|Museum of Art brings former child soldier/hip-hop artist to the Empire Art Center|
Emmanuel Jal, former Sudanese child soldier and hip-hop artist, will tell his story and perform at the Empire Art Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2. He is in Grand Forks as part of the North Dakota Museum of Art symposium on human rights. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults, children 12 and under admitted free. Following the concert, there will be a reception and book signing at the Museum.
Once a child soldier on the front lines of combat in war-torn Sudan, Emmanuel Jal has been hailed as the “rising star of African hip hop." "WARchild," his third album and international solo debut, has launched Jal into the spotlight for its profound, empowering messages of peace and reconciliation. As the central figure of the internationally acclaimed "War Child," Jal has quickly become an international icon representing social justice and human rights.
"I believe I have survived for a reason...to tell my story and touch lives," said Jal. To this day, Jal doesn’t know when he was born or exactly how old he is. His story begins in Sudan during brutal civil wars. At 6 years old, Jal was sent away to become a rebel fighter for the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA); he was armed with a machine gun taller than he was. While children around the world were learning to read and write, Jal was learning to survive in the epicenter of famine and suffering. At roughly 11 years old, Emmanuel joined more than 400 other child soldiers in a courageous desertion of rebel lines. He was one of only 16 children to survive the journey.
In addition to playing alongside Moby at The Concert to End Slavery, and performing at Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday Celebration, Jal's music has been featured on soundtracks, including "Blood Diamond" and "ER." He has also been featured in Rolling Stone, Vibe, The Guardian, USA Today, CNN, Q Magazine and on NPR.
This event is co-sponsored by Amnesty International, UND and the Multicultural Awareness Committee, a Division of Student Government. Arrangements for the appearance of Emmanuel Jal made through Greater Talent Network Inc., New York, N.Y. Suggested donation for admission to the Museum is $5 for adults and change from children. For more information, see http://www.ndmoa.com/ .
-- Brian Lofthus, assistant to the Director, North Dakota Museum of Art, email@example.com, 777-4195