Global Arts Corps is thrilled to announce that our documentary A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake is now available for purchase through the film’s educational distributor, Documentary Educational Resources (DER).
A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake is our award-winning documentary that follows a diverse group of South African actors as they tour global war-torn regions to share their country’s experience with reconciliation. As they ignite a dialogue among people with raw memories of atrocity, the actors find they must confront once again their homeland’s complicated and violent past and question their own capacity for healing and forgiveness.
Through DER, the film is available to pre-order on DVD for individuals, educators, K-12 schools, universities, nonprofits, and other institutions. If you or anyone you know is interested in obtaining a copy of the film, you can click here to place your order. Questions and purchase orders can also be sent to email@example.com. We’re proud of the impact this film has made in screenings and festivals, and are very pleased that it’s now accessible to individuals, educators, and organizations here in the US and abroad.
Please stay tuned for additional updates in the coming weeks, including the release of an article on Global Arts Corps in the UNESCO Courier.
Global Arts Corps is honored to announce that A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake will be presented by the United Nations at two screenings in Geneva and Vienna next week. The details are as follows:
Geneva Screening of A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake
Presented by Ciné-ONU
Tuesday, April 4th, at 6:30pm
Cinéma CINERAMA EMPIRE, rue de Carouge 72-74, Geneva
The screening will be followed by a discussion with Michael and Jacqueline Lessac. Tickets are free of charge, and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information, please visit www.unog.ch/cine-onu
Vienna Screening of A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake
Presented by The United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna, On the occasion of the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda
Friday, April 7th, 12:30pm
Vienna International Centre, UNIS Cinema Room (G0575)
Opening remarks will be given by Martin Nesirky – Director, United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna, and Michael and Jacqueline Lessac. This screening is by invitation-only. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please stay tuned for updates on these screenings, and the recent pick-up shoot for the new feature documentary on our Cambodian project, Year Zero36.
We’re writing to share an article about Global Arts Corps in the Huffington Post, written by one of our Board members, Arlene Lear.
Arlene has spent the last 35+ years working in international development–the majority of them with Counterpart International–with a focus on building institutional and leadership infrastructure in Eurasia, Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. In the Huffington Post article, Arlene discusses her passion for supporting our work and shares a collection of photos and stories from the recent tour of our Cambodian production, See You Yesterday, to Rwanda.
“Led by its Artistic Director, Michael Lessac, the Corps replays and rehearses conflict and reconciliation on stage by giving equal value to the painful memories and lingering fears felt by both victims and perpetrators – unveiling the humanity in each side to provoke mutual empathy and make consideration of reconciliation even possible. What is unique about the Corps’ methodology is that all productions are co-created by its actors who themselves have lived through the results of the conflict being portrayed.
The Corps’ productions have universal appeal as they touch the hearts and minds of audiences daring to examine what it means to be human facing the loss of loved ones, home and identity. Musical elements of the production further stir emotions and reflection about one’s own buried, or not so buried, prejudices and empathy deficits.”
To read the full article, please visit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/58b07ec8e4b0658fc20f949d
Thank you all for your continued support,
— The Global Arts Corps Team
As we begin a new year, we would like to share the quote below with all of you, our friends and donors, from an article written by a drama teacher who witnessed our rehearsals and performances with our Cambodian cast in Phnom Penh.
Thank you for making this work possible over the past twelve months. We ask that you support us again in 2017 by making a tax-deductible donation through our website, or by mailing a check to Global Arts Corps at 790 Riverside Dr. #6P, New York, NY 10032.
“On the floor of the black box there are some 20 actors working together forming the play that is: See You Yesterday, they are all from various parts of the country, with more or less unfortunate backgrounds. They work their way through the memories; there is absolute silence, outbursts of laughter and sometimes someone who breaks down crying. The stage is void of props and furniture, the set is their bodies and with intense physical theatre a story with hardly any words is taking form, it is so clear that I find myself completely immersed to the point that I lose my breath.
Together they tell a story of a genocide they didn’t live through, but that they live with everyday, a story of silence and suppressed emotions. Horrible acts of cruelty that shaped the society for generations to come.”
— Sita Ljungholm Verma, Plays to See
To read the rest of the article, please visit: http://playstosee.com/see-you-yesterday/?platform=hootsuite
Wishing you all a peaceful and courageous New Year,
The Global Arts Corps Team
In the past year, we finished the development of our Cambodian production, See You Yesterday, with performances that broke a silence between generations in Phnom Penh; we toured with the Cambodian cast to Rwanda–where genocide met genocide–closing the Ubumuntu Arts Festival in Kigali to a standing ovation; and we performed for thousands of Congolese refugees on a makeshift stage in a dusty football field in the Kigeme refugee camp, giving our audience members a sense of hope and possibility through the realization that they are not alone in the conflicts they have endured.
