Link verbindt jongeren, jonge makers, kunstenaars (cultuurmakers) in Nederland, Kenia en Zuid Afrika.
We delen kennis, ervaringen en vaardigheden vanuit het werken in eigen lokale gemeenschappen via
offline en online Peer2Peer sessies, uitwisselingen, presentaties en samenwerkingen.

 

Leja de Vries (NL)
Ik ben Leja en ik heb een halfjaar stage gelopen bij Link. Ik volg een acteursopleiding en ik kreeg kansen die mooi aansloten bij mijn opleiding, bijvoorbeeld het spelen op de Sint-Maarten parade en het theatermaker voor het open podium. Maar ook andere taken heb ik uitgevoerd, zo heb ik geholpen met het maken van het lichtsculptuur. Ik heb het erg naar mijn zin gehad. De sfeer was altijd goed en gezellig. Er was ruimte voor gesprekken en ik kon altijd bij Saskia en Odak terecht. Ik ben goed begeleid en ondertussen vrijgelaten. Hierdoor heb ik geleerd om goede keuzes te maken en te werken naar een eindresultaat naar mijn wensen. Ik heb veel geleerd. Dit komt vooral omdat ik bij Link dingen durfde uit te proberen, omdat je eigenlijk niets fout kan doen. Ik ben erg blij dat ik er voor heb gekozen om stage te lopen bij Link, omdat het mijn persoonlijke en artistieke ontwikkeling een boost heeft gegeven. En omdat ik gewoon heel veel plezier heb gehad.

Unlock Arts Kenya (Kenia) / Joel Akweyu & David Kim Khisa
Unlock Arts Kenya “Art is life, live it” is a performing arts organization that expresses itself through the universal language of dance and theatre, rooted in the African-western tradition. On and off stage, we seek to bring together an inclusive community with no limitations. As performing artists of Unlock Arts Group our fore fathers of art ground-breaking legacies drive us to greater heights of excellence, which we pursue with integrity, commitment and creativity now and into the future. Freedom in creation has taught us “hold a mirror to society so that people can see how beautiful they are.” Our performances and training programs radiate the human spirit, unlock potential and spark change. We connect through the love for dance and theatre with a clear intention of uniting the globe through one race “performing arts.” We aim to be collaborative, while maintaining a cohesive and supportive working environment. 

Diana Gaya (Kenia)
My name is Diana Gaya and I am a freelance choreographer, dancer and teacher with over ten years experience. I have trained in a wide range of dance styles with YAWA Dance Company in Kisumu and Kenya Performing Arts Group in Nairobi. I am specialised in contemporary dance and dance theatre, with a passion for innovative storytelling. My work is both uniquely Kenyan, relating to issues of everyday life in my home city of Kisumu, and international in aesthetic.

In 2017, I founded Gaya Dance Theatre and created the first solo dance theatre production by a Kenyan woman. Amongst my choreographies are full-length pieces Skin (2017), which was nominated for the SANAA award for ‘Best Dance Theatre’, and Pas Op (2019).

I have been an Associate Choreographer with Dance Into Space since 2017, working with disabled dancers on the Breaking Barriers project and performing in Agwata which premiered at the Artfluence Human Rights Festival 2021.

I was humbled and honoured to be part of the Jomba contemporary dance festival 2021 which I was in third place (long form and won a monetory award).

My mission is for Gaya Dance Theatre to be further internationally recognised, to improve the professionalism of dance in Kenya and to inspire more people, particularly the youth, to participate in dance and the performing arts.

Brian Otieno Oloo (Kenia)
My name is Brian Otieno Oloo and I am a Kenyan dancer, dance instructor and
choreographer. I am the founder of Dancing feet and have worked as the co-artistic director at Ibuka dance Foundation in Arusha, Tanzania from 2017 to 2019.
As a dancer I am versatile and experienced in African traditional and modern dances, contemporary dance, hip hop, salsa, movement and improvisation. I have toured and performed Pina Bausch’s piece ‘Rite of spring.’ I hold a certificate from the Ecole des Sables, Senegal. Prior to joining Ibuka dance foundation in 2014, I worked for four years for a diverse range of dance organizations, including Danceteam Africa and Yawa dance company. My most profound work as a choreographer was the creation of ‘Mizani’ a piece about gender equality which toured ten towns in Tanzania and performed at more than 30 schools and community centres. I am a strong believer in creating platforms for creative
minds.

Agnes Nyabonyi Oichoe / Nes Modern Ankara (Kenia)
My name is Agnes Nyabonyi Oichoe, the founder and co-owner of Nes Modern Ankara. I am a designer by passion with three years working experience, working together with various stylists under the industry of fashion. I am a high school teacher with great passion in the fashion industry. I enjoy using my designing skills to contribute to the exciting trends in fashion, especially African fashion. I am soon graduating from Kenyatta University with a Bachelor degree in Education (arts). I enjoy art and empowering people. In my free time, I enjoy reading and traveling.

