We are concerned about the violence

What counts today, the question which is looming on the horizon, is the need for a redistribution of wealth. Humanity must reply to this question, or be shaken to pieces by it.

Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

How are the wretched made into wretched? What are the systems and mechanisms in place to ensure their continued wretchedness in the face of an evolving world? How is it that when a crisis befalls, the wretched are the worst sufferers of the tragedy, while the tragedy is juiced for all its financial and political boons by some wolves in sheepskins?

The outbreak and spread of the virus has exposed to us the structural gaps in the system of the world we are living in. If we pay attention to whose backs the pandemic is being fought on, we might see clearly the violence embedded in this system and would also see the perpetrators, beneficiaries and the sufferers of this violence.

In this moment of a globalised tragedy, six musicians from across the world will come together to reflect on the pathological, structural and spiritual violence that has followed the outbreak of this pandemic in their respective contexts. As musicians, cultural workers and concerned individuals, the participants would collectively reflect on the pathological, structural and spiritual violence that is in the air along with SARS-CoV-2. The aim of these conversations would be to share stories and to build bridges of solidarity between cultural workers from varied geographical, social and cultural contexts.

In this online conversation, a gathering magnetising from three continents, our musician guests will discuss, empirically rather than theoretically, the challenges faced by the poor and the disenfranchised including the arts community in their respective contexts. The program is divided into five sections, each section followed by a musical interlude at the end.

DEBBIE FREMPONG(a.k.a Narah) is a musician and Phd student based in Providence, Rhode Island. A singer for over 10 years, her musical styles include soul, R&B and contemporary high-life music. Her research focuses on colonial Christianity and the formation of womanhood in Ghana, and her work has been published by the Killens Review of Arts and Letters, Open Society Foundation and Okay Africa.

MANMEET KAUR born in Kashmir and raised in Punjab, Manmeet Kaur (India's pioneer femcee) creates and performs poetry on rhythms, voicing her hope-full social perception as a stoic explorer of sounds to materialize harmony, challenging the often ignored, self-destructive social aspirations hailing in today's hyper-competitive digital world of materialistic human mind. Her expertise of practise lies in performing live lyrical improvisations with bands, along with rapping travelogues on swingy hip hop beats. Her audio visual documents so far depict her travel across India and through the European continent, landing into her second and latest album NEOPHILIA.

TUMI MOGOROSIis a recipient of the South African Music Award, Standard Bank Ovation Award, Mail and Guardian Jazz Album of the Year. He recorded SAMA nominated debut album Project Elo which was released in 2014 and re-released in 2015, by acclaimed London based record company (JAZZMAN RECORDS). Tumi Mogorosi, has also recorded a conceptual/theoretical project which is an interpretation of a written text by Frantz Fanon called The Wretched. He also forms part of the band Shabaka and the Ancestors, a musical collaboration with british artist Shabaka Hutchings.

GABISILE MOTUBA is an award winning jazz vocalist, classical composer and arranger. In 2013, Gabi Motuba was featured as a singer/songwriter on the South African Music Award nominated and internationally renowned jazz album, Project Elo, by the innovative South African drummer Tumi Mogorosi. Her latest album, Tefiti–Goddess of Creation, which was digitally released in September 2019 by Rehegoo/Music, received a Mzantsi Jazz award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album.

NOUR SOKHONis a Lebanese artist/sound designer/ filmmaker based in Beirut, Lebanon. Her creative explorations have been in the form of sound performances, interactive installations and moving images. In 2014, she achieved an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from AUD and in 2017 she culminated a large-scale Masters project; a documentary entitled People on Sound, during her time at the GSA in the UK. In 2019, she received the Emerging Artist Prize at the Sursock Museum, for a moving image piece entitled Revisiting: Hold Your Breath, and has recently been awarded the Braunschweig Project Sound Art 2020 scholarship.

ANDREI VAN WYKaka Healer Oran is a Johannesburg-based experimental musician and sound artist with focus in sound collage, music and noise. With a free flowing mixture of samples, vocal loops and live instrumentation, his work inhabits an intersection between harsh industrialism, psychedelic melancholia and free improvisational abstraction. His most recent works include sound design and composition for artist Simon Gush's latest exhibition "Welcome to Frontier Country" and, "Ghost Dimensions", a collaboration with Glasgow-based dance company Project X in 2019. He is also a member of The Wretched with Tumi Mogorosi and Gabisile Motuba.