‘Transmission’ & ‘COMMONS Dialogues’ – Professor David Cotterrell at 2020’s virtual Ubumuntu Arts Festival of Humanity

2020-07 Ubumuntu (David Cotterrell and Ruwanthie de Chickera) - Transmission

Ubumuntu 2020

Friday 17 to Sunday 19 July 2020

Free registration online here.

Empathy & Risk will be contributing to the 6th Ubumuntu Festival of Humanity through the creation of a new art work – Transmission, and an in-conversation event – COMMONS Dialogues.

2020-07 Ubumuntu (David Cotterrell and Ruwanthie de Chickera) - Transmission


David Cotterrell and Ruwanthi de Chickera’s new video production Transmission will be presented at the main Ubumuntu Festival of Humanity in Kigali, Rwanda this July. Transmission is performed by Christopher Sherwood and Tara Nadun and designed in collaboration with Ian Gouldstone and Malshani Delgahapitiya.

Transmission is a meeting between two strangers in a real or imagined future – where the human race or human contact may well be a thing of the past.  A solitary man interrupts his isolation by obsessively searching the internet for someone like him who may also be looking for evidence of humanity.  Through a million failed attempts at creating a connection, he remains focused on the hopefulness of the task that offers him meaning to time and life.

The short film Transmission follows a solitary man’s occupation of an ambiguous space as he tries to engage beyond his own world and begins to fear what he might find if he is successful.

Transmission will be broadcast at 1429 BST on Sunday 19 July 2020.

COMMONS Dialogues

The COMMONS Dialogues – the 5th in the ER Dialogue series will be featured as a live session in the UN CONFERENCE section of the Ubumuntu Festival.

Drawing inspiration from the 6th Ubumuntu Festival theme of “Breathe” the COMMONS Dialogues will explore the literal and metaphorical reach of the concept of ‘Global Commons’ (defined as the deep sea, sky, space and the internet) – the earth’s shared natural resources, accessible to all, too valuable or vast to be owned by any single State or market force.

The COMMONS Dialogues will interpret and expand the concept of the Global Commons to explore the limits and definitions of the “shared” human experience and resources against the backdrop of the Global Pandemic.  How are these concepts and values being re-defined by individuals, communities, governments and pan global entities?  The COMMONS Dialogues will feature David Cotterrell in conversation with Senior Fellow at The Institute of Policy Analysis and Research, Lawyer and Author, Gatete Ruhumuliza Nyiringabo.

The project has been produced by Empathy & Risk and realised with support from the Global Challenge Research Fund and Sheffield Hallam University’s Art and Design Research Centre.

COMMONS Dialogues will be broadcast at 1639 BST on Friday 17 July 2020.

2020-07 Ubumuntu (David Cotterrell and Ruwanthie de Chickera) - Transmission

About Ubumuntu Arts Festival

The word Ubumuntu can be defined as “Being Human”. The festival aims at creating an avenue where people from different walks of life can come together and speak to each other in the language of art. Art has manifested itself world over as an efficient form of communicating, expressing opinions, airing issues and sharing values about all aspects of life that affect humanity. The festival considers art as a forum for communication, expression, reflection, innovation and creativity as a key motor for social change.

David Cotterrell is a Professor in Fine Art in the Art & Design Research Centre (ADRC) at Sheffield Hallam University. Follow him @davidcotterrell and on Instagram.