Culture Show showcases artistic diversity

African and Caribbean Students’ Association event displays art from across the globe

A group of dancers performing at this year’s Culture Show this past Saturday, organized by the African and Caribbean Students’ Association (ACSA).
A group of dancers performing at this year’s Culture Show this past Saturday, organized by the African and Caribbean Students’ Association (ACSA).
Photo: 
Students gathered at Theological Hall last Saturday for a night of performances ranging from poetry inspired by black feminist theory to Chinese traditional dance.   
 
The multicultural variety show — called “Culture Show: Portraits of Culture” — was presented by the African and Caribbean Students’ Association (ACSA).
 
The show kicked off with an opening prayer delivered by two representatives from the Queen’s Native Student Association (QNSA) and a saxophone performance of the Canadian national anthem.
 
School campuses often lack “outlets for expression and celebration,” the program for the show reads. 
 
This year’s show intends to be “a new portrayal of cultural diversity on campus.”
 
The Queen’s student population has become increasingly diverse, but has few events that bring together students identifying with a vast array of cultures. The university has a deeply-rooted Scottish heritage, which influences many of its most visible traditions.
 
“A lot of people have a very distinct idea of what ‘Queen’s culture’ is,” ACSA Vice President Rochea D’Souza, ArtSci ’17 said.
 
“I think it’s important that we acknowledge and celebrate the fact that Queen’s encompasses a lot of different cultures.”
 
The show was an impressive display of student talent. In 18 performances, cultural groups on campus expressed themselves through dance, spoken word poetry, drumming, a fashion show and other performances. 
 
Florian Ntibarigobeka, ArtSci ’17, can be found in the audience at Culture Show every year. He said the show has a larger significance for visible minorities on campus.
 
“It gives minorities a sense of belonging, which gets lost when you’re not surrounded by people who look like you on an everyday basis.”
 
The spoken word poems of the night dealt with themes like being a visible minority and experiencing microaggressions, which are daily indignities — both intentional and unintentional — that degrade a socially 
marginalized group.
 
In other cases, the show provided audience members with a chance to see performances from cultural groups that they likely wouldn’t see otherwise on campus.
 
One such act was an Aztec drumming performance by Quetzalcoatl Kingston, which featured singing in Nahuatl, a common Indigenous language in Mexico.
 
Audience member Kala Raju, ArtSci ’17, said the show “creates a sense of importance for those individuals who aren’t the majority.”
 
Co-organizers Callie Mathieson and Nour Kubursi, both ArtSci ’16, worked to bring the event together for 
the second year in a row.
 
A portion of ticket proceeds from this year’s show will go towards the Nyantende Foundation, an organization committed to enrolling youth from the Democratic Republic of the Congo into local primary and secondary schools.
 

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