Hatukupanda kwa bega ya wazee wetu kuangalia vidole yao ya miguu.
(We did not climb on the shoulders of our elders to look at their toes).
IN JULY 2014, the New York Times published an article, “Arts Sanctuary in a War-torn City: In Congo Salaam Kivu Festival Brings Performers to Goma,” that featured Yole!Africa on the front page of the arts section with full-color photographs and celebratory prose. In uncanny synchronicity, within days of this article’s publication Petna was quite nearly killed by an extremely agitated and heavily armed lieutenant of the army who was intent on preventing him from filming a contemporary dance sequence for the creative documentary film he was making to recount Congo’s history through dance. These events were entirely unrelated, yet I cannot but read in their confluence a microcosmic narrative that mirrors my own throughout this book....
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