Tumi Mogorosi, Gabi Motuba and Andrei Van Wyk: The Wretched
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The violence which has ruled over the ordering of the colonial world, which has ceaselessly drummed the rhythm for the destruction of native social forms and broken up without reserve the systems of reference of the economy, the customs of dress and external life, that same violence will be claimed and taken over by the native at the moment when, deciding to embody history in his own person, he surges into the forbidden quarters. To wreck the colonial world is henceforward a mental picture of action which is very clear, very easy to understand and which may be assumed by each one of the individuals which constitute the colonized people.
In these arduous and challenging times, wherein we need all powers of imagination to conjure that utopia, these constellations that are reminiscent of the sociopolitical and economic contexts in which that thing we might choose to call jazz was birthed, what can jazz do? What does THE WRETCHED do?
The Wretched is an inter-textual performative ensemble that deals with the sonic interpretation of the Fanonian text, the Wretched Of The Earth. This sonic exploration is a search, a question of the condition of violence and its post-traumatic disorders that are sonically interpreted in dissonances (the scream, the rumble). These preconditions are a wretched-ness that makes a "system of complete disorder" through the cacophony of sound. This immersing of one's self in the eye of the hurricane, in the center of the primordial scream, the irreducible sound of black fungibility, is their sonic offering.
Following a live performance at SAVVY Contemporary in the summer of 2019, the album is not a translation nor a transcription of Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of The Earth. In this rendition by Tumi Mogorosi (percussion), Gabi Motuba (vocal), and Andrei Van Wyk (soundscape) THE WRETCHED is, for better or for worse, a sonic extension of the proposals heaved into the world by Fanon in 1961 and a re-situation of these in our times. For, though almost six decades have passed, the socio-political and economic structures that framed 1961 in terms of race, class and colonial structures, to a very large degree, still frame our world in 2020. So how can one imagine the wretched of the earth in this continuum of the colonial enterprise? How can the notion of THE WRETCHED manifest sonically within an elasticity of time?
With THE WRETCHED Tumi Mogorosi, Gabi Motuba and Andrei Van Wyk engage in a process and a project of making and unmaking or becoming sound again – cognitively, emotionally, corporeally, societally and humanly.
Production SAVVY Contemporary
Artistic Direction Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung
Album production Abhishek Nilamber and Olani Ewunnet
Project Management Lema Sikod
Recording Studio Spiritczualic Enhancement Center
Mastering Nicolas Sheikholeslami
Design Juan Pablo García Sossa
Cover Art Adjani Okpu-Egbe (Courtesy of the artist & Sulger-Buel Gallery)