CHAPEL HILL – The Sonja Haynes Stone Center will host an unprecedented festival of musicians, artists, and speakers, Celebrating Congo 2013.

Celebrating the Congo began on Friday evening and runs all day Saturday, beginning at 10:30 a.m. and ending with a special performance at night.  The programming is free and open to anyone in the public that would like to engage with issues from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Co-organizer Lauren Gillaird says this is the first time their organization is holding an awareness event at UNC.

“We are an organization through UNC, we’re called Yole!Africa US,” she says.

Celebrating Congo 2013 will provide critical and creative space to engage an array of educated speakers.

“There will be some great figures to help lead conversation,” Gillaird says, “such as internationally acclaimed film maker and activist Petna Ndaliko – his films have contributed to independence movements in Congo – and we’ll also have community organizer Samuel Yagasse, who is a pioneer of autonomous development initiatives and is part of Sacrificial Poets. And we will also have a round table discussion with renowned scholars including the famous VY Mudimbe.”

To end the festival, one of the most famous and world renowned African bands, Kanda Bongo Man will perform for free at 7 p.m. Saturday.  Tickets for the performance should be reserved online.

For more information click here.