This project investigates the contemporary revival of traditional dances in Rwanda within the post-genocide context of the creation of a unified, “developed” nation. Through an in-depth ethnography of an exemplary dance troupe in Kigali, it shows how urban youth reclaim, recontextualise and creatively re-invest their cultural heritage as a means to craft a postcolonial identity that claims both ancestral rootedness and belonging to global modernity. Particular attention is given to the embodied reconfiguration of gender relations and representations.
This project has been carried out at the Centre for Dance Research (CDR) at Roehampton University. It was funded by a Fernand Braudel IFER-outgoing fellowship and a Marie Curie IEF fellowship.