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PASS LANDING AT LAVOIR MODERNE PARISIEN, PARIS

From 5-9 May 2021, Chimurenga’s Pan African Space Station (PASS) landed at Lavoir Moderne Parisien in Goutte d’or, Paris, to imagine, re-examine and re-circulate sonic archives of black radicalism in the francophone world. This session dug into the “soundtrack” (bande-son), an underlying container of information and ideas that is seldom explored on its own terms.

We departed from cinematic practice, specifically films/filmmakers (Julius-Amedee Laou, Elsie Haas, Med Hondo, Kanor sisters, Sarah Maldoror, etc) represented in the printed archive we had recently installed in Centre Pompidou, and expanded the soundtrack beyond the screen to other areas of knowledge production: the street, the club, recording studios, kongossa, live performances, noise, even the magazine page.

We imagined a live in-studio soundtrack that responded to and expanded visual footage from the 2nd Congress of Black Writers and Artists in Rome 1959 – an event charged by the-then process of decolonisation and the unwelcome presence of younger, radical thinkers such as Fanon, Beti, Glissant, Beville and more. We took the cues from Fabienne and Véronique Kanor’s “La noiraude” to explore zouk as aesthetics of black transnationalism – a geography of unauthorised pleasure throughout the 1980s. We listened to Sarah Maldoror’s record collection, and her use of music on film.

In Julius-Amedee Laou’s “Solitaire a micro ouvert”, the brother of a man killed in a racist murder in Paris of the 1980s takes over of a black radio station to address the “community”. In “La Vieille Quimboiseuse et le majordome” he highlights the dialectic between the seen and the heard. We listened to the oral history of “La coordination des femmes noires” that writer Gerty Dambury continually produces; or Gerard Lockel’s development of gro ka moden as decolonial praxis; or the Paris-based afro/astrosonic network documented in the music Jo Maka, Ramadolf, Cheikh Tidiane Fall, Yebga Likoba and more, which not only connects directly to Maldoror’s film “Un dessert pour Constance” but also puts sound to the immigrant struggles of the post-May 68 era. And brought us to the ongoing gentrification and structural violence in Goutte d’or.

We considered Frank Biyong’s retelling of the war of decolonisation in Cameroun in his album “Ibolo Ini”, and more broadly his use of music as site of memorialising; and explored black ecologies through sound.

We presented “Act 2” of Christian Nyampeta’s acclaimed radio-play “The Africans”.

And live performances, talks, screenings, DJ sets. And more.

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PASS LANDING AT THE NEW SCHOOL, NEW YORK

From 23-25 October 2019, Chimurenga’s Pan African Space Station (PASS) at Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, New York City, explored three narratives related to the participation of African American artists and intellectuals at FESTAC ’77, the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, held in Lagos in 1977.

Wed 23 October 2019, 4pm – 7pm: Sun Ra Arkestra and the jazz avant-garde at FESTAC

As revealed in Chimurenga’s recent publication which compiles stories from/about FESTAC, Sun Ra’s Astro/Afro-mysticism was initially rejected by an important section among FESTAC participants – including some members of the US contingent. In collaboration with trumpet and composer Ahmed Abdullah, and trombonist and composer Craig Harris, both Arkestra members who formed part of Sun Ra’s group at FESTAC, we listened to the Sun Ra Arkestra performances (and other free jazz musicians such as Milford Graves) in Lagos. The musicians were joined by photographer Calvin Reid (who documented the Sun Ra Lagos sessions).

Thurs 24 October 2019, 4pm – 6pm: Black Women Collectives at FESTAC

Stories of the Black Arts Movement are often dominated by iconic black male poets. However Black Women Collectives were represented at FESTAC via their members:  Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Louise Meriwether, from the writers group The Sisterhood; and Charlotte Ka Richardson, Faith Ringgold, Valerie Maynard and many more from the visual arts group Where We At.

In her reflection on black women’s collectives and FESTAC, poet, choreographer and myth-scientist Harmony Holiday asks:  Can we override those epigenetic tendencies rooted in generational trauma, by simply gathering and sharing ideas on our own terms, or is it too late for that pure and reckless kind of love, that troubled and troubadour Black love?… Can a festival turn into eternal solidarity?

Harmony shared her piece in the PASS studio in the company of Charlotte Ka, Valerie Maynard and Marilyn Nance.

