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“We Stand for Freedom”

August 24, 2023 | 0 Comments

️ 25 August 2023 (Friday) at 04:00 PM*** 
***pre-event refreshments and snacks at 03:30 pm

UJ Con Cowan Theatre
(Bunting Road Campus, 31 Bunting Rd, Cottesloe, Johannesburg, 2092)

The performance is organised to celebrate 32 years of Ukrainian Independence and to reflect on how 18 months of full scale military aggression against Ukraine has influenced the African continent. We hope you and your partner can join us.

For Large Group / Your Business Team Bookings we can organise free transportation.
For registration please click here.

“Action does have consequences, so does inaction”

The contemporary dance performance “We Stand for Freedom” is a space for live dialogue between the dancers and audience members on the similarities between the Ukrainian and South African fights for freedom. Via digital technologies, the audience makes choices that shape the outcome of the artistic conversation. The piece also explores the humanitarian crisis and the impact of the war on women and children, and how solidarity can lead to a safer world for all.

24 August 1991, Ukraine regained its Independence. That year 92 % of the population voted for Ukraine to be a sovereign country and to have the right to determine its future. Ukraine is famous for its diverse culture, rich soils, agriculture, aerospace engineering, and innovative IT sector. But…
24 August today also marks eighteen months of Russian full-scale war, where Ukrainian people heroically defend their freedom against a much larger, wealthier, better-armed aggressor.

Freedom is precious and fragile. Freedom is our value – 32 years of Ukrainian Independence and 8 years and 18 months of Ukrainian resistance to military aggression.
The performance “We Stand for Freedom” explores four blocks that address:

  • the humanitarian crisis and the refugee children,
  • the impact of war on women and families,
  • the importance of freedom and the right to choose for society,
  • how supporting values of freedom, human rights and democracy by the global community contributes to a safer society for all.

The opening night will include a panel discussion following the performance, with participation from civil society representatives, and Janet Jobson (CEO of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation) and Kateryna Aloshyna (choreographer and president of the Ukrainian Association of South Africa).

‘We Stand for Freedom’ is a joint effort of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, the Ukrainian Association of South Africa and Resilient Ukraine.

“As young democracies, both South Africa and Ukraine share and retain a tangible connection to the idea  of freedom and justice – ideals which we must never take for granted,” says Janet Jobson, CEO of the Tutu Legacy Foundation. She said, “The Arch reminded us often of the interconnectedness of all humanity – that ultimately our futures are fundamentally tied up in each other. The injustices and atrocities being meted out to the Ukrainian people must be stopped immediately.”

“Art speaks simultaneously to the heads and hearts of every human.  In the “We Stand for Freedom” performance, the dialogue is between Ukrainians and South Africans as well as between dancers and the audience. We hope that this dialogue will result in actions that defend human rights and the searching and building for peace,” explained Kateryna Aloshyna, is the intention of the performance.

“Russian invasion is opening up a pandora box where the borders of sovereign countries are once again contested,” says Nataliia Popovych, Chairperson of NGO Resilient Ukraine. “The humanitarian consequences of such aggression are not confined to a dozen million of displaced people or tens of thousands civilian deaths, they affect communities around the world and those most vulnerable suffer first. It is in the interest of South Africans and Ukrainians to fight for democratic principles where people’s lives matter and where justice might become a reality.”

Interviews: To interview the artists or Janet Jobson from the launch event panel, please contact:
● Phumi Nhlapo: +27824424414 / [email protected]
● Dzvinka Kachur: +27 716208575/ [email protected]

Take a pick at what our show looks like:

When: 25 August 2023 (Friday) at 04:000 pm
(pre-event refreshments and snacks at 03:30 pm)

Where: At the Con Cowan Theatre (Bunting Road Campus, 31 Bunting Rd, Cottesloe, Johannesburg, 2092)

Biographies of participants
The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation 
Founded in 2013, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation represents one of the world’s most iconic leaders and his life-long partner. The Foundation strives to ensure their uncompromised bravery is celebrated, communicated and curated for posterity. Visit www.tutu.org.za
The Ukrainian Association of South Africa 
Ukrainian Association of South Africa (NPO 189-705) is a collaborative association registered in May 2017 that promotes networks between Ukrainians and South Africans for mutual development, increased awareness and inner growth of individuals and societies. For more information www.uaza.co.za or [email protected]
Resilient Ukraine 
Resilient Ukraine is a civil society organisation dedicated to future-proofing Ukraine and the world by enabling it to contribute as an equal among democratic nations towards securing lasting peace in Ukraine, Europe and globally by countering Russian war propaganda and disinformation by raising awareness about the war and developing creative content and messaging that helps to unite and inform Ukraine’s citizens and allies around the world.
Kateryna Aloshyna (Choreographer)
Ukrainian choreographer, director and co-founder of the Contemporary Dance Laboratory Kateryna Aloshyna likes to discover this world through the lens of dance. Born in Ukraine, Kateryna was trained as a ballerina and received a degree in choreography. She has over 15 years of experience teaching ballet and contemporary dancing and  has spent the last five years in South Africa. Her recent works include:
The Forest” interactive performance for children | 2021 South Africa
Show me your Christmas” poetry and dance performance | 2019 South Africa
The Fence” contemporary dance performance | 2019 South Africa, 2018 Ukraine


Cecil Etc (Music composer)

Cecil Etc is a musician based in Cape Town, making eclectic music rooted in melody and harmony. Born Deán de Klerk, he is classically-trained on the piano but draws inspiration from all styles to compose. Having recorded and released music for many years, his music can be found on all major media platforms.
Dancers: Olwethu Sotiya, Nukeeshia Lekay, Ockert Prints, Mikokose Siphesande.
In this performance the recording of events organised by the Brenthurst Foundation, UAZA and Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundations; and fragments of the poetry of Mandi Vundla and Jonas Siphokazi were used.