Nes modern Ankara is working on a designing project where the plan is to come up with five outfits or so for a runways models, the outfits have a theme that is, merging fashion and art. The five outfits are to present five artistic ideas each representing a concept about art, environment, women empowerment and artistic creativity.

Vincent Ochieng Owoko (Kenia)
I am a choreographer, dancer and teacher with almost ten years of experience and the drive to continue experimenting and researching to define and develop his artistry locally and internationally. I have a strong background in Afro-contemporary dance, Afro-fusion and improvisational techniques, and am also trained and experienced in Ballet, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Dance Theatre and Site-specific performance.
In 2020, I founded Dancers Connect, an international network of dancers working together on virtual collaborations, and in 2021 I co-curated the first edition of Dancing Feet’s Aduwa Festival in Kisumu,Kenya. I am also the founder of vQ Dance Company. Currently I am working on the project Lost State of Mind in collaboration with Sawala Dance Crew.
I am passionate about creating a safe, open and thriving society and promoting cultural diversity through the performing arts and am known for my dedication in pushing artistic boundaries, my approach towards arts, culture and its relation to society. It has made me one of the premier names of my generation from East Africa who have gained experience within and beyond Africa working in the performing arts field. I believe that anything is possible when worked on.

Bodi Krol (NL)

Ik ben Bodi, 21 jaar en ik heb stage gelopen bij Link. Ik volg de opleiding social work. Tijdens mijn stage heb ik veel kunnen leren en werden er leuke uitdagingen gegeven waar ik veel van heb geleerd.

Ik heb met een groepje aan het lichtsculptuur gewerkt, dit was een erg leuk creatief proces waarmee ik mijn school opdracht goed mee kon combineren. Ook heb ik een online open podium georganiseerd, dit kwam door covid, dit is een hele andere manier van een bijeenkomst, en ik werd hierin uitgedaagd met hoe je het leuk kan maken en hoe je de leiding hier in kan nemen.

In de periode dat ik stage liep werd er altijd goed geluisterd en werd er samen bekeken wat er nodig  was om schoolopdrachten goed uit te voeren en daarin ook zelf te groeien.

Het in contact staan met het team en alle deelnemers heb ik als heel plezierig ervaren, ik kijk terug op een gezellige mooie tijd met veel leermomenten en interessante gesprekken.

Monwabisi Bence / Is’thatha Dance Project (Zuid Afrika)
My name’s Monwabisi Bence. I’m from South Africa, Cape Town, Khayelitsha. I’m 26 years old, I’m an artist. I studied dance at my high school, and when I was done with school I found and joined an academy to expand and gain more experience. I was casted. I did most of my training and performances at Indoni Arts and Leadership academy. I’m currently working at Is’thatha Dance project and looking forward to doing more. I wanna be part of this project to expand my journey even more and broadly gain more experience.

Vallery Adhiambo (Kenia)
I am Vallery Adhiambo Onyango, an environment scientist. I am very passionate about art and environmental conservation and work diligently towards achieving this using film and art work. I work with communities in Homabay on conservation matters and education on clean drinking water and proper hygiene. I have a vision of achieving environmental justice through art and empowering the community through sensitisation. I enjoy dancing, filming and spending time with people.

Litha Makanda (Zuid Afrika)
My name is Litha Makanda. I am 26 years old and I am a dancer. I started dancing 5 years ago with no experience or knowledge of dancing. I have always dreamed of becoming from a tender age but with no place to do it. I was born in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa and grew up in Langa. Langa is one of the smallest townships and oldest in Western Cape.

I have never understood why, I was drawn to dance or had this endless dream of attaining freedom when I am dancing. The freedom I got from dancing was that I have a lot to say but the only way I could say it was in dancing. I was never one seen amongst other people kids, because I didn’t fit. My personality, sexuality, voice or the way I look was never good enough. Having these experiences have retrained my growth and interaction with the world.

I believe that I am not the only who has experienced this mostly in a country like mine. Platforms such as these are much needed to express these issues. Growing in South Africa where discrimination comes in many different forms, it is vital that these are addressed. Discrimination has become a norm. The way we carry ourselves and act at certain places has been acceptable, because we think its normal. It is an honour to be part of Young Makers Traject of Open Podium West and Link, to learn about other peoples experience and how they have dealt with it. How as artists and through their artistry are they trying to address it. What are their thoughts behind discrimination in the art industry? To build alliances with other artists.

Covid has destroyed a lot and so many have lost so much mostly in the arts. This opportunity will also affirm to me that the world of art has no restrictions.

Albert Otieno (Kenia)
My name is Albert Otieno, am 24 years old and joined Kenya Performing Arts Group (KPAG) in 2015. I performed at the Kenya National Theatre and in 2021 we showcased with my team our performance Yetu at the Rusinga Festival. Currently we are working on bringing this performance, which is about the fight against bullying, exclusion and discrimination, to schools in the Homabay County and address behavioral change.

fotograaf: Iso Caba
fotograaf: Sjoerd Derine

Roos de Groot (NL) & Annemieke Riepma (NL)

We are Roos and Annemieke. We are contemporary dancers with a modern base. Both based in the Netherlands. In the cities Utrecht and Rotterdam. 
 
