The International Exhibition of Black MusicDreamcatcher
An outstanding exploration of the sounds and rhythms of Africa and the Diaspora.
Bob Marley – Celia Cruz – Fela Kuti – Nina Simone - Miles Davis – Jay-Z – Miriam Makeba – John Coltrane – Public Enemy – Ali Farka Touré – Etta James - Gilberto Gil – Mahalia Jackson – Nas - Billie Holiday…. Each one a giant, an icon who represents sheer excellence in musical expression, creators of music that lasts a lifetime.
It is these artists, and many, many more, who will be celebrated at the International Exhibition of Black Music, a groundbreaking digital experience that pays homage to artists and music of Africa and the African diaspora. Musicians across the ages from the Caribbean, the America’s, and the African continent will form part of the exhibition, set to be held in Museum Africa, Newtown – Jo’burg, over a 4 month period. Brought to South Africa as part of the French Season in South Africa 2012, it is the first tribute to black artists of its kind. The exhibition uses state-of-the-art technology, with over 100 interactive audio-visual setups transmitting the sights, sounds and rhythms of artists from all over the world.
“Thus far, the exhibition has toured four countries around the world – it’s come to South Africa via Reunion as part of the French Season in South Africa 2012,” explains Kevin Stuart of Breakout Management, the exhibition producers “It’s an incredible audio-visual tribute to black musical culture the world over, and most possibly, one of the most comprehensive experiences of its kind. Regardless of what your musical taste is, it is DEFINITELY represented here – reggae, funk, electronica, hip-hop, blues, mambo, high-life, gospel, salsa, dub-step, rock ‘n roll, jazz, and much, much more – it’s literally all here.”
The exhibition, comprises of a mind-blowing 13 hours’ worth of footage; each tour lasts an hour, and has to be repeated to experience it in its fullness. It’s defined by six themes, namely – Legends, Mama Africa, The Birth of Black Atlantic, Sacred Rites and Rhythms, The Black Americas and Global Mix, which serve to narrate the story of black music through the ages and across the diaspora.
- THE LEGENDS OF BLACK MUSIC – a showcasing of musical icons across the world, of diverse genres that have made a lasting impact on the music history. Footage of each artist is presented in a cylindrical column
- MAMA AFRICA – 5 screens symbolizing the various African regions - West, South North, East and Central. The screens display short films showcasing the music of these regions, narrating the roots of the various genres, as well as the traditions behind the artistry.
- THE BIRTH OF A BLACK ATLANTIC– constructed within a haunting corridor, this theme speaks of the slave trade and passage of human traffic from Africa to the America’s and the Caribbean. It represents music of the diaspora, forged by the Africans who survived the middle passage, music that survived over 400 years of slavery
- SACRED RITES AND RHYTHMS– a tribute to African mysticism and spirituality, as expressed in a wide range of spiritual music, from gospel to Haitian voodoo and Afro-Braziilian candomble, as practiced in the Americas, Caribbean and the African continent.
- THE BLACK AMERICAS– traditional and contemporary musical culture represented in North and South America – demonstrating the evolution of traditional musical genres into new genres such as bossa nova, jazz, blues, reggae etc.
- GLOBAL MIX – the music of ‘now’ - modern, eclectic musical genres that incorporate new sounds, amongst them electronica, ragga, slam, dubstep.
On arrival, each visitor is assigned an android-operated Samsung smartphone and Hi Fi headphones. As they walk through the exhibition, the visitor ‘plugs in’ to the musical interactive interface of the exhibition. As they proceed in the exhibition, plugging into different interfaces, the visitor builds up a playlist that can be subsequently emailed back to them, and re-experienced on the Internet.
The exhibition is presented by the Reunion Island Region and co-financed by the European Union as part of the French Season in South Africa 2012 as a regional collaboration project between Reunion Island and South Africa. Before its installation in Johannesburg, the Exhibition spent 6 months in the Indian Ocean island of Reunion and has been the Highlight of the International Black world festival in Dakar, Senegal. The Exhibition is initiated and curated by France-based world music specialist production house Mondomix, who amongst their projects, host the leading global music website mondomix.com and produces a free music magazine in France.
The South African edition of the exhibition is being produced by Breakout Management, African music and event management specialists.
A conference and two training sessions are scheduled to take place during the exhibition. The “Music & Pictures, New Rules, New Markets” conference will take place on the 4th September 2012 in the Museum Africa Auditorium to an audience of music and audio-visual professionals, media, artists and students.
From the 5th to the 10th September, the “Filming Music” and “Using Digital Arts Technology in Culture: A New Dimension for Experiencing Music and Intangible Arts” workshops will take place at the French Institute in Johannesburg and Museum Africa, respectively.
Note to editors:
- The event is organized as part of the France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013.
- The International Exhibition of Black Music is the first international multimedia exhibition dedicated to Black Music
- The Exhibition is being held in Newtown, Johannesburg from 31 August – 12 December, 2012 at Museum Africa
- The Exhibition is sponsored by the European Union, and held in partnership with Kaya FM
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The International Exhibition of Black Music
Museum Africa, Newtown Johannesburg Gauteng South Africa