THE GREAT AFRICAN CARAVAN IS COMING
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.