Thursday, January 16, 2020

An Art Exhibition
Aaron Davis Hall is a performing arts center in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City. 160 Convent Avenue on 135th Street

The exhibition is Júlio T. Leitão’s reinterpretation and exploration of the Chokwe and Luba traditions of Congo and Angola. Júlio links these traditions to his life in New York, where he has resided for nearly 30 years. Through sculpture, life-size ritual masquerade costumes, and photographs, Júlio reveals how colonization, racism, sexism, and other socioeconomic factors have effects both seen and unseen.

Friday, February 7 and 8, 2020


“the life and spirit of a warrior queen: nzinga mbandi of matamba” is told from the perspective of an ancient shaman and provides a dramatic and historical overview of the highly-developed culture of pre-colonial congo, 500 years ago.

February 7 & 8, 2020 | Aaron Davis Hall, City College, NY

Determined to bring their memory back, the healer takes them on a journey of their original freedom, subsequent bondage, and then the restoration of freedom. He begins the story in 1480 with the arrival of Portuguese sailors, the tenets of Christianity they brought with them, and the eventual enslavement of the Mbundu people. Warrior Queen Nzinga Mbandi provided leadership to her people in their fight against the slave trade for more than 30 years. This exhilarating performance advances the story through the centuries, connecting finally with our modern day.

This one hour and forty-five-minute production features 20 dancers/actors (ages 4-25), five musicians, large African (animal and mystical) masks, and beautifully designed costumes against a backdrop of mixed media projections and set to a dramatic mix of traditional African drumming and contemporary rhythms. Through this immersive theatrical experience, the roots of slavery are explored along with its impact on modern culture and the African diaspora.

With your support, more than 800 local school children will attend the February performances.