Friday 25 October 2019, 3pm – 5pm: Black photography and the visual memory of FESTAC

FESTAC was mainly ignored by the US mainstream media – reporting and analysis from media outlets such as New York Times and Washington Post, among others, focused more on lamenting the absence of whites and poor organization of the event than covering the month-long programme featuring original productions by some 30,000 artists from all over the Black world. A visual memory of FESTAC exists primarily through the perseverance of independent photographers such as Marilyn NanceCalvin ReidKofi MoyoBob Crawford, among others, as well as the coverage produced by black media outlets such as Ebony.

Nance, Reid and other black photographers who documented FESTAC joined us in the PASS studio.

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PASS LANDING AT MUMA, MELBOURNE

From 11-13 April 2019, the Pan African Space Station landed in the stolen and occupied land of the Boonwurrung (of the Kulin nation), in what is known today as Australia.

Invited by Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) as part of an exhibition entitled Shapes of KnowledgePASS explored “Black Australia” historical and current connections to pan Africanism and their participation in FESTAC ’77 – the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture which took place in Lagos in 1977.

We give thanks to our collaborators Sista Zai Zanda, who presented a daily show exploring different perspectives on community making in Australia for Africans in collaboration with Naomi VelaphiZiimusic and N’fa Jones; rapper and vocalist Lady Lashpioneering Aboriginal reggae artist Bart Willoughby; composer, singer, trumpeter Olugbade Okunade, featuring musician and producer Enoch Ogiemwanre; multidisciplinary artist Torika Bolatagici who installed her ongoing library project The Community Reading Room; Stani Goma for “Music of the Black Struggle in Australia”, in collaboration with Jason Tamiru.

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PASS LANDING AT LA COLONIE, PARIS

Chimurenga returned to Paris for a 5-day intervention and installation at La Colonie. From December 13 – 17, 2017, we installed a live radio station and a research library, and hosted talks, screenings and performances that asked ‘Who Killed Kabila?’, as the starting point for an in-depth investigation into power, territory and the creative imagination.

The equation was simple: the length of a Congolese president’s reign is proportional to his/her willingness to honour the principle that the resources of the Congo belong to others. Mzee Kabila failed.

Who killed Kabila is no mystery either. 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.

So telling this story isn’t merely be 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 – we want to explore its power. We take inspiration from the Congolese musical imagination, its capacity for innovation and its potential to allow us to think “with the bodily senses, to write with the musicality of one’s own flesh” (Mbembe).

At La ColonieChimurenga installed a library that included books, films, and visual material mapping extensive research that investigates history and changing formations of rule and accumulation, space and territory, allegiance, citizenship, and sovereignty, and the African imagination in music and writing.

Each day, the Pan Africa Space Station, broadcast live with a programme of interviews, discussions and performances by collaborators from around the world including musicians, DJs, journalists, writers, political theorists, thinkers and filmmakers. After the event, the sounds and images generated in this process will contribute towards a special edition of our Pan African broadsheet, the Chronic.

Participants included Dominique MalaquaisParselelo KantaiPhilou LozoulouYvonne Adhiambo OwuorBarly Baruti, Victor GamaLulendo MvuluDéo NamujimboLuigi ElonguiMaurice PotoMengi MassambaHugo MendezJihan El-TahriBintou SimporeMartin MeissonnierPaulo InglêsFranck BiyongRay LemaBrice AhounouNadine FidjiSpiluluArnaud ZaitjmanJulie PeghiniSinzo AanzaKoba LubakiPercy ZvomuyaBoddhi SatvaAbdourahman WaberiAntoine Vumilia MuhindoSam Tshintu & AcademiaTrésor KibangulaBullitKovo NSondéRokia Bamba-MennessierEmmanuel NashiFranck LeiboviciJulien SeroussiDaniel KalinakiPascale OboloKivu RuhorahozaJacques Goba, Mo Laudi, Michelange Quay.

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PASS LANDING AT NATIONAL GALLERY OF ZIMBABWE, HARARE

From 9 – 12 November 2017, the Pan African Space Station (PASS) landed in The National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) in the centre of Harare. In collaboration with visual artist Kudzanai Chiurai, who launched his first ever solo exhibition in his home country titled ‘We Need New Names’, Chimurenga installed the PASS studio as a public research platform towards a Zimbabwe focused issue of the Chimurenga Chronic.

