Voice4Thought festival with African artists and films in Leiden

Voice4Thought (V4T) is an artistic-academic project of Leiden University and the African Studies Centre based on inspiring voices from all over the world, starting with Africa. These voices do not tell stories of crisis and misery, but of strength and change. To bring these stories to a larger audience, the project organizes the Voice4Thought festival, from 24 - 29 August 2015, at various locations in Leiden.

The attack on Charlie Hebdo in early January 2015, has shocked the western world. It has made Europeans rethink their position in the global situation of increasing contradictions between social, ethnic and religious groups. The Voice4Thought project tells a story in which the human powers behind political and social change in Africa and Europe are central. It provides a platform for enthused individuals from central Africa and the Netherlands to bring their thoughts about these often yet invisible changes to a wide public. We combine art, film, social media and academic research to reach this public and effectuate a dialogue between Africa and Europe.

In the last week of August 2015, we organise a festival consisting of a variety of events. Three of our voices, namely Didier Lalaye and Yaya Sarria from Chad and Pangmashi Yenkong from Cameroon, will be there to engage in a dialogue with various audiences in the Netherlands.

Throughout this week we present several events. We will show three films. On Friday 28 August, 15.00, we will host an academic debate in the Lipsius building (room 019) of Leiden University (entrance free). On Saturday 29 August, 21.00-03.00, the artists will provide an evening show in collaboration with Antilounge (the Netherlands) in music venue the Gebr. De Nobel in Leiden (entrance € 6,50). The red thread throughout the week is a 3D installation in which a student of the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) reveals his/her interpretation of the themes around V4T and offers the audience the chance to immerse themselves in the world of V4T.

The following films, all made by African filmmakers, will be screened (venue Room 019, Lipsius building, Leiden):

24 August, 17.00: Un homme qui crie (2010)
26 August, 17.00: The Ambassador (2011)
27 August, 1700: Le Président (2013)

Here you'll find the complete film programme.

Take a look at the festival poster for all activities.

An introduction of the V4T project can be found on the VPRO website (Dutch) and on the project website (Dutch).

This project is carried by Leiden Global, Leiden University, African Studies Centre, IICD (Institute for Information, Communication and Development), and supported in collaboration with Radio Netherlands Worldwide (World broadcast), Leiden municipality, Both Ends, CRASH (Centre de Recherche en Anthropologie et Sciences Humaines, Ndjaména, Chad), Dakar University and Langaa (Research and publication centre in Cameroon).

The project V4T
The Voice4Thought project tells the stories of people who want to use the Internet (social media, websites etc.) to enter into a global dialogue. The V4T project uses an artistic approach to bring the voices of these people, each with their own viewpoint and approach, to a larger audience. The aim is to offer a platform to think collectively about alternative ways to relate to each other and live together. Follow project leader Mirjam de Bruijn's blog Counter Voices in Africa about the voices she meets during her fieldwork in Central Africa.

Website as dialogue
The website of Voice4Thought is meant to share all these interesting and beautiful stories. In collaboration with our researchers the themes of the individuals behind the voices are explored, creating an alternative approach to ‘academics’ in which the sharing of information with the audience is key. The website will soon include a forum on which we welcome all questions, commentaries, recommendations and dialogues!

The Voice4Thought Project is part of the research program ‘Connecting in Times of Duress’ and is organized in collaboration with Leiden University, African Studies Centre, LeidenGlobal and Both Ends. Media partners are RNW media, VPRO Buitenland, The Broker and OneWorld.

More information: Eefje Gilbert, e-mail: e.gilbert@hum.leidenuniv.nl, telephone 071 5278591 or 06 83776723.

Date, time and location

24 August 2015 to 29 August 2015
Several locations