CalArts School of Theater and the International Genocide Study Center (IGSC) in Kigali, Rwanda, present the fifth annual Arts in the One World Conference next week (Jan. 21-24) at the Institute's Valencia, Calif., campus. Coordinated by Leslie Tamaribuchi, Interim Co-Dean of the Theater School, the conference is meant to foster dialogue between cultures and explore the uses of the arts in times of extremity.
This year's theme focuses on the Kinyarwanda term guhahamuka ("the breathless attempt to articulate the inexpressible") which, sadly, has been used widely since the Tutsi genocide.
The conference agenda features numerous panels, presentations, performances, film screenings and exhibits, including readings and workshops by conference founder and former CalArts Theater Dean Erik Ehn. (He is producing a sister conference at Brown University in March.)
From the conference materials, here's how the programs and theme were developed:
We invite presentations, performances, and workshops that demonstrate how survivors, artists, and scholars give testimony and bear witness to circumstances of conflict and social injustice, opening imaginative space for participation in the recovery of historical memory and social renewal. We will consider together how these articulations represent experiments in interdisciplinary public practice, expanding the models for being an artist/activist in the world.
The Arts in the One World Conference is a local manifestation of the artistic exchange CalArts conducts with the IGSC, where each summer a group of students, faculty, and professionals travel to Rwanda and Uganda, to study genocide and acts of mass violence, exploring the ways in which art participates in processes of renewal.
The conference's opening sessions will include presentations from several students, alumni and staff who've participated in the CalArts Exchange in Rwanda/Uganda:
- Alumni Darius Manino and Emily Mendelsohn will serve as moderators;
- Cristina Frias (MFA candidate) will present on the International Performance Festival in Kigali;
- Qadriyyah Shamsid-Deen (MFA candidate) will discuss documenting cultural exchange in Rwanda;
- CalArts Performing Arts Librarian Kathy Carbone will provide an overview on the IGSC/CalArts building the Interdisciplinary Genocide Studies Center Library; and
- Lauryn Johnson (MFA candidate) will speak on Political Improv in Uganda: Theater Factory.
Students, faculty and other interested parties from CalArts and around the world (including the general public) are invited to join the conference proceedings. There is no registration fee.
Arts in the One World Conference
24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia, Calif.