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PASS LANDING AT MUSEO TAMAYO, MEXICO CITY

From 4 October – 26 November 2017, the Pan African Space Station (PASS)  broadcast LIVE from Museo Tamayo, Mexico City. For 8 weeks, the PASS studio functioned as “ecole du soir” (evening school) – a meeting place, a classroom, and laboratory where different worlds converged. The radio programming explored the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana, contemporary South Atlantic exchanges and Afro-Mexican cultures – a public research platform toward a forthcoming edition of the Chimurenga Chronic on these themes.

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PASS LANDING AT CIC LIBRARY, CAIRO

From 17 -19 February 2017, the Pan African Space Station landed in the library of Contemporary Image Collective (CiC) in downtown Cairo.

PASS in Cairo featured live readings, performances and conversations with Chimurenga’s collaborators in the city, including Hassan Khan,Amanda KMMohamed AbdelkarimAmado AlfadniAdham HafezShatha Al DeghadyMagdy El ShafeeAmira Hanafi and more.

Recorded sessions from the landing are available for replay via PASS on Mixcloud.

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PASS LANDING AT OBA CENTRAL LIBRARY, AMSTERDAM

From 11 -15 December 2016, the Pan African Space Station (PASS) landed in Amsterdam, transmitting live from the OBA Central Library.  The PASS live studio featured a 5-day programme as an experiment in speaking, listening, playing, partying and community; as a performance and exhibition space; a research platform and living archive. Programmed and performed by Chimurenga, PASS in Amsterdam featured collaborations with artists, filmmakers, writers, musicians and rebels whose practices draw from and respond to a variety of contexts; to prompt us, through performance, conversation and other forms, to imagine how worlds connect.

We thank all involved for improvising and collaborating with us to make this landing happen. Collaborators include ‘Black Stereo’ (Jimmy Rage and Bamba Al Mansour), Chandra Frank, Faustin Linyekula and Jose Pereelanga paying tribute to Franco, Amal Alhaag and Maria Guggenbichler reminding you to ‘Count Your Blessings’, ‘Protest Pop’ with Neo MuyangaEm’kal EyongapkaKodwo Eshun further entangling our imaginations, Aurelie Lierman and many many more.

To revisit moments from this landing, please visit our Mixcloud. Here’s more about those who contributed to PASS in Amsterdam:

Adeola Enigbokan is an artist and urban theorist based in Amsterdam.

Amal Alhaag and Maria Guggenbichler run DJ workshops for women as part of Side Room, a nomadic meeting room for intersectional feminist and anti-colonial practices.

Akinbode Akinbiyi is a photographer living in Berlin.

Angele Etoundi Essamba is a photographer living and working in Amsterdam. She is also the artistic director for IAM (Intense Art Magazine)

Anna Alix Koffi lives and works in Paris. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of OFF The Walla book review dedicated to photography

Ato Malinda is a performance artist who lives and works in Nairobi.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul is a filmmaker and principal Prince Claus Fund laureate of 2016.

Aurelie Lierman is a sound artist, radio producer, vocalist based in Amsterdam.

DJ CARISTA  is an Amsterdama-based radio host and selector at Red Light Radio.

Chandra Frank is a writer and curator living in Amsterdam. She works on black feminist genealogies and the politics of pleasure and resistance.

Charl Landvreugd is a Rotterdam-based visual and performance artist and curator.

Em’kal Eyongakpa is based in South West Cameroon and Amsterdam. He works at itinerant with video, photography, sculpture, sound, text and performance.

Faut Haut is an avant-pop band based in Amsterdam.

Faustin Linyekula is a dancer, choreographer and founder of Studios Kabako in Kisangani.

Femi Dawkins (a.k.a. Jimmy Rage) is a visual artist, poet and musician who lives in Amsterdam.

Frank Biyong is a musician, composer and producer who lives in Yaounde and Paris. He founded and leads the groups Massak and Afroelectric Orchestra.

Hodan WarsameTirza Balk and Kahya Engler are activists based in Amsterdam who produce radio shows, as well as host talks and workshops as part of Redmond Amsterdam.

INSAYNO (In Nasty Situations All You Need: Optimism) is a rapper and spoken-word artist based in Amsterdam.

Jeannine Valeriano is a singer, writer and spoken-word artist based in Amsterdam.

