The East African - - THE MAGAZINE -


ESpe­cial ight artists from In­dia, Ger­many, Ar­gentina, Bri­tain, Uganda, and Kosovo are trav­el­ling from Cape Town in South Africa to Cairo, Egypt on a mis­sion to learn, teach and ex­pe­ri­ence new cul­tures through graf­fiti, mu­sic, comics, theatre and work­shops. Dubbed the Great African Car­a­van, the group set off from Cape Town on Au­gust 31.

The 15,000 kilo­me­tre jour­ney will take them over 190 days to com­plete through 11 coun­tries – South Africa, Zim­babwe, Zam­bia, Malawi, Tan­za­nia, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Su­dan , end­ing in Egypt in March, next year. The group is trav­el­ling in a car­a­van of three ve­hi­cles and is ac­com­pa­nied by a four-man film crew.

In the coun­tries they visit, the car­a­van will col­lab­o­rate with over 100 local artists work­ing un­der the African Artists Peace Ini­tia­tive.

The Great African Car­a­van is the brain­child of Art Car­a­van, an Indo-swiss or­gan­i­sa­tion of global artists us­ing their tal­ent and skills for peace build­ing and con­flict res­o­lu­tion through what they call Cross-con­ti­nen­tal Art Car­a­vans, a global artis­tic ex­change net­work and an in­ter­na­tional art sum­mit.

The idea is to build a global artis­tic net­work and hold art events and con­claves for cross-cul­tural ex­changes that fos­ter global cit­i­zen­ship.

The car­a­van has been con­cep­tu­alised as a grass­roots project that will in­volve com­mu­ni­ties through plat­forms such as the Fo­rum Space or Fo­rum Theatre, which is par­tic­i­pa­tory theatre pi­o­neered by Brazil­ian artist Au­gusto Boal.

This type of theatre is used to cre­ate a safe space (act­ing stage) for dis­cussing is­sues rel­e­vant to the au­di­ence and ex­plor­ing solutions. The is­sues can range from how to fight so­ci­etal stigma and tackle poverty to deal­ing with the ef­fects of cli­mate change.

The other projects of the car­a­van are the Lost Boy, Be­hind the Mask, Lights, Cam­era...peace, Be­tween Pan­els, Be­yond the Wall, Po­etry, Mu­sic With­out Bor­ders and work­shops that use dif­fer­ent me­dia to ad­dress com­mu­nity prob­lems.

Ac­cord­ing to the or­gan­is­ers, at the end of the road trip, the artists will have painted 11 wall mu­rals in col­lab­o­ra­tion with local com­mu­ni­ties, held 11 po­etry ses­sions, per­formed 11 theatre shows, put on 11 mu­sic shows, held 11 work­shops, trained 36 artists, worked with 72 po­ets, en­ter­tained over 6,000 peo­ple, per­formed with 20 mu­sic groups, and in­volved 1,200 young lead­ers.

They also ex­pect to make over 10 col­lab­o­ra­tive art­works, hold a di­a­logue on global cit­i­zen­ship and train 5,000 youth through work­shops.

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