#Burundi2015: The Crisis is Now| Thursday, 27th August | 11am | BIEA Nairobi
#Burundi2015: The Crisis is Now
Venue: British Institute of East Africa
Date: Thursday, August 27th
Time: 11:00 am
Kwani Trust and British Institute of East Aafria (BIEA) jointly host #Burundi2015: The Crisis is Now. The recent electoral crisis in Burundi has been reported by regional and international press as a pending disaster, with reports that Burundi \'could descend into all out war.\' Yet, with weekly high profile assassinations, daily kidnappings and murders, and nearly 200,000 refugees, the experience for Burundians now is not one of waiting for war, but of urgent disaster and disruption of daily life.
In order to interrupt this single narrative about Burundi, the Crisis is Now panel will look at how the recent events have disrupted daily lives and disintegrated the national fabric. Topics will include artistic responses both from exile and within a state of emergency; rumor and the role of social media when a free press is shut down and Whatsap becomes an authority; and snapshots of daily life from with in Burundi and exile.
Panelists include Yolande Bouka, Ketty Nivyabandi, Adams Sinarinzi. The conversation will be moderated by acclaimed Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wanaina.
Dr. Yolande Bouka is a researcher for the Institute of Security Studies (ISS) in the Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division and a lecturer for American University’s study abroad program in Nairobi, Kenya. She completed a doctoral degree in International Relations from American University in Washington DC on transitional justice in Rwanda. At ISS, Dr. Bouka provides political and security analysis on the Great Lakes Region and East Africa (Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya) and researches the role of women in military institutions and non-state armed groups. She balances her policy work with various academic projects on micro dynamics of violence, state society relations, and gender and security in Africa. Dr. Bouka’s work includes a number of peer-reviewed publications, policy reports, and news contributions.
Ketty Nivyabandi is a Burundian poet and writer. Convinced of the necessity to let art heal her country’s wounds, she founded Samandari in June 2010 with a fellow writer. Samandari, is a weekly platform for Burundian writers to create and share their craft is open to the public, and grew into a vibrant platform for debate and artistic expression, representing the new voices of the country. In 2012, she initiated and coordinated the release of the first anthology of Burundian writers ‘In-dependance’. The anthology features reflective works of poetry, short story, plays on the meaning of Burundi’s 50th anniversary of independence, and mixes old and fresh writers from diverse ethnic and social backgrounds. Ketty’s poetry, which often questions Burundi’s condition, has been published widely in the local media, in several anthologies, as well as online journals. She is a judge on several literary panels in her country and prefaced the latest anthology of the ‘Michel Kayoya’ Literary Prize laureates. In a country where traditionally women were not allowed to speak in public settings, Ketty also mentors young aspiring women writers, and is committed to bringing forth the female voice.
In 2014, sensing the tension around her country’s upcoming elections, she launched a series of poems under the hashtag #Burundi2015. More recently she organized women peaceful demonstrations against the possible consequences of a third term.
She is currently in exile.
Adams Sinarinzi is a Burundian poet and writer. He is the author of "These are no prayers" and "Numbers ou journal d\'un poème perdu". Between the essay and poetry, Adams Sinarinzi explores the African and Burundian experience of History in this twenty-first century. A lyrical cry that seeks a language and words of a poem that seems impossible to write. That of a continent\'s rebirth, always missed...