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NEW ISSUE OF CHRONIC: WHO KILLED KABILA – SOON COME!

Who killed Kabila? The new issue of the Chronic presents this query as the starting point for an in-depth investigation into power, territory and the creative imagination by writers from the Congo and other countries involved in the conflict.

8 years after the assassination of Laurent-Désiré Kabila, rumours still proliferate. But who killed Kabila is no mystery. It is not A or B or C. But rather A and B and C. All options are both true and necessary – it’s the coming together of all these individuals, groups and circumstances, on one day, within the proliferating course of the history, that does it.

Telling this story then, isn’t merely a matter of presenting multiple perspectives but rather of finding a medium able to capture the radical singularity of the event in its totality, including each singular, sometimes fantastical, historical fact, rumour or suspicion. We’ve heard plenty about the danger of the single story – in this issue we explore its power. 

The issue proposes music as the context, the paradigm for the writing. The single story we write borrows from the sebene – the upbeat, mostly instrumental part of Congolese rumba famously established by Franco (Luambo Makiadi).

Similarly, to follow Ousmane Sembene’s method of using multi-location and polyphony as decolonial narrative tools, we invited writers from the countries directly involved and implicated in the events surrounding Kabila’s death (DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Angola, and a de-territorialised entity called AFDL) to write one story: the assassination of Kabila.

THIS EDITION OF THE CHIMURENGA CHRONIC IS CONCEIVED AS A SEBENE OF THE CONGOLESE RUMBA – ENJOY THE DANCE!

PASS PRESENTS DUMAMA & KECHOU ft MADALA ‘BAFO’ KUNENE

THE CONGOLESE WORLD OF SOUND

Listen to the Invention of Africa by Franco & T.P.OK Jazz by Ntone Edjabe

In the Chronic: On Circulations and the African Imagination of a Borderless World we map Wenge Musica BCBG family tree.

Preview the moves and breaks and explore Congolese World of Sound from the Chimurenga archive: Binetou Sylla – DJ, producer and Syllart label-boss – curates plays a set focused on Congolese rumba and its offshoots; Achille Mbembe explore Congolese music as “an experience of listening”, but also as a social and political act; dancer and choreographer Faustin Linyekula turns up the volume on a soundtrack of ndombolo: “So I can hear the sound of my body and then the sound will get the bodies to move;” and more…

FESTAC BOOK AND LP ON THE WAY 

Early in 1977, thousands of artists, writers, musicians, activists and scholars from Africa and the black diaspora assembled in Lagos for FESTAC ’77, the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture. With a radically ambitious agenda underwritten by Nigeria’s newfound oil wealth, FESTAC ’77 would unfold as a complex, glorious and excessive culmination of a half-century of transatlantic and pan-Africanist cultural-political gatherings.

Devised by Chimurenga and edited by Ntone Edjabe and Akin Adesokan, this is the first publication to consider FESTAC in all its cultural-historic complexity, addressing the planetary scale of the event alongside the personal and artistic encounters it made possible.

As the tenth title in Afterall’s Exhibition Histories series and the third in Chimurenga’s Chimurenga Library series, the book features a bespoke expanded format and design scheme, and gathers extensive unseen photographic and archival materials, interviews and new commissions by Akin Adesokan, Ugochukwu-Smooth Nzewi, Dominique Malaquais and Elvira Dyangani Ose, among others, and archival texts, materials, images and photographs by Wole Soyinka, Audre Lorde, Allioune Diop, Marilyn Nance, Barkley Hendricks, J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, Betye Saar, Sun Ra and many more.

PASS LANDING IN AUSTRALIA 

From 11 -13 April, as part of an exhibition hosted by Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) entitled Shapes of Knowledge, the Pan African Space Station will land in Melbourne, Australia.

In collaboration with artists, activists and cultural workers based in the city, PASS will study, among other histories, Australia’s participation in The Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) which took place in Lagos, Nigeria in 1977. Using our studio as a capsule for further entanglement, and FESTAC as a lens through which to locate and imagine new conversations around black internationalism today, we hope to assemble historical fragments of the regions interaction with the African continent as means to acknowledge its relevance today.

THE CHRONIC: ON CIRCULATIONS AND THE AFRICAN IMAGINATION OF A BORDERLESS WORLD – NOW AVAILABLE 

To purchase a copies of this issue in print or as a PDF head to our online shop, or get copies from your nearest dealer.

NO PASS, BUT NINE PASSPORTS

In her 30 years of exile, Miriam Makeba redefined pan Africanism – performing and speaking around the world, informing the Black Power movement, forwarding the liberation struggle and participating in events that shaped public cultures on the continent and around the world.

She was a woman with nine passports and honorary citizenship in 10 countries. But no home.

85 years since her birth, we track her journey in the new Chronic, The African imagination of a borderless world. Get a preview and follow the Life and work of Miriam ‘Mazi’ Makeba in music on the Pan African Space Station.

LAND & HOMELAND

TRADITIONAL INTELLECTUALS

It is in this way that Izithunywa Zohlanga’s music takes on a Pan-African stance where through it they try to bring together Africans from different backgrounds. Their art might be called, what Fanon calls “the art of combat.” 

Koketso Potsane writes Izithunywa Zohlanga through a lens of Fanon, engaging how the duo from the Eastern Cape, South Africa, use indigenous repertoire and idioms to produce music and literature that speaks directly to the present in post-Apartheid South Africa while at the same time being custodians of our heritage through performances.

THE TYELERA MOMENT 

On December 13, 2016, in Salem Party Club v Salem Community, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled in favour of 152 land claimants representing a community of amaXhosa who’d been dispossessed over a century ago by the 1820 British settlers and their descendants. While the court victory has been rightfully celebrated as a tentative triumph of South Africa’s processes of restorative justice, Thabo Jijana suggests that Salem Community v Government of the Republic of South Africa and others is also a seminal event in how it asserts the legal validity of oral history (as largely provided by the community’s witnesses) vs. documented proof (by the landowners).

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