La Trobe University Conga for Congo

A student led conga line will dance its way through La Trobe University’s main thoroughfare, the Agora on Wednesday 9 May to celebrate and educate students about African culture. 

Conga DancingA presentation featuring Congolese community supporters will follow the festivities. Speakers include Greens candidate for the Lord Mayorship of Melbourne, Dr Alison Parkes. 

“The purpose of the event is to educate students about Africa, highlighting the positive aspects of African societies and cultures,” says La Trobe University anthropologist Professor Alberto Gomes. 

“This will hopefully give a balanced perspective to the rather common negative imagery of Africa as a continent afflicted by severe poverty and collective violence, such as what was portrayed via the Kony 2012 campaign.”

La Trobe University has a strong community of international students, and this is one of a number of events aimed at increasing cultural awareness.

African and African-interested organisations will display cultural artefacts and posters, as well as to hand out information about their activities. The event will be filmed and uploaded onto YouTube and several other social media sites.

The Conga line will sweep through the Agora at 12 pm and the presentations will start at 12.30pm. 

Guest speakers are: Dr Alison Parkes (Australian Greens, Candidate for the Lord Mayorship of Melbourne), Veronique Dinanga and Geroges Kabengele (Representatives from the Congolese Community of Victoria), Dr Jonathan Makuwira (Malawian Academic), Willie Ntubah (Congolese Pastor), Abraham Garang (Managing Director of African Australian Network) and Associate Professor Andre Renzaho (ARC Future Fellow, Monash University).

In 2011 Professor Gomes organised a Bollywood flash mob at the start of his first anthropology class to highlight anthropology as the study of culture and diversity. The video has since received over 583,000 views on YouTube. 

Conga for Congo has been organised by Equality, Sustainability and Peace Collective (ESP) together with the La Trobe African Students Society.

PHOTO/INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY: 

More than 200 students will conga their way through the Agora at 12pm. 

Professor Alberto Gomes and students will be available for interview.

Date: Wednesday 9 May, 2012

Time: 12pm

Location: Main Agora, La Trobe University, Melbourne (Bundoora) campus


For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

CONTACT: Alberto Gomes, Phone: +61 3 9479 1224 Email: a.gomes@latrobe.edu.au