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Poetry, music and dancing tell story of DR Congo at conference

Poetry, music and dancing tell story of DR Congo at conference

Learn more about the heart of Africa through poetry, music, dancing and storytelling at the fifth annual How much do you know about the DR Congo? conference Friday.

The conference will take place March 23, from noon to 6pm, at 152 Founders Assembly Hall, Founders College, Keele campus. It is hosted by H20Congo, a non-governmental organization started by York alumni Barbro Ciakudia (BA Hons. ’11) and Nancy-Josée Ciakudia (BA Spec. Hons. ’08), and York University.

Cuneyt, a singer, and Hamna Mughal, a human rights activist and poet, will kick off the conference, followed by talks with Nythalah Baker, senior adviser, education & communications for York's Centre for Human Rights, and Professor Justin Podur (left), the Faculty of Environmental Studies graduate program director. Podur will give an overiew of the confict in the DR Congo and provide the historical context, as well as show a video he's put together.

Podur has written on political conflicts and social movements and has reported from Palestine, Haiti, the DR Congo and others. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Haiti's New Dictatorship: From the Overthrow of Aristide to the 2010 Earthquake (Pluto Press).

Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize winning film, The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo, shot in the war zones of the DR Congo in 2006, will be screened in the afternoon. The documentary breaks the silence surrounding the tens of thousands of women and girls who have been kidnapped, raped and sexually tortured in during the DR Congo’s ongoing civil war. In the film, rape survivor and filmmaker Lisa F. Jackon talks with activists, peacekeepers, physicians and with the rapists themselves. She travels to remote villages to meet rape survivors who have been shamed and abandoned, providing a piercing, intimate look into the horror, struggle and ultimate grace of their lives. 

Two more speakers will take to the floor, including Jim Karygiannis, the  Liberal member of parliament for Scarborough-Agincourt. There will be storytelling by Ellias Nabutete, singing by Kasim and Blandine, poetry by SobAbu, as well as dancing by Fumu Jamez and the Maria Bahru dance company.

For more information, visit the Centre for Human Rightswebsite.

Republished courtesy of YFile– York University’s daily e-bulletin.