Jorgen Unom JG is a singer and poet living in Amsterdam.

DJ Jumanne aka J4 is the founder of Africanhiphop.com, the oldest website dedicated to hip hop cultures on the continent.

King Shiloh Sound System is a roots reggae & dub sound system working from Amsterdam.

Kodwo Eshun is a British-Ghanaian writer, theorist, filmmaker and co-founder of The Otolith Group.

Kunle Adeyemi is an architect and urban theorist, and the founder of Amsterdam-based NLÉWORKS Architects.

Nana Adusei-Poku is curator, writer and research professor in Visual Culture at Rotterdam University

Neo Muyanga is a musician and composer. He is the co-founder of the Pan African Space Station.

New Urban Collective is an activist collective of based in Amsterdam.

NIC Kay is a performance artist whose work involves sculpture, video, sound, installation, collage and printmaking.

N’gone Fall is an independent curator.

DJ Orpheu The Wizard is the co-founder of Red Light Radio, an Amsterdam-based online radio station.

Philou Louzolo is a DJ and producer based in Amsterdam.

Sammy Baloji is a photographer living in Brussels and Lubumbashi.

Vo Trong Nghia is an architect and Prince Claus Fund laureate of 2016.

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PASS LANDING AT FREEDOM PARK, LAGOS

From 23 – 26 June 2016, PASS descended on Freedom Park in Lagos, as part of Goethe Institute’s Lagos_Live 2016 festival. The PASS Lagos sessions brought together a broad spectrum of artists, performers, writers and musicians, whose practices draw from a variety of contexts, to participate through conversations, performances and happenings that provoke us to rethink about our histories and to speculate on our futures through artistic and cultural practice.

The PASS Lagos sessions were part of Chimurenga’s ongoing exploration into the festival as political act – from the “festival decade” of 1966-77 when pan African festivals in Dakar, Algiers, Lagos and Kinshasa functioned as laboratories for the development of new, continent-wide politics and cultures, and presented a shared vision of an Africa yet to come.

The PASS Lagos sessions were programmed by Chimurenga, in collaboration with Dagga Tolar with Ajengule House of PoetrySalam Salam Agidigbe Band, Ade Bantu, Jahman Anikulapo with Benson Idonije, Molara Wood, Temitope Kogbe, Cosmic Yoruba with Dammy Busari and Ashiwel, Tamerri Collective, Ameru JahFlame, Tam Fiofori with Funsho Ogundipe and Ayetoro, Ore Disu with Olamide Udo-Udoma, Deji Toye with Segun Adefila and Wole Oguntokfun, Akintayo Abodunrin, Qudus Onikeku with Tunde Jegede and Efe PaulOris Aigbokhaevbolo and Dami Ajayi, Jumoke Verrisimo with Awoko, and many, many more.

To listen to recordings from PASS Lagos, visit our Mixcloud.

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PASS LANDING AT KALLIO LIBRARY, HELSINKI

Can a past that the present has not yet caught up with be summoned to haunt the present as an alternative?

In April and May 2016, Chimurenga’s installation Chimurenga Library and pop-up radio station Pan African Space Station infiltrated the Kallio Library in Helsinki.

The intervention was a continuation of Chimurenga’s ongoing exploration into the utopian moment shortly after African independences, when a series of Pan African festivals staged in Dakar, Algiers, Lagos and Kinshasa functioned as laboratories for the development of new, continent-wide politics and cultures. FESTAC 77 (Lagos 1977) and its predecessors, The First World Festival of Negro Arts (Dakar 1966), the First Pan-African Festival (Algiers 1969) and Zaire 74 (Kinshasa 1974) presented a shared vision of an Africa yet to come.

This Africa was as much a geographic reality as it was a construct, a continent whose boundaries shift according to the prevailing configurations of global racial identities and power. Building on their previous research platforms staged in Cape Town, Lagos, San Francisco, Sharjah, Paris, London and New York (among others), Chimurenga will remap these Pan-Africanist imaginations and cultural visions in Helsinki. What is important here is not the reiteration of the actual past, but the persistence of what never actually happened, but might have.

The project was part of the Remembering Silences season curated by Ahmed Al-Nawas.

To listen to recordings from PASS in Helsinki, visit our Mixcloud.