Annemieke has been working with Link and some of the dancers that currently participate before as they co-organized Xposed Xchange and she did an internship at Indoni Dance, Arts and Leadership Academy in South Africa. Annemieke loves the physicality of dance and consequently how it functions as a tool for expression. She graduated in the Master Arts and Society. She is interested in the ways arts can enhance social change and foster connection between different people around the world. 
 
Roos has graduated from the bachelor arts in education at Codarts Rotterdam. With dancing and creating she’s always looking for a way to make art meaningful and to make people think about social issues, such as equality and human rights. For Roos, the most powerful way to communicate thoughts and ideas is through the arts.
 
Working together we are intrigued by the fastly changing world around us. Especially in the ways some people’s choices impact others. How can we turn it around and ask ourselves how we as a society can make choices that impact others positively? 
 
The choreography that we are developing uses ’the ground’ as a shared point of departure. Is the ground that I stand on the same as the one you stand on? How does the relationship with your surroundings shape you as an individual? Are the differences between us really that big?

Mohamed Ismat (Kenia)
My name is Mohamed Ismat and I have a passion for helping people and I hope my opportunities limitations will not hold me back in harnessing this passion in my career. I grew up in a lower-class family with a single mother who worked to provide for my brother and I. My mother taught me the value of hard work and the importance of taking care of others who cannot take care of themselves. When I started my dance, acrobat and Yoga journey it was not easy to reach more opportunities.
All I do is hardway but finding the right path so I would be able to share skills, knowledge to change others who are looking at me as their role model here in Mombasa and Kenya at large.

Douglace Saidi (Congo / Kenia)
My name is Emmanuel Saidi, nickname Douglace. I was born in D.R.Congo. I graduated in marketing at the Higher Institute of Commerce (ISC) GOMBE and graduated in monetary economics at the University of Tunisia.
Lover of dance since my old age every night before sleeping my dad played the piano and I danced telling me you would seem to be denser but you have to go to school first. In 2002 I created a dance group called art con which says in French art of mad after having participated in several hip hop and contemporary workshops. 
Some time after the assination of president Laurent Kabila, experienced by my country at the time, has upset everything even more than ever in my life and being the son of a policeman of the time of Mobutu including the war in my country is now over 28 years over 12 million people lost their life.
In 2013 I decided to leave the country and immigrated to East Africa in Kenya. Despite the integration which was difficult in terms of the language, the climate and the culture I have decided to settle there. It changed the way of seeing things, my thought and my vision therefore the direction of my work also now revolutionary with my body seeing that I can speak in the place of those who cannot, fight discrimination in all its forms fight for the legality of rights and sex in the world in Africa particularly in my country Congo.
In my piece COMMA I talked about the pandemic of covide 19 how somebody thought it was the end of the world. For me it was just a comma, life just wanted to look different
to finish. Currently I am looking for funds to complete my piece under construction LIGNE BLANCHE in English white line in the room where I will talk about my immigration since I am in Kenya and the impact of BERLIN. This distribution which separated Africa made me either foreign to my own continent in which a white, or called muzungu, is considered superior in Africa.

Paul Muiruri (Kenia)
My name is Paul Muiruri, and I am a dancer and choreographer based in Nairobi Kenya. I am passionate about working with other people, giving my best to every opportunity with the goal to learn, enhance and add value to processes and the lives of those involved.
In my experience as a performing artist, I have had the opportunity to interact, socialize and
work with people from different backgrounds, genders, religious beliefs, socio-economic classes, races and perceptions among others. I have learnt and shared a lot with which I believe has broadened my view and understanding when sharing space in thought processes and physical movement with others. As a creative in a developing country, especially with no political good will, resources and adequate opportunities in the creative sector, the challenges have been instrumental in my growth process as I am meant to figure out and devise solutions in regards to the nature and complexity of the challenges as they emerge, I must also note that leadership and influence has been the most generous gift I have gained as a result, that is why I believe an opportunity with the Open Podium West will further my knowledge and acumen in improving my ability to offer best solutions to problems as well as advance my creative competence in designing work that will incorporate people with different abilities in how they think and move. I am most interested in expanding my scope of imagination to inspire others with hope to dream and achieve and becoming pragmatic in collaborations by gaining and maintaining new spaces to share ideas and
break borders and boundaries that impede realization of a thriving community art life.
I feel my natural work ethic and drive to succeed and overcome, coupled with the skills acquired and experience gained over the past years, I will be invaluable in this process in addressing and tackling the objectives captured in the theme of the project, in the spirit of synergy and inclusion. I know this opportunity is the perfect environment for me to gain new insight, rest assured I will devote myself solely to the success of the project’s purpose.