Hamwe Festival

An Arts and Global Health Collaboration

Hamwe Festival

November 8th-13th, 2019
Kigali, Rwanda

Hamwe Festival is a celebration of the collaboration between the creative industries and the global health field. The festival will feature speakers from across the globe who have utilized the arts to make an impact in global health, as well as performances by individuals who represent the synergies between the arts and health fields.

The festival was born from a need to build bridges between the health sector and that of the arts and creative industries to improve health equity. The ability of art to inspire cannot be overstated, from the mobilization of resources to the alteration of dangerous /undesired behavior, art has been the catalyst for successful global health campaigns time and time again.

We believe that including artists in the design and implementation of more health programs, health education and other health interventions can facilitate action against seemingly intractable health challenges. Using the unique vantage points of artists and creators, the festival aims to provide an enabling environment for strong collaborations between sectors, so that new insights into global health challenges and their corresponding solutions can be found.

Speakers include influential leaders from global health and academia:

Agnes Binagwaho
Vice Chancellor, UGHE and Professor of Pediatrics
Dr. Mehret Mandefro 
Public health physician, medical anthropologist, and award-winning film/television producer
Cynthia Fleury 
Professor of Political Philosophy at the American University of Paris, Research Associate at Natural History Museum, Paris, and psychoanalyst 
Dr. Rainbow Ho
Director, Centre on Behavioral Health at Hong Kong University and Program Director, Master of Expressive Arts Therapy
Sharon Kalima 
Make Art for Sustainable Action (MASA) Programme Officer, Art and Global Health Programme Officer
Dr. Paul Animbom Ngong
Chair, Department of Performance and Visual Arts at the University of Bamenda
Dr. Sian Aggett 
Doctoral Research at University of Sussex, Engagement Coordinator at the UCL Institute of Neurology
Coralie Noisette 
Development Officer at Zanmi Lasante / Partners in Health
Didi Bertrand
Senior Adviser on Community Health and Strategist for Gender, Adolescent Youth’s Health and Development for Partners in Health
Judith Kaine
Founder and Director of Kurema, Kureba, Kwiga

Beauty as Medicine Art Exhibition, Curated by Maison Beaulier – Friday, November 8th – Sunday, November 10th

Maison Beaulier, an international creators’ platform that showcases art in unconventional places, have curated an exhibition to remind us how beauty, colors and art have a positive impact on health and well-being. 

Additionally, this exhibition seeks to give the public a real sensory experience that will take them on a journey of their own, encouraging individual analysis of feelings and sensations that are brought on as a result of the exposure to the art. 

The Beauty as Medicine concept was inspired by a book called Portrait of the Brain as an Artist by Pierre Lemarquis, a qualified neurologist. In it he describes how the frontal cortex, the brain’s seat of reason, is engaged when a piece of art is contemplated. If the art is pleasing, it fires up mirror neurons, and a feeling of empathy and well-being is the result. 

Location: Kigali Convention Center

Cynthia Fleury Keynote – Sunday, November 10th

French Academic, Psychoanalyst and Philosopher Cynthia Fleury, will give a talk on the contributions of philosophy to healthcare. She created the chair of Philosophy at the St Anne Hospital in Paris and will share what this work has developed. 

Time: 1:00PM
Location: Kigali Convention Center
This event is free of charge, prior registration is required for security purposes (Women Leaders in Global Health Conference attendees do not need to register). 

Register here: bit.ly/cynthiafleury

She Matters Concert – Sunday, November 10th

On Sunday, November 10th, the inaugural She Matters Concert will take place to showcase artists who have used their voices to advance women’s health. This year’s headliner is Oumou Sangare, Grammy Award-winning Malian songbird who has been advocating for women’s health and rights for many decades. Rwandan singer and actress Nirere Shanel will also be performing, along with other local artists.

When: Sunday, November 10th – Doors open at 6:00PM
Where: Camp Kigali
Free tickets at the door. For Gold and Platinum Access reserve tickets at the following locations: Kigali Heights, UTC Canal, KCT Canal, and Camp Kigali

Arts in Health Masterclass – November 11th and 12th, 2019

Selected professional students from the health and creative sector will attend a masterclass on how to use arts to have a health impact. Lecturers include: 

  • Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Vice Chancellor of UGHE, will talk about the principles of global health and her experience in building bridges across sectors. 
  • Dr. Mehret Mandefro, medical doctor, writer, and award-winning filmmaker who will speak about her experience crafting narratives that explore the social determinants of health. 
  • Sharon Kalima, program coordinator at the Arts and Global Health Institute for Africa and 2019 SDG action award winner. She will speak about program design and implementation. 
  • Dr. Paul Animbom Ngong, an expert in therapeutic theater who will speak about the use of acting as therapy for personal and social development. 
  • Dr. Sian Aggett, who will talk about her experience conducting arts in health interventions evaluation. 
  • Christopher Bailey from the World Health Organization who will speak about the role of arts in health and the next steps in WHO interventions. 

Time: 9:00AM – 5:00PM 
Location: Kigali Heights
How to Attend: Applications are available here

Hamwe Talks – November 12th, 2019

Various artists and global health professionals will talk about their experiences in how art can be used to achieve better health outcomes. 


Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana, Director General of Rwanda Biomedical Center
Yagazie Emezi, Documentary photographer
Christopher Bailey, World Health Organization
Dr. Paul Animbom Ngong, Chair of the Department of Performance and Visual Arts at the University of Bamenda
Didi Bertrand and Coralie Noisette, Women and Girls initiative
Winnie Chelagat and Gulraj Grewal, Global Health Disrupted
Judith Kaine, Founder and Director of Kurema, Kureba, Kwiga
Sharon Kalima,  Art and Global Health Programme Officer, Winner of the UN SDG Action Award

Time: 6:30PM
Location: Kigali Cultural Village
This event is free of charge and no prior registration is required. 

Learn more here

Dance and Global Health – November 13th, 2019

This evening will showcase how dance has been used as a tool to resolve physical and mental health issues. The night will feature Dr. Rainbow Ho, award-winning researcher and dancer from the University of Hong Kong in collaboration with Wesley Ruzibiza, founder of Rwandan-based, Amizero Dance Company.

Time: 6:30PM
Location: Kigali Cultural Village
This event is free of charge and no prior registration is required. 

To learn more about Hamwe Festival and the events that will be organized between November 9th and November 13th, follow Hamwe on Twitter and Instagram (@hamwe_festival) or send questions to hamwe@ughe.org.