A Note from Artistic Director Michael Lessac
Last Thursday at the United Nations headquarters in NYC, the UN Department of Public Information presented a screening of A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake as part of their observance of World Tolerance Day.
Following the screening, Nick Boraine and I joined a post-screening discussion with panelists from South Africa, Rwanda, and Colombia… Nearly 450 audience members attended. The conversation was lively and impassioned.
Watching the film on this occasion—in a room that formerly housed the Security Council and on a day intended to celebrate the fostering of mutual understanding among cultures and peoples—it felt like a totally different movie.
The film felt at once more optimistic, more complex, more relevant, more hopeful and sadder at the same time—its implications for how civil societies fall into division, the power and danger of language and how that language can seed potential for physical violence, how genocide begins at the breakfast table, and how normalizing can quickly tip over into violent conflict. But most importantly, it offers the potential for how people coming out of violence can speak to other people coming out of violence (or on the verge of violence); and see the lies and myths at the heart of a country’s racism and nativism, therefore implicating their own.
I am heartened to now see that this film is reaching out to new audiences at a time when perhaps more than ever we can take hope in the courage of others who have confronted the divides and denial in their own communities and are not afraid of their own empathy.
Plans are now in place to organize additional UN screenings of the film in Brussels, Vienna, and Geneva.
With adequate funding, we will complete our next film coming out of Cambodia in Spring 2017.
I hope you will join us in supporting this effort.
And I will leave you with this photo from Mostar in 2008…
…A city still struggling to reconcile 15 years after the Bosnian War. A famous bridge, once a symbol of peace in the Balkans, bombed during the war… Now reconstructed as a monument to a hopeful future. We were told that audiences from the 3 sides of the divide–Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs–would not sit together in one location. So we performed Truth in Translation on a platform at river’s edge for part of the audience; and projected video of the live performance into the side towers of the bridge, where others could view it simultaneously from different locations.
A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake follows a group of diverse South African actors as they tour the war-torn regions of Northern Ireland, Rwanda, and the former Yugoslavia. During their travels, the protagonists meet local communities and try to share with them their own country’s experience with post-conflict reconciliation. As they ignite this dialogue full of raw memories of atrocity and pain, the actors find they must once again confront their homeland’s violent past, and question their own capacity for healing and forgiveness. It also features never-before-heard original music by jazz legend Hugh Masekela.
The Panel Discussion will feature:
- Nick Boraine, South African actor known for Homeland, District 9 and Paradise Stop; and Associate Artistic Director of Global Arts Corps.
- Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Professor and Research Chair in Historical Trauma and Transformation, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
- Michael Lessac, director and producer of A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake; and Artistic Director of Global Arts Corps.
- Renata Segura, Associate Director of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum, Social Science Research Council.
- Moderated by Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division, UN Department of Public Information.
The event will take place in Conference Room 4 at the United Nations Headquarters on 17 November, 2016, starting at 6:45 p.m.
Please RSVP HERE by COB Monday, 14 November, 2016.
Note that all attendees must bring a photo ID.
Film’s website: http://www.asnaketoasnake.com
This documentary screening is presented by UN Department of Public Information and the Outreach Programme on the Rwanda Genocide.
This programme focuses on learning the lessons of the Rwanda genocide in order to help prevent similar acts in the future, as well as raising awareness of the lasting impact of genocide on the survivors and the challenges that they still face today.
Please note that all guests are asked to bring a photo ID, and the screening will begin promptly at 6:45pm.
Global Arts Corps recently returned from the Rwandan tour of our Cambodian production, See You Yesterday. After our world premiere at the Ubumuntu Arts Festival, we went on to perform in the Kigeme refugee camp for over 15,000 Congolese refugees.
Click on the image above to download our visual report from the tour, with photos from our performances in Kigali and the refugee camp and a selection of responses from our cast and audience members.
This past week the World Premiere of our Cambodian production See You Yesterday–produced in partnership with Phare Performing Social Enterprise, Phare Ponleu Selpak Association, and Amita Performing Arts—took place at the Ubumuntu Arts Festival in Kigali, Rwanda, which brought together companies from over 20 different countries to perform for Rwandan audiences on the grounds of the Kigali Genocide Memorial.
We are writing to you now from the Kigeme refugee camp in southern Rwanda, where our Cambodian cast just performed for the third time, attracting audiences of over 5,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo at each of our 3 performances.
Please stay tuned in the coming weeks for a more complete report on this extraordinary tour.
– The Global Arts Corps Team
Global Arts Corps would like to thank the
who have generously supported See You Yesterday throughout the production’s development and whose long-standing committment to this project have made this Rwandan tour possible.