Gwen Ansell

LIBERATION RADIO: CAPE TOWN – 16 March 2022 – 3pm: Liberation Movement as Cultural Producers

Today’s session explores the legacies of PAC’s Mafube Arts Commune and band; ANC’s Amandla Cultural Ensemble and MEDU Art Ensemble, as well as outfits such as Malopoets and Dashiki, which were associated with BCM. With historians of these projects such as Gwen Ansell, Percy Mabandu, Ali Hlongwane and Steve Dyer.


Percy Mabandu is an artist and writer interested in poetics and portraiture, monuments, and symbolic meaning. He is the author of the book, Yakhal’inkomo – Portrait of a Jazz Classic, a monograph that studies the history and impact of the landmark South African jazz album.

Gwen Ansell is a freelance writer, writing teacher, media consultant and creative industries researcher. She is the author of ‘Soweto Blues: Jazz, Politics and Popular Music in South Africa’.

Ali Hlongwane is a cultural worker and activist who has authored two biographies of PAC figures, namely The Lion of Azania: a biography and We Are Going Home Armed or Unarmed: A Biography of John Nyati Pokela (1921 – 1985).

Steve Dyer is an internationally renowned saxophonist and flautist. As cultural activist he was a member of Medu Art Ensemble, Shakawe and briefly toured with Amandla Cultural Ensemble.

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LIBERATION RADIO: CAPE TOWN – 15th-18th March 2022, 3-6pm

Liberation Radio is a new monthly program on the Pan African Space Station (PASS). It is part of Chimurenga’s ongoing query on knowledge production via African sound worlds. Through this program we explore the possibilities of radio as a research platform and the sonic archives of cultural struggles, and the role of city-studios such as Cairo, Accra, Conakry, Algiers, Dar es Salaam, Lusaka and more, as revolutionary capitals which hosted and disseminated liberatory work through their national infrastructure. This edition, …  ( continue reading

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Reading Fred Ho: A Jazz Suite in the Key of Red

  Gwen Ansell and Salim Washington celebrate the revolutionary life, language and hard-ass leadership of an unconventional saxophonist, composer and generous collaborator. Reading The Text  Gwen Ansell Prelude: Home is where the violence is ‘Everything I create starts with the music… [and music]… like any conscious human activity, can be a force to change humanity, society and the world.’ Baritone saxophonist, composer, martial artist and revolutionary polymath Fred Ho (Fred Wei-han Houn) was born in Palo Alto, California in 1957 and …  ( continue reading

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Chimurenga Sessions: Cape Town Library

Chimurenga Sessions CT Central Library May/ June, 2009 Louis Moholo & Neo Muyanga (in conversation) : 46m 56s (42.9MB) George Hallet on designing covers for Heinemann’s African Writers Series : 43m 15s(39.6MB) Gwen Ansell on “More than a symbol: jazz enacting rebellion in South African writing” : 29m 53s (27.3MB) Shelley Barry on programming Cape Town TV : 34m 59s (32MB) M. Neelika Jayawardane on sex and desire in JM Coetzee’s fiction : 34m 14s (31.3MB) S’bu “General” Nxumalo on …  ( continue reading

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