Festival Sounds of Us in The Hague offers a rich variety of Afro-Surinamese and Afro-Caribbean art and culture. The festival on November 11 and 12 in theater De Vaillant reflects on the influence of the colonial and slavery past on life today. We commemorate the history of transatlantic slavery and celebrate freedom with music, storytelling, rituals, rhythms, literature, spoken word, a fashion show and a Keti Koti Dinner.
The program focuses the West-African traditions in the arts and culture in Suriname and the Caribbean. What vibrant and powerful cultural expressions have emerged from them? How have these traditions developed and how do they live on in the Netherlands? The program also shows how a younger generation is incorporating the story of the slavery past into their own art forms.
Afro-Surinamese and Afro-Caribbean arts and culture
Saturday November 11 the program starts at 13.30h. You can expect concerts by Afro-Caribbean band Tipiko The Hague, kawina formation Weti Doivi, a winti ritual and lecture by Marian Markelo, Anansi storytelling by Winston Scholsberg, a fashion show by women’s organization Afimo, percussion workshops by Ponda O’Bryan, spoken word by Noël Pinedo and Glodi Mbwete, a literary program by Dutch Caribbean Book Club with Annet Blayé, Walter Palm, Magda Lacroes and Gloriaka Maal. Host is Nathaly Mercera.
Theater De Vaillant, Saturday 11 November 13.30 – 21.30 h, information and tickets
Keti Koti Dialogue Dinner
Sunday November 12 at 15.30h at the Keti Koti Diner table mates engage in conversation about the Dutch history of slavery. The meal begins and ends with appropriate rituals. In the conversations participants exchange personal experiences and memories with each other. Afro-Surinamese choir Friye performs songs of mourning in memory of the ancestors who suffered the atrocities of slavery and for all those who still live in slavery today. “The experience is that participating in a Keti Koti dialogue raises awareness of the contemporary consequences of the history of slavery and creates more mutual compassion and empathy,” says Mercedes Zandwijken, driving force behind this wonderful initiative.
Theater De Vaillant, Sunday 12 November 14.30 – 17.30 h, information and tickets
Theater De Vaillant
Festival Sounds of Us takes place in theater De Vaillant, a hidden gem in the middle of The Hague’s super-diverse Schilderswijk neighborhood. De Vaillant is a unique venue giving a stage to talents, artists and cultural initiatives from the Schilderswijk and Transvaal as well as to groundbreaking performances of national music-, dance and theater groups.
Address: Theater De Vaillant, Hobbemastraat 120, 2526 JS The Hague
Sounds of Us is an initiative of De Vaillant and stichting Haagse Verbindende Initiatieven in collaboration with Culture Connection, AFIMO, Tipiko Den Haag, Ricardo Lemmer, Dutch Caribbean Book club and foundation Keti Koti Tafel. Jeanneke den Boer (DB Consult) developed the festival concept and program with all stakeholders.