23 August: International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and of its Abolition

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The night of 22 to 23 August 1791, in Santo Domingo (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic) saw the beginning of the uprising that would play a crucial role in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.
International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is intended to inscribe the tragedy of the slave trade in the memory of all peoples. In accordance with the goals of the intercultural project "The Slave Route", it should offer an opportunity for collective consideration of the historic causes, the methods and the consequences of this tragedy, and for an analysis of the interactions to which it has given rise between Africa, Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean.

The Director-General of UNESCO invites the Ministers of Culture of all Member States to organize events every year on that date, involving the entire population of their country and in particular young people, educators, artists and intellectuals.



19 August: World Humanitarian Day

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“Every year on August 19th we mark World Humanitarian Day in honour of aid workers, who have lost their lives in the line of duty. We commemorate their sacrifice and reaffirm our commitment to the lifesaving work that humanitarians carry out around the world every day, often in difficult and dangerous circumstances, where others cannot or do not want to go. This year our World Humanitarian Day campaign is calling on people to answer a question: ‘What do you think the world needs more of?’”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

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9 August

2013 Theme: "Indigenous peoples building alliances: Honouring treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements"

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Choreographer/Dancer Jeanguy Saintus Riché and Ayikodans: Dancing in the Dark

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From the Huffington Post

"The last three years have been difficult, especially the last two," says Jeanguy Saintus, professional name of Haitian-born and internationally renowned choreographer, dancer and dance educator Jeanguy Saintus Riché,. "In 2010, it was a shock to everyone. We didn't know what would happen."

On January 12, 2010, the earthquake shattered much more than buildings in troubled Haiti and more than three years later, the Caribbean nation is still struggling to rebuild even essential services.

I first became aware of his work, ironically or not, right about that time. When the earthquake took place, Jeanguy was in the middle of choreographing a piece that would be performed by Toronto's COBA (Coalition of Black Artists). The show had to go on without Jeanguy's last minute help at rehearsals when a flight north proved impossible to arrange in time for the February 2010 performance.

What struck me about his work was its cross cultural richness and theatricality - the way he uses physical intensity to evoke dramatic and spiritual dimensions. International reviews also note the emotional intensity and impressive physicality of the dancers in Ayikodans, his dance company; they have been highly acclaimed in the Miami press among others.

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