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fre. 29. sep. | Festiviteten


Choreographer Tendai Makurumbandi draws on the living physical, spiritual, and cultural archives of African peoples to question the impact of colonization and modernization on forming identity.


29. sep., 19:00 – 20:00

Festiviteten, Kong Olav V's gate 1, 6508 Kristiansund, Norway


Himba is one of the few tribes in Africa that calculates the date of birth of a child not from the day the child is born or conceived, but from the very day the child is thought of in the spirit of the mother.  When a Himba woman decides to have a child, she goes off and sits alone under a tree, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child who wants to be born. 

After she’s heard the song of this child, she teaches the song to the man who will be the child’s father. As the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child’s song. It is sung at rites of passage as a reminder of who one is, the values of where one comes from, and the capacity to shape one’s own destiny.  


In My Song, Zimbabwean choreographer Tendai Makurumbandi used his own history and identity, and the Himba tradition of birth songs, to explore how colonialism limits the potential to shape one’s own destiny by disregarding the living cultural archives of colonized peoples.  As a Zimbabwean in Norway, Makurumbandi is critical of the racial hierarchy that binds the marginalized into a group. On the one hand, the group provides the marginalized and their descendants with respite and a community; on the other, community can function as a weapon against one’s own physicality, keep them from advancing as a race, erasing their sense of personality and identity.  

The performance My Song goes far in its attempt to challenge the political and social structures that define the way we live, by ourselves, and each other.  


Makurumbandi asks: Is it possible to envision differences between people as a value, in art, and in society?

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