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Ukrainian and South African artists and activists call for action toward a just peace

Ukrainian and South African artists and activists call for action toward a just peace

Ukraine continues active work with South Africa to share and unite societies with freedom as a core value for countries. It became especially important after the Russian aggression against Ukraine led to a humanitarian crisis that affected the daily lives of ordinary South Africans. Human solidarity and international support are crucial to stopping the invasion and restoring international governance and a just peace in Ukraine.

On Feb. 16, 2023, a special event was held in Cape Town as part of a large Ukrainian project in Africa “Just Peace for Ukraine.” The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, in cooperation with the Ukrainian Association of South Africa and NGO Resilient Ukraine, marked the first year of the Russian war on Ukraine with a dance performance called “We Stand For Freedom.”

This act of solidarity, a 30-minute contemporary dance performance created by Ukrainian choreographer Kateryna Alioshyna, is a space for lively dialogue between the dancers and audience members. It unveils the similarities in the Ukrainian and South African fight for freedom. Via digital technologies, the audience makes choices that shape the outcome of the artistic conversation. The piece also explores the humanitarian crisis, the impact of the war on women and children, and how solidarity can lead to a safer world for all.

The performance will explore four blocks:
– the humanitarian crisis and the refugee children;
– the impact of war on women and families;
– the importance of freedom and the right to choose for society;
– how supporting values of freedom, human rights, and democracy by the global community contributes to a safer society for all.

“As young democracies, both South Africa and Ukraine, share and retain a tangible connection to the idea of freedom and justice — ideals which we must never take for granted,” says Janet Jobson, CEO of the Tutu Legacy Foundation. She says, “The Arch reminded us often of the interconnectedness of all humanity — that ultimately our futures are fundamentally tied up in each other.”

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