Gatwitch Festival

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Gatwitch Festival

International hip-hop artist, human rights activist, and former child soldier Emmanuel Jal founded Gatwitch Records in 2007 to provide aspiring socially conscious artists access to the international stage. Meaning “child of the land” in Jal’s native language of Southern Sudanese Nuer, Gatwitch has used its international production, marketing, and media network to bring attention to East African artists who are mixing contemporary musical styles and local traditions to share their inspirational messages of progressive spiritual, political, and social engagement.

Cultures of Resistance is proud to support Gatwitch Records’ annual Gatwitch Festival. The three day festival is the first of its kind in Africa to combine live musical performances, film screenings, visual art exhibits, and keynote speakers to promote grassroots humanitarian activism and positive social change. In bringing together musicians, filmmakers, photographers, and local artisans, the festival aims to not only nurture Africa’s diverse artistic cultures, but to also provide a forum to peacefully discuss critical local and regional issues.

While the festival will be broadcast internationally via television and the internet, its target audience is Africa’s youth. The theme of the inaugural 2010 festival is "Nourishing Africa's Talent: from Aspiring Youth to Change Makers" with the goal of influencing Africa’s young people to become positively engaged citizens and community leaders. Each year Gatwitch will sponsor 500 specially selected young men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 from various African countries to attend the festival. They will be linked with professionals who share similar interests and goals to build a cross-continental mentorship network. Through the Voices of Gua program, young people from around the world will be invited to attend the festival and produce a mini documentary about their journey, their experiences, the relationships they have formed, and how they have been inspired to bring about positive change in their local communities. In addition, a percentage of the festival gate fees will be donated to the Gua Africa organization to help support the education of children in Sudan and Kenya.

The 2010 Gatwitch Festival will be held in Nairobi, Kenya from December 2nd to December 4th.


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