The Crossing The Line Festival Celebrates The African Continent & Diaspora

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) Crossing The Line festival marks its post-pandemic return with a program focused on the African continent and its cultural abundance. The program for this 14th edition includes works created by artists from Africa and the diaspora.

For the first time in the United States, the Zimbabwean choreographer, Nora Chipaumire, will present her audio work “Nehanda.” Created during the health crisis, “Nehanda” is inspired by the legend of a spirit revered by the Shona people of Zimbabwe and central Mozambique. Available online for the duration of the festival, the work will be screened in FIAF’s Tinker Auditorium on Saturday, October 30, between 11am and 4:30pm, before a discussion with Nora Chipaumire at 5pm.

Nigerian-born New York artist Okwui Okpokwasili and her collaborator Peter Born will present “On the way, undone,” an in-situ work that mixes genres and media. A polyphonic choir, with sculptural headdresses reminiscent of traditional West African hairstyles, will transport the audience into a sonic tangle “that summons the past to envision the future,” a theme dear to this festival. The performance will take place outdoors at the Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn (indoors in case of rain) on Thursday, October 21, Friday, October 22 and Saturday, October 23 at 7:30pm.

Also, listen to Grammy-nominated singer Somi, of Rwandan and Ugandan descent, who will perform on Thursday, October 28 at FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall at 7:30pm. She will unveil her upcoming album “The Reimagination of Miriam Makeba“, a tribute to the South African-born singer who became known as, “Mama Afrika.”

Finally, the world premiere of Christopher Myers’ “Fire in the Head”, on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 October at 7:30pm, and “KLII” by Rwandan-born multimedia artist Kaneza Schaal, which will close the last three days of the festival. Inspired by Mark Twain’s King Leopold’s Soliloquy, a fictional monologue written after the writer’s visit to the Congo, and Patrice Lumumba’s 1960 independence speech, this “mytho-biographical” show addresses the theme of colonialism in everyday life today. At Florence Gould Hall at 7:30pm.

Originally published here by the French Morning staff. 

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