th Centuries saw decimation of Congolese communities and villages with the removal of thousands of Congolese to become slaves in the Americas. Between a quarter and a half died during the trips from the Congolese interior to the coast; during the Middle Passage across the Atlantic, mainly to Brazil; and during early settlement in the Americas.

Holocaust of King Leopold’s Congo “Free” State
During the late 1800s and beginning of the 20th Century, millions of Congolese died or were victims of mutilation and other suffering as a result of the Congo being exploited by King Leopold of Belgium, who was given the Congo as a personal chattel by the European powers. Thanks to a Merseyside and North Wales-based politician, Edmund Morel, who succeeded in persuading the Western powers to have the Congo Free State taken away from King Leopold and ceded to the Belgium Government as a colony.

Tragedy of the Congo current civil war, 1997- present
Between 3 and 5 million Congolese died during the Congolese civil war that took place from 1997 until 2002, but which has recently flared up again. This conflict was partly a knock-on effect of the 1994 Rwandan genocide but has other origins as well in a complex country the size of Western Europe. As a result, Congolese starting fleeing their country at the end of the 90s and were given haven in places like Kensington, Liverpool, where they have settled.

For this reason, the Kensington-based and Congolese-led arts group, Yambi Africa, and one of their playwright members, have developed performances around this Diaspora story and are offering them on the Congolese Holocaust Memorial Day on January the 26th, 2008 in Kensington Junior School, Brae School, L7, off Holt Road.

4.00 -5.00 pm: Photographic & Artistic Exhibition
5.00 – 6.00 pm: Food
6.00 – 8.00 pm: Presentations play acting & music
8.00 – 9.00 pm: more performances

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