Drawing together myriad voices from across Africa and the diaspora, Chimurenga takes many forms operating as platform for free ideas and political reflection about Africa by Africans – its motto draws from Felasophy: who no know go know. Outputs include a journal of culture, art and politics of the same name, a quarterly broadsheet called The Chronic, The Chimurenga Library – an online resource of collected independent pan-African periodicals and personal books, and the Pan African Space Station (PASS) – an online music radio station and pop-up studio.
The aim of these projects is not only to produce new knowledge, but to express the intensities our world and to capture those forces, to act.
On the method:
New Cartographies – How do we shift knowledge about and from Africa from “what it should be” to what we experience and imagine it to be? How do we make visible what is emerging or re-emerging across the continent? Our reality cannot only be mapped by GDP, GDS, IDF and indicators of “development”. Scales, set squares and compasses alone would not work; we also require hands, feet and hearts. And memory – memory is the art of the stateless.
Pan African Space Station (PASS) – a periodic, pop-up live studio; mobile performance and exhibition space; research lab and living archive; and ongoing, internet based radio station. Working in transitory spaces and between different fields, organising sound, music and words into new forms of knowledge, PASS challenges the boundaries between live performance and studio recording, documentation and archiving, and dissemination and broadcasting.
Chimurenga Library – How we forge communities; produce and circulate knowledge and operate in the border zones between informal/formal, licit/illicit, chaotic/ordered, etc. Research includes Panafest – the story of four pan African festivals that shaped public cultures on the continent (Dakar 66, Algiers 69, Kinshasa 74 and Lagos 77). Our research has yielded an eclectic repository of stories and anecdotes, digital copies of documents, artworks, images, sound and film footage, as well as books, magazines and albums. Our methodology is often closer to detective work, replete with entirely unexpected fortuitous coincidences, even encounters with ghosts, allegorical and otherwise.
Comics and the Lower Frequencies – Challenging the boundaries between high and low art, cartooning and comic, art and popular culture, Lower Frequencies engages public and popular forms of expression that insert themselves directly into daily life. Taking inspiration from popular comics, we invite participants to work in media that push representational limits and create a hinge between the world of concepts and the world of bodily experience.
The Chronic and the new(s) paper – a pan African gazette borne out of an urgent need to write our world differently, to begin asking new questions, or even the old ones anew. The Chronic hijacks the newspaper – a popular medium that raises questions of news and newness, disposability and longevity and how we define both the now and history – to blow the distinction between fact/fiction in quest for truth and sidesteps linear notions of time/place to document the fluidity of contemporary life.