Global Responses to the DURBAN SINGS project
Dr. OlaTunde Adegbola; at the Pan-African Wolpe Lecture, 16 July 2009 (transcript from audio)
DURBAN SINGS audience at Pan-african Wolpe Lecture
“I have learnt a lot from the organisers of this programme. You can see that the people behind DURBAN SINGS are not daunted by anything that could be called impediments. They just go ahead and do what they want to do. We have a saying in my culture – we say: the thing is running on blood – you are running the programme on your blood. That is because all the resources that could have come in to make it easy are not there. But as long as you still have your breath you continue to invest everything you have into it. So that is the first point that I am advising our youth today. The attitude that our youth will have is the attitude of not allowing anything to stop them; because some of the impediments are deliberate. There are deliberate impediments, there are power structures, there are interest structures that know they can use those impediments to cut you. (…) THE STRUGGLE IS NOT OVER.”
Gisbert Sander, Westfaelischer Anzeiger, GERMANY (23 Jan. 2010) on DURBAN SINGS; (download article (german)
DURBAN SINGS editorial collectives present their work at the Centre for Critical Research on Race & Identity UKZN
"active" listeners of DURBAN SINGS the singer Rene Tshiakanyi & the late Siyanda Ndlovu project director of Fast Forward at CCRRI
„’Oral history’ – erzählte Geschichte – wird hier ganz bewusst für ein globales Publikum mit durchaus künstlerischen, auf jeden Fall kreativen Ansätzen aufbereitet. (…) Das ist ‘Bürgerfunk’ der anderen Art: eine neue Kunstform fürs Internet ebenso wie Journalismus ‘von unten’, der zudem das Selbstwertgefühl der Teilnehmer steigert.”
translation: Artistic, or certainly creative means are here consciously employed to make oral history accessible for a global audience. (…) This is community media of a different kind; a new artistic genre for the world-wide-web as much as a ‘grass-roots’ journalism, which also comes with the additional benefit of strengthening the self-confidence of the participants.
Betsie Greyling, ULWAZI Indigenous Knowledge, project leader, Durban, SOUTH AFRICA eThekwini Libraries and Museums are doing a programme of Durban Local Indigenous Knowledge, including oral histories, and posting material to the websitehttp://www.ulwazi.org. We are interested to meet with you and discuss possible co-operation and sharing of expertise and resources.
the Ulwazi team at DURBAN SINGS pan-african Wolpe lecture event
Bill Ryley, artist & currently volunteer conservation officer in Devon UK; setting up an audio media project for environmental community activists commenting on DURBAN SINGS pre-release CD compilation: Trying to generate a response I began to realise what an incredible adventure you’ve embarked on. I have been particularly interested in the subtle way in which political issues have arisen and been addressed throughout the project. The compilation makes sense of the sprawling nature of Durban Sings which feels much more coherent to listen to, an excellent conclusion.
Jesse Ricke, media student NY; from correspondence via blog and e-mail: Hello, My name is Jesse. I’m a student at New School in NY for media studies with a focus on cultural activism. I came across the Durban Sings project during my research and would like to know more about it. I understand there’s an open request for remixes of the collected audio archive, a collaborative idea that very much intrigues me. (…) This kind of work is close to my heart and I very much want to see where this goes. Have you made any contact with the youth slam poetry movement in the US? There seems to be a great affinity. I’m currently interning with Groundswell, a cultural activist collective. (…) and I will certainly do a remix of something from your archive. I may also be able to involve other artists in remixes. Are there other collaborative/filed recording/community projects like this?
Collette Broeders, inter-cultural communication student University of Windsor, CA “We respond to the Durban Sings Project recordings from South Africa with interviews and sounds of factory work. It represents a reflection of the current economic environment of Windsor, known as both a manufacturing and transportation hub of Canada. After listening to Beverly Websterâs recording from Durban offering a descriptive glimpse into the Durban environment, a sense of fragility could be observed. Durban has in common with Windsor that we are both major transportation hubs. The idea of fragility and an environment in economic downturn in a deeply embedded manufacturing sector creates a response to juxtapose these two communities with one another. Further, the idea of engaging in intercultural dialogue and offering an understanding of community and environment in separate parts of the world is an integral part of this response. Of great significance is the notion of employing sound as a form of a presence (for which, there is not a physical presence) to actively engage an audience”.
Ra Malahlela, SOUTH AFRICA; Keleketla Library inner city of Johannesburg i wanna meet these people! much respect to all the DURBAN SINGS masses! keleketla!library and FRONTLINE appreciates your work and we looking forward to Skyping on the 18th!!
Nomonde Hamilton, SOUTH AFRICA I personally want to say that what you are doing is rely a good thing for the community in order for people to gain awareness. This is what we need in this country, since we are a developing one.
Madoda Mkhobeni Documentary Photographer, SOUTH AFRICA; participant in DS audio media & oral history workshop at Market-Photo-Workshop, Jozi The movement will always be a movement even if people are ignorant, what ever message you send out irrespective whether the govenment does not want it or it does not speak about the new South Africa. It only speak out the independent mind of the situation that is happening out there, its ok. These broadcasting stations that we have they only speak about their friends, who they are, where are they attending the parties. Forgetting one thing that the are sitting on those chairs because of the people and they must speak about the lives of the people. They do not know radio journalism and representing the people of everyday life. They are just ”Western Photocopy Radio Deejays” the is still more that they must learn about themselves. Rasa must only take over the platform that is runned by radio puppets.
Verusca Calabria, oral historian, London; from e-mail correspondence: I had a look at the website you sent me, it is so very interesting I almost feel like going abroad and setting projects up like that myself, very inspiring. I have just had a new website designed and have launched courses on recording life stories. If you have time look at the site content and let me have some comments, I would very much appreciate this: www.veruscacalabria.co.uk. (…)
Dr. Garth Rennie, cjam99.1fm “Soundscape-Rhythms” & Department of Communication<Media>Film, University of Windsor CA; from e-mail correspondence: As with NoGoZones voices I feel like the people in Durban are becoming a regular part of my life, and hopefully listeners. For instance ” I want to become a psychology doctor…” I love when I hear this voice, this person…….
from archive.org reviews:
“rough not beauty
human voices speaking proud
a living archive for all to hear
sustenance from Azania”
Subject: http://www.archive.org/details/DurbanSings (recordings with Congolese Refuges in Albert Park) Reviewer: Sirpa Jokinem, audio artist and writer, Finland “Pleasure listening to these stories, although they are grave, they are worth their time. Songs spring out of these people. We cannot do it anymore here.
They don’t have to practice, they can do it naturally. This reminds me of an incident that just happened to me. I walked into a gallery in Helsinki the other day. There was an exhibition of a man I used to know long time ago, his paintings. There was showing a video of a field of flowers in a wind, there were some kind of music. My old friend was in the back of the gallery, he came to me and said that this now here is his reply. -to what? I asked. Twenty years ago I had sung him a song and this was the reply to my song.”