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Syrian Arab promotes Kurdish culture

Kurds, an ethnic minority in Syria, suffered oppression under the “Arabization” policy of the Assad regime. But the Syrian revolution has brought along change. With a strong political and military presence in northeast Syria, Kurds are putting their past behind and working towards a better future. They have transformed from being underdogs to the ones in power. This newfound influence is not just political or military, but also cultural, and Kurdish culture is experiencing a sort of revival. Young Syrians, like Sameer Shaiyer, 28, are doing their bit to spread the word about Kurdish art forms. And what makes Samir’s job challenging is that he’s Arab.

Listen to the report by Gayatri Parameswaran and Felix Gaedtke report from Qamishlo, Syria:

Syrian Arab promotes Kurdish culture

Sameer Shaiyer

Sameer Shaiyer has been singing Kurdish songs since he was a child (Photo: Felix Gaedtke)

Date

Tuesday 28.05.2013 | 13:13

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Film festival encourages social engagement in Colombia

The Colombian city of Neiva is located in the valley of the Magdalena River. For the past few decades, a spate of terrorist attacks, corruption cases and violence against women have kept the city in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. But two young journalists based in the city are trying to change that. Hernando Flórez and Luis Eduardo Manrique founded the Cinexcusa Neiva Film Festival seven years ago as a way to get people to critically engage with the social and political issues affecting them.

Listen to the report by Pablo Medina Uribe in Neiva, Colombia.
Film festival encourages social engagement in Colombia

Co-directors Hernando Florez and Luis Eduardo Manrique

Learn more about the Cinexcusa Neiva Film Festival on the website.

Date

Tuesday 18.12.2012 | 14:58

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Colombian theater teacher passes down his native culture

Edwin from Bogota teaches theater – but also the ancient values and traditions of his native Muisca culture. He’s stood up to threats from criminal organizations and encourages his students to be better human beings.

Listen to the report from DW reporter Pablo Medina Uribe in Bogotá, Colombia (with contributions from Eduardo Briceño):

Colombian theater teacher passes down his native culture

Edwin in Bogota

From the reporter:

I met Edwin a few months back when I was reporting on a series of threatening letters sent to artistic foundations in Bogotá. When I met him, he was the spokesperson for all of the threatened groups, so he was being harassed by a few journalists and national TV cameras. On TV, he said, “My name is Colombian Theater” and refused to give his real name because, he said, this wasn’t only his problem, it was everyone’s problem.

I still managed to get his number and real name and the way he spoke to the cameras stuck with me. Even in times of hardship, he was very conscious that he had to step up not for himself, but for his community of artists. That’s why I thought of him for the Generation Change series.

I went to visit him in his neighborhood, Bosa, a few months later. It is way out of the city towards the Southwest of the country, so I had passed it many times, but I had never been actually there. He insisted we meet there because that land is very important to who he is, but since I’d never heard a good thing about that neighborhood, I didn’t know what to expect.

When I got there, he started talking about his Muisca heritage and about how the indigenous people are still relevant to the community there. I knew that in other places of the country it is more common to live close to native tribes, but I wasn’t aware that this happens also in my own city.

Edwin and his friend Yohanis talked to me for hours as we discussed not only their work, but also Muisca philosophy. We also exchanged book titles and talked about our work. I told Edwin I was very interested in linguistics, so he and Yohanis gave me some lessons in Muiscogun, the language of the Muisca people, and taught me the deeper spiritual meaning of some of its words.

See the Bosa neighborhood of Bogotá on Google Maps here.

Date

Tuesday 13.12.2011 | 13:25

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Ivan in Mozambique preserves his town’s cultural heritage

Ivan comes from a poor city in Mozambique, but one that is rich in cultural history. He founded a tour organization that takes tourists off the beaten path and helps preserve the hidden cultural treasures in his home.

Ivan Laranjeira

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Date

Wednesday 10.08.2011 | 15:14

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Youth Hamburg culture guide, proponent of volunteering

For some people, access to cultural events is made difficult, or even impossible by financial constraints or physical difficulties. In Hamburg, however, 20-year-old Lukas Johannsen is helping change all that.

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The Kulturschlüssel website is in German only.

Date

Monday 08.08.2011 | 14:59

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