The Buzz Magazine
The Buzz Magazine

: World’s largest “Afro Latin” diaspora


“Dream… big, Africa” says Xander Pratt creator of The African Dream, which is produced by LatinTV an extension of AsiaTV and AfricaTV studios.

No better place can host this first iconic theatre show outside Africa, than Brazil, which hosts the world’s largest African diaspora – and the cultural city of Rio de Janeiro at that. Opening on African indigenous day at the NEAP festival by the International Theatre Institute, it is meant to be a fusion of song, dance and fashion celebrating Afro Latin royalty. “Afro Brazilians” historically belonged to two major groups: the West African and the Bantu people, who were mostly brought from present-day Angola and the Congo, also taken from the Shona kingdoms of Zimbabwe and coastal Mozambique – rather symbolic for the Zimbabwean creative director Pratt, with his Congolese dance choreographer Joyce Stanley and local manager Alex Martins.

Between November 7th and 14th, the third edition of the International Theater Exchange Festival will take place in various popular spaces near the port and area known as “Little Africa” in downtown Rio de Janeiro.

The event will kick off at the Nelson Rodrigues Theater on November 7th at 6:30 PM and will include workshops, performances, and a samba circle at the Museum of Afro-Brazilian History and Culture (MUHCAB).

It is sponsored by the Municipal Secretary of Culture of Rio de Janeiro through the Carioca Fomentation Program (FOCA), and by Caixa Econômica Federal, with support from FUNARTE and the Federal Government.

Other internationally respected figures have been invited, including Emilya Cachapero, director of the Theater Communications Group and a diversity activist in the USA; Teresa Eyring, General Director of the North American Center of the International Theatre Institute; Roberto Cayuqueo, President of ITI Chile, known for his work in theater and indigenous communities of the Mapuche nation; Zhongwen Chen, Deputy Director-General of the International Theatre Institute Global; Tarcísio Motta, federal deputy; and the Culture Coordinator of UNESCO Brazil.

In addition to being a celebration of cultural and artistic diversity, NEAPFEST Brazil aims to promote international exchange between Brazilian theater artists and delegations from 12 countries on the theme of diasporas, focusing on the transition from the International Decade for People of African Descent to the International Decade of Indigenous Languages declared by UNESCO.

NEAP is a committee of the International Theatre Institute/UNESCO (ITI/UNESCO), composed of a group of artists and professionals working to facilitate effective communication and collaboration across national and international borders in more than 80 countries, where Pratt’s Global South Initiative sits with a wider Social Change Network, alongside producer Regine Guevara from the Philippines and mentor Cecile Guidote Alvarez.

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