Dancing to heal the wounds - The Intercultural Dialogue Awareness Rising for Cooperation Project
Rwanda has faced war and migration since 1959, and genocide against the Tutsi in 1994. Currently Rwanda is inhabited by native groups, people who have migrated from other countries, and migrated Congolese people who have received nationality. The Batwa or “Abasigajwe inyuma n’amateka”, literally translated as those who were neglected by history, form an isolated and marginalized group in Rwandan society. Batwa are widely stigmatized, the Impunyu above all. Taboos surround eating together or even using utensils used by Batwa.
Batwa tradition is rich in song, dance and music. Dance, instinctively arising from music, is one of the most spectacular expressions of the Rwandan culture. The IDARC project (Intercultural Dialogue Awareness Rising for Cooperation) uses dance to play an important role in civil, economic and social life of the Rwandans. Further, the IDARC project promotes freedom of speech and thought by creating an intercultural dialogue space for peace and development in Rwanda. This project solves two problems; it enables the marginalized ethnic group to express their thoughts and ideas through sharing their culture to the cultural lives of other Rwandans and it promotes understanding and cooperation among Rwandan citizens.