The 2012 Ngoma Award winner theatre company Barefeet Theatre is set to host their 9th edition of the annual Barefeet Youth Arts Festival at various locations in Lusaka from Thursday the 20th of August to Saturday the 29th.
‘’This comes only once in a year. There is no one in Zambia who organizes these kinds of festival apart from Barefeet, so don’t miss it!’’ Moses Sakala from the Sakala Brothers during last year’s festival.
‘The Barefeet Youth Arts Festival has been held every year since 2006 and is a two week event characterized by music, art, theatre, dance and film inclusive of interactive workshops and debates which culminates into a carnival that affirms the spectacle and brilliance that is representative of Barefeet. The festival also offers young people an opportunity to interact with local, national and international artists” says Adam McGuigan, artistic director and co-founder of Barefeet.
Barefeet was founded by a group of young Zambian artists and the afore mentioned Irish theatre maker Adam McGuigan. Many of the founding members of the organisation have grown up on the streets and in orphanages. They felt they wanted to bring something positive to the lives of their younger peers and started to use theatre, dance and arts to learn them to change their lives and get off the streets and into school. The Barefeet Festival started as a very small celebration in the parking lot of the Lusaka Playhouse where the children Barefeet worked with showed what they had learned. This is now 9 years ago and in these years Barefeet has grown up from a festival in the parking lot to a 2 week celebration with a range of activities and national and international artist that perform side by side with the vulnerable children that Barefeet continues to work with. Barefeet is very proud how far it has come and thanks its sponsors such as UNICEF and Irish Aid for their continued help throughout this beautiful journey.
Every year Barefeet Festival has a theme and this year we want to celebrate diversity, knowledge and respect with the theme ONE DRUM MANY BEATS!! We celebrate that we are all different but can and should live together in harmony. And we can do this by enjoying the new and innovative dance, theatre, film, music and acrobatics that the festival offers side by side. The Festival groove starts on the 10th – 15th August with the community performances that will happen across 40 communities in Zambia. The Festival will then be launched at Pestalozzi Children’s Village (Twin Palm Rd) on the 20th August with a play entitled Miss Mathematics. This is a fun, joyful musical tribute to the late Michael Jackson. It will be played on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of August.
The Festival then reawakens with ‘BRING IT ON ZAMBIA’ on the 24th August. This will be our community roadshow performance, over at Chawama grounds with a series of music and dance performances, free for all to attend. This will be followed by a mellow Film Night where different new movies will be launched.
A series of public workshops will be made available for all to increase your artistic skills on the 25th August at the Lusaka Playhouse, workshops include various exciting activities by Cocoloco (theatre)-UK, Kalentura Drums (carribean drum)-HOLLAND, Barefeet (theatre) – Zambia, Most Wanted (streetdance)-UK, Artscape (breakdance) – South Africa and other exciting groups. To top off the day we will have Stand-up comedy at the Playhouse in the evening.
Other highlights include: Children’s ‘Revolution’ performances, where over 2000 children that Barefeet works with show what they have learned this year and the Barefeet Children’s Councils Innovation Conference at the New Government Complex on the 26thAugust from 10:00 free for all. This day ends with a Theatre Night at the Lusaka Playhouse with performances by Barefeet and Princess Moon.
On the 27th August we will have a performance by Barefeet entitled Treasure In Chibolya. This show takes the public on a journey to tell the story of how 4 young boys from Chibolya came into contact with acrobatic art and how it has changed their lives. It promises loads of action, dance, and dazzling acrobatics. The night will culminate in an Open Mic at Chit Chat where poets, music and spoken word artists will grace the night from 20:00 hrs. Adam McGuigan’s one man show ‘NGO the Musical’ will also be premiered this night.
On Friday 28th August Barefeet hosts the Barefeet Ball, a conference on Theatre for Development at the New Government Complex. In the evening we will dazzle you with the first of a two concerts that the Festival offers. The line- up for this Friday Night is going to be off the hook, with the best of Zambia and International artists. One hint: JK will also be joining the party, together with 4 other artists!
The final day of the festival (Saturday 29th) kicks starts with the Revolution Carnival 12hrs kick off from Manda Hill Mall. Get inspired by the one drums theme and come dressed in costumes. Join over 2000 others in a Carnival of music, fire, noise, laughter and fun which is followed by another concert that will bring musical bliss to the whole family with artist such as Maureen Lilanda and Chef 187. Stay Tuned for the whole line up!
Well you can’t say Barefeet don’t know how to have fun! Our children have been working hard and all that’s missing now is for you to spread the word and join us!