The Dance Between Activism and ARTivism

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Imagine what’s possible when difficult issues like racism, religion, sexism, migration, and inequality are explored and processed within an open, creative forum. 

What’s possible is empowered individuals and communities that engage, learn, mobilize, and transform. THIS is the therapeutic work of Re-Creation by LOBA

LOBA means “express yourself” in Lingala, a Bantu language spoken throughout the Northwestern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a large part of the Republic of the Congo. The nonprofit organization LOBA was founded in 2008 with the goal of bringing people from diverse backgrounds together through the arts to delve into critical social issues. 

Passionate about dance, LOBA’s two founders William Njaboum and Bolewa Sabourin decided to utilize dance to fulfill its mission and transform activism into ARTivism. 

In 2016, Re-Creation, a project of LOBA, was born with a focus on gender-related issues. Inspired by Dr. Denis Mukwege, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, LOBA’s founders shifted their focus.

Learn how LOBA helps female victims of gender-based violence and proactively works against gender-based and sexual violence:

Freeing Female Voices

When visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), LOBA’s founders saw that dance brought freedom of expression to women. Sabourin, who is Franco-Congolese, helped make this link to the DRC. Re-Creation by LOBA piloted a project in 2017 with female victims of rape as a weapon of war. The program combined dance and psychotherapy to help them process their trauma and reclaim their bodies.

Once Njaboum and Sabourin returned to France, they started to develop workshops organized in tandem with some support centers, hospitals, and emergency centers, in order to help women victims of sexual abuse or other forms of trauma. These weekly workshops, led jointly by a dancer and a psychologist, aim to help these women regain a sense of control and ownership over their bodies and life stories.  

In addition to conducting the workshops, LOBA is also committed to addressing misogyny, the root cause of the suffering these women have endured. Through an artistic show called LArmes, they not only give victims a voice, but educate the public on the consequences of misogyny.

Cie ReCréation

 

Mobilizing the Next Generation

Re-Creation by LOBA also engages the next generation to proactively work against gender-based and sexual violence. 

At a critical time of development, LOBA challenges high school students to think about the society they live in and educate them about their civic duty to act upon injustice. This empowers young people to recognize their role in preventing violence, not just treating it after it occurs. 

 

Exploring Masculinity in the 21st Century

Re-Creation by LOBA also explores the question, “What is it to be a man in the 21st century,” through conferences, consultation workshops, and production workshops.

For too long, men have had little freedom to express their emotions and vulnerabilities safely – a necessity in today’s world. 

This work is done in business environments and schools – even prisons – and in male and mixed environments alike, causing individuals to rethink the place of men to create a more just future.

 

The Future of Justice

Re-Creation by LOBA is mobilizing to expand the therapeutic treatment model deeper in the Democratic Republic of Congo by 2023. They have welcomed a doctoral student in psychology to the team to improve upon treatment protocols and train more teams of dancers and therapists to go into the field.

Friends like you can have a direct impact on vulnerable victims in need by supporting Re-Creation by LOBA through Friends of the Fondation de France.

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