Demobilized Youth Theatre Performance – Hozwa Mwana w’u Rwanda

When: Friday, April 27th, 7pm
Where: Ishyo Arts Center, Kacyiru

Entrance: FREE


Hozwa Mwana w’u Rwanda follows a group of boys recently returned from the Congo ( DRC).  Beginning with their memories of the forest, the piece moves into their stories of return and their current moment of transition, highlighted by a fairy tale of a boy named Chance who is rejected by his family and is rescued by a magical fish.  Hozwa M’wana w’u Rwanda was written by the CRC Demobilized Youth and reflects their reflections, fears, and hopes as they begin the process of reintegrating into civilian life in Rwanda.

Hozwa Mwana w’u Rwanda is  a play created and performed by a group of recently demobilized child soldiers from the Child Rehabilitation Center (CRC)  in Musanze.  The piece has been devised by the cast through bi-weekly theatre workshops at the CRC this past month, and is based on the boys’ experiences.


Ailin Conant is an American-born theatre director now based in London. She is the Artistic Director of Theatre Témoin with whom she has previously worked in Rwanda to devise Ni Ibya Buri Wese with Never Again Rwanda’s semi-professional theatre troupe One Family.  Ailin is currently working on theatre projects with ex-fighters and ex-soldiers worldwide as a Mary Elvira Stevens Traveling Fellow.

 Elizabeth Senja Spackman was a 2010-2011 Fulbright Fellow in Creative Writing in Rwanda, and she worked with the group Art Works Ink to create the new theatre piece sky like sky.  Elizabeth has an MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop. She has worked intensively with Rhodessa Jones’s Medea Project: Theatre for Incarcerated Women in the prisons of San Francisco, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Paris. She currently teaches in the literature department at Kigali Institute of Education.

Ariane Zaytzeff is a French theater artist and PhD student. She was trained in France as an actress and lighting designer, and she is writing her dissertation in Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. She currently lives in Rwanda where she is conducting her research.

Pacifique Walid Ishimwe was born in Kigali.  He studied electronics, and is a philosopher at heart.  He is collaborating on this project as a translator and co-facilitator.

The play will be performed in Kinyarwanda with French and English subtitles, and will be followed by a Q&A with the CRC youth.  The piece has been made possible through the generous support of the Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission, Positive Productions, and the US Embassy in Rwanda; with additional support from the Goethe Institute and The French Embassy.

Café littéraire autour du Roman “Ayele fille de l’ombre” – Ce soir 23/04/2012


Pour la journée mondiale du livre et du droit d’auteur, VERONIQUE AHYI-HOESLE et les comédiens d’Ishyo nous présentent « Ayélé, fille de l’ombre ».

Dans son premier roman, Véronique Ahyi-Hoesle pose un regard sur le racisme, vu sous le prisme de la double culture. En parcourant le roman, le lecteur découvre beaucoup de similitudes entre le personnage d’Ayélé et la propre trajectoire de Véronique Ahyi-Hoesle : métissage culturel, intérêt pour les langues, entre autres points communs…

Où? Ishyo Arts centre – Salle de théâtre

Entrée: gratuite

Heure: 19h

Avec le support du Select Boutique Hotel.

Les Cafés Littéraires d’Ishyo

…Les soirs des mots…

“Vous y trouverez des mots d’amour et de rêves, des mots de tous les jours et des mots d’apparat, des mots en rage et d’autres en douceur, des mots en joie ou en peine, des mots pour rire, des mots d’été et des autres saisons, des mots du temps qui passe et de celui qu’on retient, des mots sucrés et d’autres un peu amers, des mots à inventer aussi, à offrir, à goûter, à savourer, à partager sans fin …”

” Faces: Blacks and Whites” – EXPO


A 45 ans, Jean-Yves  Saliez, ingénieur de formation, exerce un métier de gestion, dont l’intensité est le moteur de son inspiration artistique. Autodidacte, dessiner et peindre le transporte et le fait voyager dans un univers intérieur qui équilibre les choses. Dessinateur occasionnel jusque là, Kigali lui a donné l’envie de peindre en grand, debout, mobile, face à des surfaces vierges de 1 m2, fournies par un voisin et ami.

