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DIALOGUE AMONG CIVILISATIONS

May 12, 2009

“Art and Poetry inspire dignity, respect, pride, and freedom of expression, imagination, recognition of the individual, creativity, excellence and human rights.

Presenter:  Jan Jordaan

Dialogue among Civilisations forms the basis for a new initiative by Art for Humanity. It involves collaboration between artists and poets from Africa and those countries who participated in the 2006 Soccer World Cup. The participants will be invited to create work on the theme of identity, land, object and belief.

The aim is to inspire the viewer with ‘moral ownership’ — through engaging with the creative works, for the public to internalise the values espoused by the art and poetry. These values include creativity, freedom of expression, human rights, excellence, dignity, pride, inspiration, reflection, cultural heritage as well as respect for individual rights and independence.

The ultimate objective is to elicit and challenge the South African public’s views on xenophobia, racism, refugees and foreign visitors in and to South Africa. These views are presently couched in an endemic magnitude of racism, xenophobia and victimisation of those individuals and families seeking refugee status in South Africa or as visitors and amongst South Africans themselves.

The art and poetry resulting from the project will be exhibited in public spaces throughout South Africa in the form of billboards, banners, exhibitions and posters. A publication will document the art and poetry and contributions from internationally recognised human rights personalities and specialists in the field of sport, xenophobia and refugees.”

For more information, please visit: www.afh.org.za

Kenneth Lukwgo was selected to represent Uganda in poetry together with artist Justin Igala for Dialogue Among Civilisations.

Kenneth Edrine Lukwago is a Ugandan poet. He was born on 24th October, 1965. He attended Kitante Primary School and Makerere College School for his secondary education. He holds a BA degree from Makerere University, a diploma in secondary education and a post graduate diploma in community based rehabilitation.

He has a strong passion for writing, especially poetry and short stories. He has published a junior readers’ book that portrays children and young peoples’ vulnerability to HIV and AIDS. He also has a collection of poems entitled; ‘Birds Song’ that he hopes to publish.He feels very strongly about issues related to social emancipation and is a volunteer speaker with Teens Empowerment Foundation, a Civil Society Organisation that educates young people on self-realisation and issues related to growing up.

Lukwago is currently teaching English and Literature at Makerere College School, his alma mater. He is married and has a son and two daughters.

Kenneth created the poem “Rainbow Colours” based upon Justin’s artwork.

Welcome, by Justin Igala

Unity of Purpose, by Justin Igala

“Rainbow Colours”

Let’s gather and play ball
Purge every step we have faltered
Every forbidding frontier smother
Neither creed nor race
Should matter.
Let’s gather and play ball

We shall toss and kick
And pass the ball
And fail not to score the goal
Sinewy muscles, gleaming sweat
Oh to win would be glorious gain!
Though loss would not be
So much of shame
If the lesson of the game
Is more than fame

Rainbow colours, tenacious echo
Different tongues, unison song
So we shall have said it all
That we gathered and played ball!
More shall we be of brothers
No longer shall we be strangers
Let’s gather and play ball…


Title of painting: Unity of purpose

Colours: Though not in order, these rainbow colours blend naturally without any conflict with humans. The five figures symbolise the human race. Single eyes symbolise the need for the human race to refocus on the need for each other.

Hands: Two hands are better than one; fingers work together without conflicting.

The seed and plant: The human race has one origin and source.

The lines from the plant: The entire human race has the same red blood.

Feet with the ball: This symbolises the world cup.

The road and horizon: This achieves unity in purpose and is a journey to the horizon that will not be achieved in a day, but will be a gradual process.

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