IZRAZNI SVET AFRIŠKE KULTURE 2 (ISAK 2) or in English, EXPRESSIVE WORLD OF AFRICAN CULTURE 2 (EWAC 2) is a project whose purpose is to spread African culture in Slovenia (and in the wider European area) by actively engaging first- and further generation-immigrants from Africa in training workshops covering the fields of performing arts (dance and drama) and vocal music (singing). But the project is not only about spreading the African cultural heritage in Europe, its aim is also to link and intertwine the cultures of the two continents and thus enrich the local mainstream society in Slovenia and Europe.
ISAK 2 (EWAC 2) is the continuation and further development of the project ISAK (EWAC) which was run by the Baobab cultural society and supported by the European Social Fund and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia between fall 2009 and fall 2010 when it was concluded and celebrated by the festival of African culture Baofest 2010. However, there is an important difference between the initial project and ISAK2 (EWAC 2) project, which is that the latter focuses on the specific field of musical and dance theatre and aims to introduce the African cultural heritage of drama, singing and dance into the European tradition of musical theatre and musical as a specific genre.
ISAK2 (EWAC 2) project is supported and made possible by the European Social Fund and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.
So what does the project look like?
ISAK2 (EWAC 2) project comprises a series of training workshops in the fields of dance, drama and singing in musicals intended for performing arts practitioners and teachers. Mixed groups of participants will be formed so that approximately half of the participants will come from the minority of African immigrants' and their descendants' in Slovenia and the other half will be members of the mainstream Slovenian (European) society (or members of other minorities). By creating mixed groups of participants the Baobab cultural society will assure the social integration of Africans and their descendants in the local mainstream society and thus prevent cultural or social marginalisation.
On top of the training workshops in the three basic fields (dance, singing and drama) the participants will also have an opportunity to get an insight into the wider field of theatrical, dance and musical production as well as learn how to include African cultural heritage in the European tradition of musical and performing arts.
ISAK2 (EWAC 2) project will culminate in its final result, i.e. the staging of an original musical whose plot will touch upon the problematic of stereotypes about Africa, Africans and African immigrants in Europe, embedded in the minds of general Slovenian (and European) population. The piece, containing music and dance will not only be the common achievement of the participants of all three different training workshops (dance, drama and singing) but will also involve existing performing arts practitioners. Moreover, the show's plot will send a message about the African immigration to Europe and in this way encourage the general public to overcome the stereotypical expectations of Africans and their descendants. The message of the play will also stress the necessity for the mainstream society to accept diversity and the urgent need for a change, making the society more open and tolerant. This message will make cultural and social integration easier for the African immigrants and their descendants (as well as members of other minority groups), especially because the message will be communicated to the general public in a very accessible and popular form, i.e. musical theatre.