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Human rights take centre stage in Kinshasa


Ados Ndombasi and Christiana Tabora performing in the play Helen’s Necklace.
   

View of the stage for the play The Ventriloquist.
   

The Canadian Embassy in Kinshasa joined forces with the artistic director of Toronto’s Theatre Asylum, Jennifer H. Capraru, for a dramatic reading of excerpts of Canadian plays chosen for their universal themes of peace, the search for identity, and poverty.

As the Democratic Republic of Congo works toward post-conflict development and reconstruction, many stakeholders focus their advocacy efforts through conferences and roundtables. In addition to these more traditional opportunities for dialogue, the Embassy decided to experiment with a new approach to discussing the importance of democratic principles, respect for the rule of law and the value of human rights.

Recognized for her artistic engagement in humanist and social debates, particularly in Rwanda, where she founded the ISôKO company (www.isoko-rwanda.org), Ms. Capraru worked with recognized Congolese actors to present these excerpts of Canadian plays to representatives from civil society and human rights organizations.

The event also premiered the work of Wajdi Mouawad, Carole Fréchette, Michel Tremblay and Larry Tremblay in Kinshasa, all of which stimulated political and cultural discussions with everyone in attendance.  The Embassy hopes that these new approaches to advocacy will strengthen Canada’s ties with the Congolese community.

Ms. Capraru’s stay in Kinshasa was made possible by a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.