New arts voices at NuVo Festival

Kampala has yet another festival on its dusty and potholed landscape. The NuVo Arts Festival promises seven days of indulgence for arts-philes. From Monday July 1 to Sunday July 7, the festival will offer visual arts, poetry, music, drama and fashion. NuVo is a short form for “New Voices” and is a non-profit foundation dedicated to engaging new voices in the struggle for social justice. It aims to create social change and awareness through art, develop and promote local talent, promote and celebrate art and culture in Uganda, facilitate constructive dialogue to address current issues and impact youth decisions by creating awareness and dialogue social change. The festival will be held annually in July in Uganda’s capital, Kampala and the events will focus on a NuVo chosen social justice topic.

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The inaugural edition series of activities include a July 1st art exhibition at AKA Gallery (behind Crested Towers) from 7pm in which Ugandan artistes will exhibit works theme around “HIV/AIDS. No Statistics Allowed.” NuVo promises to support artistes that wish to sell their art. The Day 2 (July 2nd) highlight is a full day dedicated to performing arts for schools at the National Theatre. The festival drama feature “In the Continuum” will be staged followed by a talk back about the themes and issues raised in the play. Day 3 (July 3rd) will be about couture, prét-a-porter and the runway at Camel Club. In a spinoff of New York’s Fashion Night Speaks Out, indigenous designers will come together to show their support in decimating the HIV/Aids pandemic. It will be hosted by fashion powerhouses BOLD and Miami and patrons will part with UGX15K. The fourth day (July 4th) will be a Poetry Night ay the National Theatre where the city’s premier spoken word outfit the Lantern Meet of Poets will show off their lyricism yet again in a poetry night themed around the festival theme “HIV/AIDS; No Statistics Allowed.” Entry to this event is UGX10K.

The festival hopes to end on a high with a three-day performance of the play “In the Continuum” at the National Theatre from July 5-7, 2013. Playwrights Danai Gurira and Nikola Salter dynamically explore the impact HIV/AIDs has had on black women in both the US and Africa. Through the tactful device of two separate worlds that overlap in themes, dialogue and sometimes even situations, the production explores two starkly different worlds separated by thousands of miles that are tragically brought together, side by side by the analogous role that HIV plays in the respective worlds.

Text: MOSES SERUGO (kampala1ne@gmail.com)

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