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Board of Governors

Batalo East is overseen by a team of three people on the Board of Governors, ensuring the accountability, transparency and growth of the organization and its vision remains on track.

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Kadir ‘Amigo’ Memis grew up in a small village called Bilecik in West Anatolia Turkey. His parents left him with some relatives and moved to Germany to escape a poor countryside existence, and 10-year-old Amigo went to work as a shepherd with a violent uncle who often punished him for mistakes he made. The silent boy oscillated between domestic violence and a peaceful life surrounded by nature. Finally, his parents could afford to bring Amigo to Berlin, Germany. The uprooted boy that didn’t understand a word of the foreign language became silent in school. Only when he came in contact with other kids dancing on the streets did the ice started melting. They tried to copy dance moves from a film called ‘Beatstreet’ that had a great impact on the children. He has not stopped dancing ever since and after many years, finds himself as a professional dancer. In the realm of dance theater, he leaves the mainstream of original Hip Hop and tries something new by merging his own traditional Turkish dance culture with Hip Hop elements. In ‘Zeybreak’ he blends a very old and slow Turkish dance called Zeybek with Breaking elements. He keeps on developing that new invented style and still goes deeper. Amigo is one of the founders of the world renown B.Boy Crew Flying Steps and Funkin Stylez Urban dance Festival. www.kadirmemis.com

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Carolin Christgau is currently the director of the Goethe-Zentrum Kampala / Ugandan German Cultural Society and since 2011 part of the executive committee of the LaBa! Arts Festival. She studied a Bachelor in Culture and Society of Africa and African Art at the University of Bayreuth where she was an assistant for three years at the Iwalewa-Haus in Bayreuth, a platform for research and exhibitions. In 2011, she finished her Master of Arts in Mediation of Arts and Culture at the University of Bremen with her thesis “The contemporary art scene in Ouagadougou/Burkina Faso between stagnation and departure”. During her studies Ms. Christgau was working on different freelance projects (exhibitions, film production etc.) in and outside of Germany, one of them was the production of the science fiction short film ‘Drexciya’ by Simon Rittmeier.

Aminah Namakula – Senior Instructor, Ndere Troupe, Kampala, Uganda. BIO COMING SOON!

Anna Muinonen – Dancer and Independent Consultant, Kenya/Finland. BIO COMING SOON!

Jonzi D is the Artistic Director of Breakin’ Convention and Jonzi D Projects. He has been actively involved in British hip hop culture, rapping and b-boying since its genesis in the early 80s.

Since graduating from the London Contemporary Dance School, Jonzi has been committed to the development of Hip Hop theatre, creating Lyrikal Fearta in 1995, and Aeroplane Man in 1999. He was an Associate Artist at The Place and has performed and created dance theatre pieces all over Europe, North America, Russia, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Cuba, Uganda and Southern Africa. Recent works include TAG… Just Writing My Name, and Markus The Sadist, featuring Bashy.

As an emcee Jonzi has worked with The Roots, Steve Williamson, MC Mell’o’, Wordsworth, Hymphatic Thabs, and toured Europe with Jeru The Damaja and Gangstarr in the early 90s.

Jonzi has recently written and toured The Letter, a piece about the responses to receiving a nomination for an MBE in 2011, and Broken Lineage in collaboration with Ivan Blackstock.

Jonzi-D has been collaborating with members of Batalo East and hip hop theatre in East Africa since 2010, when he worked with Tabu Flo Dance Company to co-produce Abasezi for the 2010 edition of Breakin’ Convention at Sadler’s Wells in London.