Josse De Pauw, Rolf Wallin, Arthur Kisenyi.
Strange News represents a large work for the concert hall that deals with matters in the world around us. It is not a piece of ‘political art’ in the traditional sense, in which one often propagates against a clearly defined ‘enemy’ and proposes a solution for the problem, but rather as an artistic parallel to a TV or radio documentary: a small, but informative window onto a particular matter, where the empathy with those involved is more important than dry information, and where no conclusions are made.
The subject matter of Strange News is the children used so utterly cynically as soldiers in wars around the world, the so-called child soldiers. Many of those who have escaped have in recent years been taken into aid programmes, where they are helped to live normally in society again. One of the main challenges is that the social ties to their own community were often brutally cut when they were forced to commit atrocities to their own tribe, even their own family. In the therapy, local traditional rituals can be used, focusing on the individual as a part of the collective, with song and dance as important ingredients. The wonderful thing is that the therapy actually works; a glimpse of hope in one of the darkest chapters of African contemporary history.