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PASS LANDING AT PERFORMA 15 HUB, NEW YORK

From 11 to 15 November 2015, the Chimurenga Library hosted PASS with a live broadcasting programme of music, interviews, and events with Chimurenga collaborators in New York, including musicians, journalists, writers, curators, and filmmakers. The live broadcast studio functioned amidst an installation that brought together pop-up stores that experiment with trade, informal economies, aesthetics and body language, music and spoken word, mobility and infrastructure.

Working with collaborators such as Brooklyn-based African Record Centre and Yoruba Book Center (established 1971); artist and educator Nontsikelelo Mutiti, setup an African hair braiding salon;  and poet, choreographer, and Afrosonics archivist Harmony Holiday, ideas, thinking, and debate moved fluidly between events, transactions, broadcasts, conversations, music and records, publications, archive material, services, and objects.

Participants in the PASS program included: South African composer Neo MuyangaAfrica is a CountryHisham Aidi, the author of Rebel Music: Race, Empire and the New Muslim Youth Culture; Moroccan poet Omar Berrada; Cuban-American artist and writer Coco Fusco; curator and choreographer Rashida Bumbray (in conversation with African Arts Festival in Brooklyn); poet, fiction writer, and playwright Rashidah Ismaili AbuBakr; Somali novelist Abdi Latif Ega; journalist and broadcaster Giovanni Russonello; and photographer Marilyn Nance.

To listen to recordings from PASS New York, visit our Mixcloud.

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PASS LANDING AT THE SHOWROOM, LONDON

In the first week of October 2015, PASS presented a live broadcasting programme of music, interviews and events with Chimurenga collaborators in London including musicians, journalists, writers, curators and filmmakers.

Participants included Chimurenga (Ntone Edjabe, Graeme Arendse and Ben Verghese), The Otolith Collective (Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar), Sorryyoufeeluncomfortable(Mahamed Abdullahi, Nadeem Din-Gabisi, Deborah Findlater, Laurél Hadleigh, Jacob V Joyce, Rabz Lansiquot, Nyasha Mangera-Lakew, Anni Movsisyan, Yusuf Musse, Salina Popova and Imani Robinson) and Pass Me the Microphone (Amanprit Sandhu and Hansi Momodu-Gordon), accompanied by guest presenters and interviewees.

To listen to recordings from PASS London, visit our Mixcloud

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PASS LANDING AT FOUNDATION CARTIER, PARIS

From 17 – 19 September 2015 , the Pan African Space Station (PASS) installed our pop-up inside the gallery of Fondation Cartier, Paris with live programming that explored the past-present-future of Congolese music cultures. This intervention featured as part of the exhibition Beauté Congo – 1926-2015 – Congo Kitoko.

Contributions by Bintou Simporé (Nova), Ray LemaAfrikadaa MagazineHelmie Bellini trio (feat. Hilaire Penda), Andy Amadi Okoroafor (Clam Mag), DJ Mo LaudiDinozord and David Bovée of Schengen SheguePitchoJolie NgemiBoddhi Satva and more artists in studio.

Duetting in their unique ways, Baloji teamed up with legendary guitar player Dizzy Mandjeku for a performance-lecture, the Kongo Astronauts with Méga MingiediChristine Eyene extended encounters to examine bikutsi music with filmmaker Blaise Ndjehoya, and talks on Congolese cinema by Jean-Pierre Bekelo and Mweze Ngangura.

Additionally, Binetou Sylla of Syllart Records provided a regular feature facilitating conversations with and performances by Alain MabanckouNybomaFabregas Métis Noir, Dally KimokoLokassa Ya MbongoYondo SisterKékélé and Bumba Massa.

Contributions beamed in from New York, Montreal and Kinshasa to present the writers collective Moziki littéraire, from the Centre d’Art Picha in Lubumbashi, and from Bogota by Afro-Columbian music pioneers Palenque Records.

This edition of the Pan African Space Station POP-UP studio in Paris has been developed in collaboration with the Fondation Cartier for the Exhibition “Beauté Congo, 1926-2015, Congo Kitoko”

To listen to recordings from PASS Paris, visit our Mixcloud.

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Imagi-nation nwar – a PASS session in Paris

From 5-9 May 2021, Chimurenga’s Pan African Space Station (PASS) will land at Lavoir Moderne Parisien in Goutte d’or, Paris, to imagine, re-examine and re-circulate sonic archives of black radicalism in the francophone world.

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