Raices et Résistance" directed by Bongo Sidibe and Susana Arenas Pedroso, with dancers and musicians from Duniya Dance and Drum and Arenas Dance Companies, explores the vibrant, layered, and largely unknown social-political relationship between Guinea, West Africa and Cuba, forged by the transatlantic slave trade as well as the post-colonial cultural exchange that began in the 60s. Bringing together their cultural expertises, their passion, their senses of joy and justice, Pedroso and Sidibe have created a unique performance built on storytelling and cultural collaboration. "Raices et Résistance" embodies the past as well as the present, a story of Black people defining themselves through dance and music, during and after the traumas of slavery and colonization.
After independence from France, Guinea elected socialist president Sekou Touré, one of the African continent’s prominent independence leaders. Touré aligned closely with Cuba’s Fidel Castro, and through this alliance came cultural exchange between the two countries. Artists were invited to festivals by the government’s of both countries, and national music groups in Guinea, like Bembeya Jazz, created music with heavy Cuban influence. This story informs the collaboration between Duniya and Arenas dance in “Raices et Résistance.”