February 10, 2011 — Learn about the power of film, music and art in the Congo with internationally acclaimed filmmaker and activist Petna Ndaliko and Chérie Rivers, a composer and African studies scholar, who will give a talk at the University of Virginia on Feb. 11 at 3 p.m. in Minor Hall, room 125. There will be a reception afterward.
In 2000, Ndaliko founded Alkebu Film Productions and Yole!Africa, a community arts organization that offers arts education, training and mentoring to youth in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Drawing the name from the cry used by central African shepherds to gather their herds, the artists began Yole!Africa as a way to promote peace and reconciliation through arts and culture.
Rivers, a Harvard University doctoral student and co-director of Yole!Africa, combines research and social engagement to focus on the power of art – specifically film and music – to initiate and empower sustainable social change in conflict-ridden regions of Africa.
The Eastern Congo Initiative awarded Yole!Africa a grant in 2010 to train talented young Congolese how to produce short films and audio pieces, intending that powerful storytelling might influence Western audiences to reconsider negative stereotypes of Africa and Congo.
Yole!Africa's visit is sponsored by the U.Va. Digital Humanities Speaker Series, a joint program of the University Library's Scholars' Lab, the Sciences, Humanities and Arts Network of Technological Initiatives, known as SHANTI and the Institute for the Advancement of Technology in the Humanities.