By Vincent Magnenat

Organizing a forum usually means a chain of plenaries, workshops, master classes and so on. Therefore, it’s mandatory to set moments for participants to have an occasion to exchange in another dynamic – a more human one, let’s say.

In that perspective and in the line of its goal, the Horyou Foundation hosted an event in one of the more active area of Geneva: the Paquis’ Place de la Navigation. This extension of SIGEF spirit aimed to combine local and non-local to create a unique moment of sharing with free food and music. The music collaboration was made with world Wide connects, an international NGO based in Geneva that produces hip-hop-related music in a independent way. The food was provided by the local restaurants, with some of their cultural specialities, and by the Horyou Foundation, with a great load of raclette. Raclette is one of the national plates in Switzerland: melted mountain cheese on boiled potatoes. Try it whenever you can!

Speakers, neighbors of the area and members of NGOs both old and young mixed in a very warm and positive atmosphere.

The first night, Oct. 22nd, wWc drived an open-mic night where absolutely every category of people present took an active part. We especially enjoyed the massive flow of Chad Harper, representing NYC’s NGO Hip Hop Saves Lives, among others.

On the second night, the stage had a more structured program. First there was some spoken word accompagnied by a piano. Then the members of Danseurs Citoyens from Tunisia presented their vision of freedom of speech – quite conceptual and voluntary show. Half an hour later, the NGO Poussière d’Etoiles showcased its zumba performance, galvanizing the audience with this as a popular and physical dance. A lot of people felt free enough to join the show! The conceptual striked again right after with a performance of butoh, a theatrical dance created in Japan in the ’50s. The audience joined in again (including the author). Finally, the international jazz/hip-hop band Cauliflower took the floor until the end of the amazing show.

Stay tuned, and let’s do this again at SIGEF 2015!

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