Lisapo: The Congolese Tales is a live musical oratory featuring song, spoken word, narration, moving image and community. It tells the powerful story of the Congolese migration to Britain as a result of the destabilisation of their country and consequent civil war. The event took place at Band on the Wall in June 2014 and was developed and produced by Community Arts North West with community members, artists and a dedicated team of volunteers. The project was funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and Manchester City Council. The performance was filmed by Clive Hunte (Busha Productions) with Bedos Mavambu and Alex Nicolaides and edited by Leah Llewellyn.
Band on the Wall, Manchester
Direction Cheryl Martin
Moving Image Gary Stewart and Leah Llewellyn
LISAPO in Lingala means ‘tale’ and is the time to sit, listen and hear. LISAPO – The Congolese Tales tells the powerful story of Congolese migration to Britain through music oratory; featuring song, spoken word, moving image, theatre and dance. The performance is inspired by 29 oral histories from the Greater Manchester Congolese community who has been migrating to Britain since the late 1980s as a result of the destabilisation of the country and consequent civil war.
This special performance has been created through a participatory arts heritage project with Music Director, Tyndale Thomas MBE; Libretto and Direction by Cheryl Martin; Vocal Leader, Emmanuela Macholi Yogolelo; Drum Maestro, Pat Mackman and Moving Image by Gary Stewart and Leah Llewellyn. Featuring special guests Les Sapeur Congolais – the very elegant persons of DR Congo.
What does it mean to be Congolese and living in Manchester? Lisapo is a journey through the lives of 28 Congolese migrants who share their tales of love, drama, and, of course – the terrible war, which has taken over six million lives in the past ten years. Their stories were the inspiration for the performance created by Community Arts North West and performed at Band on the Wall in June 2014. Extracts of this performance illustrate their stories, and captures moments of their colorful lives in Manchester. Directed by Leah Llewellyn Lisapo: A Living Archive was first screened on the 19 March 2015 at Manchester Central Library Performance Space