« La question n’est pas celle du beau, de l’esthétique, mais plutôt celle de la puissance, de l’émotion transmise, sans mots ni paroles. »


Des visages africains, d’autres européens… Des techniques diverses : de l’acrylique, des pastels gras, du crayon gras ; parfois en mélange; parfois sur fond blanc, nécessitant de rendre les zones d’ombres, parfois sur fond blanc, requérant l’inverse : exprimer la lumière, et non pas l’ombre. Beaucoup d’expérimentation. Avec de temps en temps, un écart par rapport au thème : un morceau d’éléphant ; un corps d’un soldat nomade en campagne, mort il y a bien longtemps. Lorsque l’inspiration est là, la main court sans effort. Les panneaux de PVC cristallisent la rencontre entre un univers conscient et inconscient, comme la surface de l’océan fait se rejoindre la partie émergée et immergée de l’iceberg.

Vernissage: 3 mai 2012 a 18h30

L’expo: du 3 au 9 mai 2012 de 17h a 21h

Our Past – Sick City Entertainment and J’Art Donc Je Vis #RwandaRemembers18

This Thursday (4:00 pm) and Friday (3:00pm) Ishyo Arts Center will host “Our Past” an afternoon of remembrance for the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Two dance crews, J’Art Donc Je Vis and Sick City Entertainment, are collaborating in a theatrical production entitled We Are Rwanda, written and produced by young up and coming playwright, Lynker Kabera, of Kigali, Rwanda.

The program of remembrance will include not only We Are Rwanda, but also poetry reading, dancing, a movie screening about the Genocide, testimonies of survivors of the Genocide, and a discussion with the audience. When asked about her hopes for the evening, Lynker Kabera shared, “We hope to see mainly the youth, because we are trying to show them, those born after the Genocide, what happened.” She also shared that “Sick City Entertainment, Dance Crew, inspired [the play], as well as the theme for the 18th Genocide Memorial: Learning from our past in order to build a brighter future. The play is mainly that – six young people from different backgrounds, learning to live without the shadows of the past.”

Theater play aside, there will also be Slam (spoken word), musical performances and testimonies throughout the event.

Entrance to Ishyo’s afternoon of remembrance is free, yet donations are encouraged. All donations collected at the end of the night will be given to the Women’s Village in Kanombe, where they hope to open a shop to benefit the village.

So young people, come to Ishyo Theater tomorrow and Friday afternoon– do not miss the opportunity to learn and remember.

-Joseph Jones

THEATER: Breaking The Silence – Sunday 8th and Monday 9th!

If you have visited Ishyo Arts Center in the last two weeks, you are aware that Ishyo Theater has been lively with the stage designer, Fer, constructing a set, the dramatic director, Nan, instructing Rwandan and Cambodian actors and actresses, and the director, Anna Marie, directing a production which promises to be a moving play and historical collaboration. Fer, Nan, and Anna Marie come to Rwanda at the behest of Rwandan artists who caught wind of the acclaimed play, Breaking the Silence, and its success in Cambodia. Their play is being adapted to the Rwandan context, while retaining the Cambodian story, with the addition of two Rwandan actors.

I had the privilege of interviewing Nan, the dramatic director, who affirms that “The play, Breaking the Silence, was one of the very few plays written about genocide and performed in Cambodia. The title refers to the fact that genocide was not dealt with openly ever and hasn’t even been mentioned in the Cambodian school history books until two years ago. The government is not encouraging any discussion, information, or reconciliation in Cambodia at this time.” While in Cambodia, the team discovered the D.C.C., or Documentation Center Cambodia, which is the motor of the reconciliation process in Cambodia.

They provide reconciliation programs, which are primarily supported by foreign funding, as well as a database of substantial documentation pertaining to genocidal events and detected killing fields in Cambodia. Although a Genocide tribunal was started a few years ago, it is a slow process which lacks ample support from the government. To date, only one mastermind of the Cambodian Genocide has been convicted upon confession, while four others await a postponed trial which Nan believes will “probably [be postponed] indefinitely.”

