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.
Recorded sessions from the landing are available for replay via PASS on Mixcloud.
Day 5 of Imagi-nation Nwar, a live broadcast from Lavoir Moderne Parisien, Goutte d’or, Paris 2:30pm – The premiere of The Africans – Act 2, a radio play by Christian Nyampeta 4pm – listening through the record collection of Sarah Maldoror with Pascale Obolo, Anna Tje and Annouchka de Andrade 6pm – a live performance by Cheikh Tidiane Fall and Tommie McKenzie
Day 4 of Imagi-nation Nwar, a live broadcast from Lavoir Moderne Parisien, Goutte d’or, Paris 2pm – Screening of Les Saints Et Les Anges and Zatrap/Le piege (Elsie Haas) 3pm – In conversation with Elsie Haas 4pm – Music as a site of memorialising – a sonic lecture with Franck Biyong 5:30pm – The premiere of The Africans – Act 2, a radio play by Christain Nyampeta 7pm – live showcase of Gwo Ka featuring Henri Poitou dit Toutoul, Rony …
Day 3 of Imagi-nation Nwar, a live broadcast from Lavoir Moderne Parisien, Goutte d’or, Paris 2pm – Screening of Solitaire a micro ouvert and La vieille quiloboise et le majordome (Julius Amedee Laou) 3pm – Brice Ahouno expands the soundtrack beyond the screen, with Wasis Diop and Roger Raspail 5:30pm – Digging into the FRench reggae scene with Maboula Soumahoro
Day 2 of Imagi-nation Nwar, a live broadcast from Lavoir Moderne Parisien, Goutte d’or, Paris 2pm – Screening of La noiraude 2:30pm – Zouk as aesthetics of black transnationalism, with Marie Julie Chalu and guests 4pm – Hamedine Kane digs deeper into the sonic archives of black radicalism in Paris 5pm – Live cross-over to the markets of Lomé with Elom 20ce
Day 1 of Imagi-nation Nwar, a live broadcast from Lavoir Moderne Parisien, Goutte d’or, Paris 2pm – Entering the sonic archives of black radicalism in the francophone world 4pm – The Paris-based afro/astrosonic network with Blaise N’Djehoya, DY Ngoy, Yebga Likoba and Cheikh Tidiane Fall
imagi-nation nwar – a PASS broadcast from Paris, 5-9 May 2021 Lavoir Moderne Parisien (35 rue Leon, Goutte d’or) From 2pm daily. Listen at panafricanspacestation.org.za Presented by Chimurenga with: Blaise N’Djehoya; Marie-Julie Chalu; DY Ngoy; Yebga Likoba; Cheikh Tidiane Fall; Fabienne et Véronique Kanor; Hamedine Kane; Elom 20ce; Brice Ahounou; Wasis Diop; Roger Raspail; Pascale Obolo; Julius-Amedee Laou; Jean-Jacques Dufayet; Maboula Soumahoro; Elsie Haas; Amandine Nana; Franck Biyong; Hemle Boum; Christian Nyampeta; Christelle Oyiri; Célia Potiron; Anna Tje; Annouchka de …