Press Release 14 July 2015 – Voice4Thought; a new and unique festival in Leiden

Voice4Thought: a new and unique festival in Leiden

Dialogue with the world, about the world


Voice4Thought (V4T) is an artistic-academic project of Leiden University and the African Studies Centre based on inspiring voices from all over the world. These voices do not tell  stories of crisis and misery, but of strength and change! To bring these stories to a larger audience, the project organizes the Voice4Thought festival, from 24 up and until 29 August 2015, at various locations in Leiden.


V4T Festival

Art, film, social media and academic research are combined to reach this audience and to facilitate a dialogue between Africa and Europe. The Voice4Thought festival presents several events, in which the ‘voices’ of Croquemort (slammer, Chad), Yaya Sarria (dancer, Chad), Pangmashi Yenkong (human rights lawyer, Cameroon) and Smockey (rapper and representative of Balai Citoyen, Burkina Faso), enter into a dialogue with various target groups in The Netherlands. Movie screenings and an academic debate are presented in the Lipsius building of Leiden University in the week of 24-29 August. On Saturday night the V4T artists present an evening program in collaboration with Antilounge (The Hague) in music venue Gebr. de Nobel. A 3D installation by a student of the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (KABK) ties the different elements of the festival together. This installation, an interpretation of the V4T themes by the artist, invites the audience to enter the world of V4T.


The project V4T

The terror attack on Charlie Hebdo, early January 2015, shocked the western world. It forced people in Europe to reconsider their own position in the worldwide situation of increasing tensions between social, ethnic, and religious groups. The Voice4Thought project tells the stories of people who want to use the Internet (social media, websites etc.) to enter into a global dialogue. The V4T project uses an artistic approach to bring the voices of these people, each with their own viewpoint and approach, to a larger audience. The aim is to offer a platform to think collectively about alternative ways to relate to each other and live together. An introduction of the V4T project can be found on the VPRO website (in Dutch):


Website as dialogue

The website of Voice4Thought is meant to share all these interesting and beautiful stories. In collaboration with our researchers the themes of the individuals behind the voices are explored, creating an alternative approach to ‘academics’ in which the sharing of information with the audience is key. The website will soon include a forum on which we welcome all questions, commentaries, recommendations and dialogues!





Note for editor:

The Voice4Thought Project is part of the research program ‘Connecting in Times of Duress’ and is organized in collaboration with Leiden University, ASC, LeidenGlobal and Both Ends. Media partners are RNW media, VPRO Buitenland, The Broker and One World.


For more information and/ or photographs please contact:

E. Gilbert
Leiden University
tel: +31 6 8377 6723