What we have achieved so far?
With the initial support of friends, we organized the first Katanga-Kabale dance exchange in October last year. Children from Pigmy Batwa community came to visit their Katanga counterparts for a pioneer intercultural dance gala, in support of both marginalised communities. The visit of the pigmy children to Kampala was not without challenges. Besides the obvious cultural shock of the Pigmy kids, we also had a shortage of money to fully cater for some of the most critical needs. With our limited budget we could only host the Pigmy kids for a few days.
The distance between the Lake Bunyonyi and Kampala (Katanga) is 8 hours by bus plus a 2 hour boat ride on the lake to reach the Batwa community. This means that two days are spent just travelling back and forth. Lessons have been learned, as we organise the follow up exchange, we want to give the children a chance to get most out of their time. In Berlin, I have been overwhelmed by the positive response from the children here. They are learning the Batwa dance, following their story and asking questions. I filmed the Berlin children asking specific questions to individual Batwa children who they saw dancing in the short films. When I return to Uganda the Batwa children will also be filmed answering the questions addressed to them. Our final video will show the universal language of dance, bridging cultures, restoring dignity, and re-humanising the victims of violence.
The purpose behind all this is to highlight that in spite of time, in spite of cultures, in spite of geographical obstacles and although the difficulties, the challenges, the differences and the stereotypes encountered by the migrants are always the same, their story has basically been only one, but told (or not told yet) in multiple ways.