Pass Blog

The PASS Blog is a timeline, a history and an archive of all activity on the Pan African Space Station. Here you can scroll back in time to see information on past events, collaborators biographies, PASS features and more.

FESTAC ’77 Celebration in New York City (23 – 25 October 2019)

From 23 – 25 October 2019, Chimurenga will install its Pan African Space Station (PASS) at The New School’s Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, New York City. 

The three-day broadcast, which will run from 3pm – 7pm (EDT) daily, will explore the participation of African American artists, activists and intellectuals in the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, FESTAC ’77, held in Lagos, Nigeria, in January-February 1977. The nearly 700-strong US delegation at FESTAC ’77 was “the largest single group of African Americans ever to return to Africa in one body” (Ebony Magazine), and featured luminaries such Sun Ra, Stevie Wonder, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, Jayne Cortez, Barkley Hendricks, Betye Saar, Louis Farrakhan, Faith Ringgold and many, many more. The poet Kalamu ya Salaam described the event as “the culmination of the Black Art Movement oriented artistic conferences, festivals, and gatherings”.   

The PASS landing at The New School will close on 25 October with a rare performance of composer and trombonist Craig Harris’ jazz suite titled FESTAC ’77 at the John L. Tishman Auditorium. Harris travelled to Lagos as a member of Sun Ra’s Arkestra, and this composition responds to that soul-stirring experience. The concert is free and open to the public, however seating is limited. To book please go to: http://bit.ly/FESTAC77

This event will also include a presentation of Chimurenga’s new book on FESTAC ’77, 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.

(Photograph: Calvin Reid, African-American delegation at FESTAC. Lagos, Nigeria, 1977)

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FESTAC ’77: PASS Playlist

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 …  ( continue reading

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Matt Temple of Matsuli Music – 1 Oct 2019

From 6pm (SA time) today, we are joined by special guest Matt Temple, label founder at Matsuli Music, who will be playing a selection of sounds live on PASS. Tune in right here to listen.    ( continue reading

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Dubship I – Black Starliner | dub lecture w/ Ralph Borland | Fri 13 September

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 …  ( continue reading

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Tribute to the Ras G & The Afrikan Space Program – Wed 7 August

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 …  ( continue reading

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A Night at the SpaceBase with Ras G by Atiyyah Khan

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 …  ( continue reading

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Stories About Music in Africa: Dumama & Kechou with Madala ‘Bafo’ Kunene and Madosini

“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 …  ( continue reading

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INDESTRUCTIBLE BEATS – Ra Mava & Ben V – Friday 26 July

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.  ( continue reading

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FUTURIST – Tribute to Joao Gilberto and the Universal Soul of Brazil – 23 July

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)  ( continue reading

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Listen to the launch of “Sankomota: An Ode in One Album”, LIVE at Chimurenga Factory, Cape Town

“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 …  ( continue reading

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