When asked about the impact of the play in Cambodia, where Genocide has remained concealed for the most part, Nan stated, “the play had a huge impact, and revealed what life looks like in Cambodia forty years after Genocide.” Today, there is a big gap between people born after the Genocide and those who lived through it, while parents who lived through the atrocities seldom talk about their experiences during this period. Nan confirms wearily that “there are children who don’t believe it [happened] because there is no confirmation. It is seen more as a means of teaching them a lesson rather than fact.” Breaking the Silence pulled the sheet off of the largely unspoken events and gendered discussion amongst two very different generations.

The play is a significant work that aims to ensure the Genocide in Cambodia will not be forgotten. Those portraying life during and after the Cambodian Genocide share a true and personal story on stage, based on the true account of one of actresses. Appropriately, all of the actors and actresses in Breaking the Silence include women who survived the Genocide as children, and men who were born after the genocide.

This bridging of generations begins at the stage and ends with the audience. Nan shares how, “the play was shown in villages on a mobile stage – audiences never reached before.” Two tours through the provinces in Cambodia ensured exposure of the play to many, while radio broadcasts of the play reached those unreachable by the tour. Talks following the play, facilitated by the D.C.C., included testimonies by survivors, questions from the younger generation, affirmations of the atrocities by former members of the Genocidal regime, and confessions of a sort by the latter brought about by the compelling nature of the play. Nan believes, “Rwandans sought out the play because they identify with the Cambodian victims, their problems, and the similar psychological effects of Genocide.” When asked about the changes made to the play, especially for the Rwandan audience, Nan confirmed, “We have kept to the principle that it should be understandable by everybody, thus we brought in two Rwandese actors to be mediators – partly they translate, partly they bring in questions the audience might have, while explaining the context.”

Annemarie directs with vigor as I sit in the empty seating of Ishyo Arts Centre Theater. She’s graced with white hair, and possesses a serious nature about her work, as is expected from an actress, playwright, and director of her caliber. When asked about her work in Cambodia, she shares, “It was seven years ago when I first visited Cambodia, being asked to rebuild the theatrical life there. All of the intellectuals and artists were [systematically] killed.” The first form of artistic expression restored in Cambodia was the classical form. She affirms with vigor, “It was a real restoration, in the real sense.” Annemarie, an accomplished actress and director in Holland, was the first person in the 1970s to make “poetical political theater.”

At the behest of an American friend who worked for the United Nations and discovered her work in Amsterdam, she conducted a successful workshop in Cambodia, bringing a new direct style of acting to the country different from the stylized form Cambodians are accustomed to. Her first play, entitled Three Years, Eight Months, and Twenty Days, encapsulated the length of the Cambodian Genocide in both title and content. It was a very mellow play, shown only twice in Cambodia and twice at the Singapore Art Festival. She points out that “in Rwanda there were Gacaca Courts, yet Cambodia had nothing.” Her collaboration with Nan has strengthened a longstanding personal friendship and Breaking the Silence is sure to be a success in Rwanda. Anna Marie passionately concludes with a statement about the actors. “There are two languages. They don’t understand each other. I don’t understand them. But we are together.” Indeed, the Rwandan and Cambodian actors don’t understand one another, as it pertains to language, but they interact as if they’ve known each other for a lifetime. Perhaps their connection, being Genocide survivors and the children of survivors, is the reason for this strong bond.

Joseph Jones , Ishyo Arts Centre

Breaking the Silence will premiere, this Sunday 8th of April, in Kigali at Ishyo Arts Theater.

Produced by Amrita Performing Arts (Cambodia)

Hosted by La Benevolencija (Rwanda)

Directed by Annemarie Prins

Cast: Morm Sokly,Kov Sotheary, Chhon Sina, Pok Sovanna, Ruzibiza Wesley, Niyitegeka Gratien

Composer & Musician: Ieng Sakkona

Singer: Yin Vutha

Dancer : Khiev Sovannrith

Language: Kinyarwanda and Cambodian

English subtitles

Age: 15+

Free Entrance