War and Violence – What Can Dance Do?
"We all have so much to put on the table and to learn and to question otherwise we are doomed," says Ukrainian performer and cultural activist Viktor Ruban – a sentence that will be the leitmotif of this conversation.
On 24 February, Russia launched its war of aggression against Ukraine. Addresses of solidarity, strong visual and verbal reactions were important first signals - but how should things continue? What can help look like in practical terms, and what can art and dance do? In the last few months, we have all probably realised how little we know and how difficult it is to balance one's own attitude in the face of war and a heated climate of opinion. Information and communication are the main goals of this panel, it is about giving space and the floor to those who are very close to the terrible reality of war, violence and its consequences. And it will also be about what the confrontation with these realities means for the art form of dance – what dance can do?
We will be talking to Viktor Ruban, who will be joining us from Kyiv and who continues to work on his dance projects under the most difficult conditions as well as trying to help - especially artists from the independent scene in Ukraine. Konrad Kurowski from the Lublin Dance Theatre and the Centre for Culture in Lublin will report on how he and his colleagues have transformed a cultural institution into an aid organisation for the many Ukrainian refugees in a very short time - and now want to combine the two. Taigué Ahmed, co-founder and director of the organisation Ndam Se Na in N'Djamena, Chad, has a lot of experience in working with refugees, especially children and young people. He is the curator of the Transcendence module in Dance Congress 2022. Taigué Ahmed has been organising dance workshops in refugee camps in the south of Chad since 2005. "When someone dances and sings to the rhythm of the drums, their body surrenders and their head for a moment forgets what they have experienced," he says.