PASS Pop-up

FESTAC 77: PASS landing in New York City

From 23-25 October 2019, Chimurenga’s Pan African Space Station (PASS) at Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, New York City, explored three narratives related to the participation of African American artists and intellectuals at FESTAC ’77, the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, held in Lagos in 1977.

Wed 23 October 2019, 4pm – 7pm: Sun Ra Arkestra and the jazz avant-garde at FESTAC

As revealed in Chimurenga’s recent publication which compiles stories from/about FESTAC, Sun Ra’s Astro/Afro-mysticism was initially rejected by an important section among FESTAC participants – including some members of the US contingent. In collaboration with trumpet and composer Ahmed Abdullah, and trombonist and composer Craig Harris, both Arkestra members who formed part of Sun Ra’s group at FESTAC, we listened to the Sun Ra Arkestra performances (and other free jazz musicians such as Milford Graves) in Lagos. The musicians were joined by photographer Calvin Reid (who documented the Sun Ra Lagos sessions).

Thurs 24 October 2019, 4pm – 6pm: Black Women Collectives at FESTAC

Stories of the Black Arts Movement are often dominated by iconic black male poets. However Black Women Collectives were represented at FESTAC via their members:  Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Louise Meriwether, from the writers group The Sisterhood; and Charlotte Ka Richardson, Faith Ringgold, Valerie Maynard and many more from the visual arts group Where We At.

In her reflection on black women’s collectives and FESTAC, poet, choreographer and myth-scientist Harmony Holiday asks:  Can we override those epigenetic tendencies rooted in generational trauma, by simply gathering and sharing ideas on our own terms, or is it too late for that pure and reckless kind of love, that troubled and troubadour Black love?… Can a festival turn into eternal solidarity?

Harmony shared her piece in the PASS studio in the company of Charlotte Ka, Valerie Maynard and Marilyn Nance.

Friday 25 October 2019, 3pm – 5pm: Black photography and the visual memory of FESTAC

FESTAC was mainly ignored by the US mainstream media – reporting and analysis from media outlets such as New York Times and Washington Post, among others, focused more on lamenting the absence of whites and poor organization of the event than covering the month-long programme featuring original productions by some 30,000 artists from all over the Black world. A visual memory of FESTAC exists primarily through the perseverance of independent photographers such as Marilyn Nance, Calvin Reid, Kofi Moyo, Bob Crawford, among others, as well as the coverage produced by black media outlets such as Ebony.

Nance, Reid and other black photographers who documented FESTAC joined us in the PASS studio.

(Photograph: Calvin Reid, Sun Ra at FESTAC. Lagos, Nigeria, 1977)

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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 …  ( continue reading

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PASS landing at MUMA, Melbourne

From 11-13 April 2019, the Pan African Space Station landed in the stolen and occupied land of the Boonwurrung (of the Kulin nation), in what is known today as Australia. Invited by Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) as part of an exhibition entitled Shapes of Knowledge, PASS explored “Black Australia” historical and current connections to pan Africanism and their participation in FESTAC ’77 – the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture which took place in Lagos in …  ( continue reading

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PASS landing at La Colonie, Paris

  Chimurenga returned to Paris for a 5-day intervention and installation at La Colonie. From December 13 – 17, 2017, we installed a live radio station and a research library, and hosted talks, screenings and performances that asked ‘Who Killed Kabila?’, as the starting point for an in-depth investigation into power, territory and the creative imagination. The equation was simple: the length of a Congolese president’s reign is proportional to his/her willingness to honour the principle that the resources of …  ( continue reading

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PASS landing at National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare

From 9 – 12 November, the Pan African Space Station (PASS) landed in The National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) in the centre of Harare. In collaboration with visual artist Kudzanai Chiurai, who launched his first ever solo exhibition in his home country titled ‘We Need New Names’, Chimurenga installed the PASS studio as a public research platform towards a Zimbabwe focused issue of the Chimurenga Chronic. Looking into the inventions of Zimbabwe, the programming examined music as the paradigm through which the …  ( continue reading

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PASS landing at Museo Tamayo, Mexico City

From 4 October – 26 November 2017, the Pan African Space Station (PASS)  broadcast LIVE from Museo Tamayo, Mexico City. For 8 weeks, the PASS studio functioned as “ecole du soir” (evening school) – a meeting place, a classroom, and laboratory where different worlds converged. The radio programming explored the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana, contemporary South Atlantic exchanges and Afro-Mexican cultures – a public research platform toward a forthcoming edition of the Chimurenga Chronic on these themes. It also served as a …  ( continue reading

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PASS landing at CiC Library, Cairo

From 17 -19 February 2017, the Pan African Space Station landed in the library of Contemporary Image Collective (CiC) in downtown Cairo. PASS in Cairo featured live readings, performances and conversations with Chimurenga’s collaborators in the city, including Hassan Khan, Amanda KM, Mohamed Abdelkarim, Amado Alfadni, Adham Hafez, Shatha Al Deghady, Magdy El Shafee, Amira Hanafi and more. Recorded sessions from the landing are available for replay via PASS on Mixcloud.  ( continue reading

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PASS landing at OBA Central Library, Amsterdam

From 11 -15 December 2016, the Pan African Space Station (PASS) landed in Amsterdam, transmitting live from the OBA Central Library.  The PASS live studio featured a 5-day programme as an experiment in speaking, listening, playing, partying and community; as a performance and exhibition space; a research platform and living archive. Programmed and performed by Chimurenga, PASS in Amsterdam featured collaborations with artists, filmmakers, writers, musicians and rebels whose practices draw from and respond to a variety of contexts; to prompt …  ( continue reading

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PASS landing at Freedom Park, Lagos

From 23 – 26 June 2016, PASS descended on Freedom Park in Lagos, as part of Goethe Institute’s Lagos_Live 2016 festival. The PASS Lagos sessions brought together a broad spectrum of artists, performers, writers and musicians, whose practices draw from a variety of contexts, to participate through conversations, performances and happenings that provoke us to rethink about our histories and to speculate on our futures through artistic and cultural practice.  ( continue reading

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PASS landing at Kallio Library, Helsinki

  Can a past that the present has not yet caught up with be summoned to haunt the present as an alternative? In April and May 2016, Chimurenga’s installation Chimurenga Library and pop-up radio station Pan African Space Station infiltrated the Kallio Library in Helsinki. The intervention was a continuation of Chimurenga’s ongoing exploration into the utopian moment shortly after African independences, when a series of Pan African festivals staged in Dakar, Algiers, Lagos and Kinshasa functioned as laboratories for the development of new, …  ( continue reading

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