Rhythm People Coalition leader Ms. Kim Poole explains the symbolic importance of Rhythm at the African Union’s 1st Pan African Writers Conference.
The 3day conference organized by the African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA) was on the theme; ‘promoting African literature and reading; the role of African writers’ in enhancing African identity, shared values and integration.’ the conference held at Alisa Hotel Accra Ghana started on the 7th and ended on the 9th march 2018.
The Rhythm People Coalition comprised of 4 Diaspora based organizations: Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus, African Roots and Heritage Foundation, Institution of Financial Unity, and the Teaching Artist Institute founded in 2015 by Kim Poole.
“In the beginning, there was heart-drum. With this vibration we give rhythm to the world. On this beat we Sing Life,the rhythm of the Afrikan Drum has empowered and energized Afrikan and other Indigenous communities around the world to create a vehicle through which musicians, visual artists, performance artists and artisans could not only develop their craft and advance their careers, but could also use their art to help heal their respective communities.” Kim Poole explained to the participants from various African nations at the conference.
”When we first started the Teaching Artist Institute we had this idea that art was a universal tool for communication. It’s a universal language. But after recognizing who I am as a Black Woman, living in this area of the Diaspora, I realized that we haven’t really learned to use that art as a communication tool within our own community. How do we first use art? Charity starts at home. How do we communicate and use the art that naturally flows through us? We are different based on geographic location, phenotype, language, I mean every possible way that we can be different, we are, but that one commonality, that one thing that unites us, is the beat of that drum. The beat of the drum will always be the heartbeat of our community. And if we can use art and culture as a means of communicating across these differences, of connecting and uniting, and reminding us of our essence, then there’s nothing that we can’t accomplish. And the only campaign that we have, right now, in the Teaching Artist Institute, is the Rhythm People Campaign. And it’s a part of why we are in Ghana at this month, its why we are in Africa and contributing in this conference this minute” She reiterated
Kim Poole expressed her elation for the concept of the conference, which was put together by African Union Department of Social Affairs and Pan African Writers Association for the very first time, and the quality of the participants which comprised of professors, authors, publishers, policy makers and African Union Commissioners from 51 African Countries as concept well positioned to trigger a new consciousness in African creative art industry.
Award Winning Author, session moderator and leader of the Uganda Women’s Writer’s association Ms. Hilda J. Twogyeirwe quoted the presentation afterwards stating “we must focus on staying in Rhythm in this session and always”
As political bodies such as the ECOSOCC struggle to decide how best to politically create a seat at the decision making table for Global Africans living in the Diaspora, the African Union’s Department of Social Affairs Commissioners have officially welcomed the Rhythm People Coalition and all Art and cultural practitioners to come back home.
Kim was accompanied to the event and supported by TAI Fellows: Ibrahim Moomin, Kelley Settles, James Ansong, Yasir Ibrahim, Andy Dusty, TAI Facilitator of Ghana Bice Osei Kuffour from the audience and TAI Elders Pan African Writers Ms. Anita m. Diop of Detroit, Michigan USA and Ahuma Bosco Ocansey Rastafarian leader of Accra, Ghana.