Conceptualised by Faustin Linyekula and Virginie Dupray from Studios Kabako in Kisangani, DRC, Letters from the Continent brings together 21 performing artists or collectives from 18 nationalities on the continent: DRC, Tanzania, South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Sudan, Egypt, Comoros, Tunis, Morocco, Senegal, Liberia, Togo, Nigeria, Gabon, Mali, Rwanda, Congo Brazzaville.
The project invites participants to create a video ‘letter’ telling the story of their daily life, difficulties, worries but also survival strategies and hopes.
The project was developed in response to the global health crisis but also the myriad socio-political, economic and environmental crises that shape daily life on the continent. Written in May-June 2020 in the time of COVID-19 and the global Black Lives Matter movements, these 21 letters portray the voice of a younger generation of dancers, choreographers, performers, actors and theatre directors who are constantly juggling the challenges of their context to create and share stories of a continent in the throes of change. More than ever, the letters reaffirm the urgency to create, here and now, against all odds.
These letters will be brought together in a feature film, under artistic direction of Faustin Linyekula, to be released in September 2020. French and English versions will be screened on partner platforms in Europe and the continent during September and October 2020. The screenings will be followed by discussions with some of the featured artists.
The participation of 5 SADC artists will be supported by ANT Funding as well as screenings of the film in DRC, South Africa, Tanzania, Comoros and/or Madagascar. The artists are Samwel Japhet (Dar-es-Salaam), Salim Mze Hamadi Moisi (Comoros], Maria Tembe (Maputo), Qondiswa James (Cape Town) and Judith Olivia Manantenasoa (Antananarivo).