“The Bird Who Forgot To Sing” will be shown at the Rotary Centre of the Arts and streamed live on Facebook at the same time. (Contributed)

B.C. Culture Days perfomance highlights similarities between African, Syilx cultures

“The Bird Who Forgot How To Sing” is part of B.C. Culture Days

A Kelowna-based performance will be kicking off B.C. Culture Days in the Okanagan.

“The Bird Who Forgot How To Sing” is a multidisciplinary performance by various artists and tells the story of the Syilx territory from an African point of view, according to Rotary Centre of the Arts program coordinator Trophy Ewila.

“Really, it’s a story about finding one’s self and the importance of story in our existence,” he said.

“The night will include poetry, music, and dance and they’re all interwoven into one story.”

Performers and artists come from Zambia, Tanzania, Guadeloupe, and Canada. Ewila said the performers will be telling a story so BIPOC voices can be put at the forefront and heard.

“In most cases, the stories of people of colour have always been limited to just traditional dance. And there’s an importance to the African story because you’re hearing the story of, if I may put it this way, the smiling help.”

“But these are people who have seen a lot and yet are still living, still loving and of course crying. They have a flood of human experience and for people to really understand the complexity of their humanity, it will be through storytelling,” he said.

The night’s performance will also give African people themselves a chance to tell their own stories, as they haven’t always been given the chance to tell it and sing their own song, Ewila said.

Ewila added by combining various disciplines will show the many facets of people from Africa and the Caribbean, and the similarities they have with the Syilx people.

“As much as this is an African story, this is also the story of Karukera, now known as Guadeloupe. We’re interweaving the journey of the African in the Caribbean, the Indigenous population there, and then the Syilx and the African in the Okanagan.”

The performance will be held at the Mary Irwin Theatre at the Rotary Centre for the Arts but will be limited to an in-person audience of 50. The night will be streamed live on Facebook.

For more information on “The Bird Who Forgot How To Sing”, to register for tickets and for the live stream link, visit the B.C. Culture Days site.

READ: Okanagan film industry booming despite COVID-19


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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