Barotse Activist Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe Presents Wade in the Water Tribute to King Lewanika I of Barotseland

29 September 2017
Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe, Global Posse Picture Courtesy UNPO


On 30 September 2017 in Merida, Mexico, Barotse activist Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe will present her artistic project "Wade in the Water" for the first time. In what she describes as a "hybrid multi-generational archival encounter", the artistic producing director of Global Posse productions will pay tribute to her great grandfather King Lewanika of Barotseland, using photographs, a documentary, music and performances. This project will explore both her indigenous Barotse and her western identities.

Below is a press release published by Global Posse:

Come to higher ground with hybrid artist Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe as she explores modern-day revolutions spurred by social media in Africa while simultaneously looking back in time to her ancient flood ritual in Barotseland which annually moves the nation to higher ground during Kuomboka - to wade in the water.

A one hour immersive participatory performance of an archive of ancient music, songs, and archival photographs, a talk back with Mukwae Wabei and a post show celebration with Las Hijas del Rap and Calavera no Canta, Post show dance party, food truck and cash bar.

Funding for Wade in the Water Project was provided by The Pittsburgh Foundation Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh Fund, The Pittsburgh Foundation A.W.Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust Fund, The Heinz Endowments Small Arts Initiative, The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and with the support of Unrepresented Peoples Organization (UNPO), in collaboration with the Kelly Strayhorn Theater and global posse productions, inc.. Special Thanks go to Laura Kirar and Richard Frazier, Juan Carlos Cabeza, Karen Fischer, Hannibal and Habiba Hopson, Gabriel Colombo, Catherine Skolnicki, and Lucas Guzzon.


In this hybrid multi-generational archival encounter, Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe meets her great grandfather King Lewanika of Barotseland (1842-1916) in the ever present past in Dreamtime. Through an archive of photographs, she passes between her indigenous and western identities which collide and blurs the lines between exhibit, documentary, and performance - between old and new - and between spiritual, blues, hip-hop, opera and ancestral sounds.


As the Artistic Producing Director of global posse productions, inc.,she uses visual and performance arts media as vehicles for social change. A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, she is the recipient of multiple awards that include the Lifetime Achievement Award from Tazama Film Festival for her role in the Oscar winning film Cry Freedom (Universal), the Advancing Black Arts Award 2016 for The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Small Arts Initiative 2016 Grant for The Heinz Endowments and she was named one of 12 to watch in 2017 by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. She is currently a co-producer of Two and 1/2 Years with Robert Hodge and Tierney Malone (Tidal, Amazon, Soundcloud). She is a contributor to Afrikadaa Journal of African Art and Design. Wade in the Water is her first international original touring production - UNPO

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The Barotseland Post, also known as The Barotsepost, is an online media platform, for now, that is dedicated to reporting stories and news around Barotseland and beyond, giving exclusive coverage and access to the people and the nation of Barotseland to fully express themselves in their aspirations for self- determination.