From 2017 I realized my first decolonizing-silent-walk-performative city tour URBAN BODIES PROJECT. This was invited to the international festival THEATER DER WELT. Afterwards, this project was invited to Amsterdam, to the international dance festival JULIDANS, and to Stuttgart, to the festival DIE IRRITIERTE STADT. Later, the project DECOLONYCITIES followed in Hamburg in 2019 and 2021. Both will be supervised by a diverse and international team under the new platform founded by myself called SHAPE THE FUTURE."

Illustration: Dolph Banza

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After five successful projects in Hamburg, Amsterdam, Stuttgart, Mexico City and Guadalajara at international festivals, the choreographer Yolanda Gutiérrez, together with dancers from Kigali: Frank Mugisha, Celine Manzi, Babou Tight King, goes on a search for colonial places of memory in Kigali. The Kandt House is the best preserved building in the city of Kigali, built by one of the first Germans. Richard Kandt is often referred to as the "founder of the city of Kigali", although 2000 people had already lived there. The historical narrative begins in the colonial era with the arrival of the colonisers. The so-called "explorers" give the names to places, mountains, lakes, rivers, cities, countries all over the world, most of which still exist today.

With the Congo Conference of 1884-1885, the European powers divided Africa among themselves. This marked the beginning of colonialism in Germany. At the invitation of Otto von Bismarck, European states, the Ottoman Empire and the USA met. The Germans did not stay long in Rwanda, but they left traces on a social, political, economic and cultural level. Our search for traces is not only a historical one, but also a personal one. Based on our biography, we make a connection to the history of German colonialism.

As Frank Mugisha mentioned, "Looking behind the normative knowledge makes me emancipated mentally and physically and so I pass on other narratives to the next generations".

For a fortnight, the choreographer and dancers will work at the Kandt Haus, hold talks with experts and make their own personal contribution. In relation to their own biographies, they will let the audience bring together historical facts with other insights that are not usually found in history books. A decolonizing performative tour is created on a site that has stood untouched since the beginning of the 20th century as a silent witness to the colonial past between Germany and Rwanda.

How can we deal with this part of history today? How can we change our perspective and give an artistic contribution to this place?

[Conzept/Choreography] Yolanda Gutiérrez
[With and by] Babou Tight King, Frank Mugisha and Celine Manzi
[Visaul Artists] Chris Schwagga und Dolph Banza

Eine Produktion von yolanda gutiérrez & projects und Goethe Institut Ruanda

Gefördert Goethe Institut und Behörde für Kultur und Medien