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