Speaking to Chimurenga’s ongoing research into the legacy of the seminal Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC ’77) held in Lagos, Nigeria in 1977, this playlist pays tribute to artists and thinkers who participated in the festival and ensuing conversations.
Through our own research into the sonic archives from and around the event, as well as curated conversations and reflections with collaborators across the world through our itinerant radio project, this playlist is an audio supplement to our new book on FESTAC 77, which is the first publication to consider the festival in all its cultural-historic complexity.
FESTAC 77 Mixtape
Featuring Randy Weston, Mandla Langa, Carlos Moore, The Blue Notes, Keorapetse Kgositsile, Michael McMillan, Miriam Makeba, Gilberto Gil, Tabu Ley Rochereau, Ray Lema and of course, Fela Kuti (voiced by Kolade Arogundade), who organised a counter-FESTAC during the official event in 1977.
Listening to FESTAC 77 with Ntone Edjabe and Kodwo Eshun
Chimurenga editor-in-chief Ntone Edjabe and Kodwo Eshun of The Otolith Group in the Chimurenga Library, set up at the Showroom in London in October 2015, listen close to records from or recorded for FESTAC ’77.
A Diary of FESTAC ’77 with Michael McMillan
As a 15-year old Michael McMillan wrote an essay that led to him being chosen as one of the “Black Britain” delegates at FESTAC ’77. Time travellin’ via the Pan African Space Station (PASS) the Showroom in London in October 2015, Michael McMillan delved into his personal arkive to recall the life-changing experiences.
Tam Fiofiri, Funsho Ogundipe and Ayeola in Conversation – LIVE at Freedom Park, Lagos
“It is said that Sun Ra introduced the Moog synthesizer to the jazz world. The man who introduced Sun Ra to the Moog is Tam Fiofori.” – Ntone Edjabe
Tam Fiofori is one of Nigeria’s most accomplished photographers who has chronicled Nigeria’s history in albums of photographs over decades. He is a filmmaker and media consultant with documentaries like ‘Odum’ and ‘Water Masquerades 1974’ that were screened at FESTAC ’77. He was also Sun Ra’s manager. Recorded live at Freedom Park, Lagos in 2016.
Finding Fela Tagores
Ntone Edjabe exploring the roots of Afrobeat, Cape Town in 2012.
No PASS but 9 Passports
“West Wind is the wind that came from Ghana in 1957… Ghana is our West, you know? Freed our people, now it must unite us.”
Miriam ‘Mazi’ Makeba performing live at FESTAC 77, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, Feb 11 1977.
A mix by Ntone Edjabe, on learning of Miriam Makeba’s passing, November 9, 2008
Reviving the Blue Notes
Today from 5.30pm tune in PASS for a special ‘Friday 13th Hauntological Version’ of artist Ralph Borland’s dub lecture on ‘Dubship I – Black Starliner’ (2019), a large-scale collaborative electro-mechanical musical sculpture that plays on the history of the Black Star Line shipping company, launched 100 years ago by the political activist Marcus Garvey. This live broadcast will take in dub music’s memorialisation of Marcus Garvey, and its engagement with space travel, science fiction and technology. Focusing on …
Wednesday 7 August 2019 from 6pm (SA time), we pay tribute to the Los Angeles beatmaker Ras G (and his Afrikan Space Program) Featuring sounds from Future Nostalgia (Atiyyah Khan and Grant Jurius), Michael Bhatch and Brendan Newman. Back in 2009, Pan African Space Station invited Ras G to perform at All Nations, Salt River in Cape Town. We have since then lost the recording from this event and are still in search of it. For now, this encounter only lives in …
Written by Atiyyah Khan on Wednesday 29 September 2010, almost one year after Ras G’s performance on the Pan African Space Station in Cape Town. Images by Atiyyah Khan. OH RAS! So after two months of being here, I finally make concrete plans with Ras G. Turns out he is terrible at making plans. I’m meant to see him during the day, but it doesn’t work out. So at night I try again, and we agree that I go visit …
“For his appearance at PASS in Cape Town, Bafo launched a concept titled “Sounds in the Darkness of Light”, a solo performance in complete darkness. This places the audience in a realm of darkness where only sounds illustrate the images of one’s immediate surroundings.” – about Madala ‘Bafo’ Kunene‘s performance on PASS in 2008 at Slave Church, Cape Town. History seemed to repeat itself on a warm night in March 2019. Recorded in the darkness and unpredictability of load shedding, ‘nomadic …
DJs Ra Mava and Ben V of Indestructible Beats are live on PASS this evening. Tune in right here from 6pm (SA time) Also, if in Cape Town, make sure to catch their event tomorrow afternoon. More info here.
Join us via the spaceways for a tribute to Brazil and the late Joao Gilberto from Grant Jurius AKA Futurist (one part of Future Nostalgia) from 4pm today. Tune in here to listen (Artwork by Grant Jurius)
“Perhaps outside of Fela’s Egypt 80, very few music bands have managed to influence their countries in the manner and to the extent that Sankomota did. Their emergence, explosive musical repertoire and long-lasting musical effect could neither be predicted nor expected. The effect of their music on the conscience of mortals and politicians alike, can still be felt even today.” On 31 May, we hosted the launch of Phehello Mofokeng‘s reflective essay on Lesotho’s greatest band, Sankomota. “An Ode in One …