The Oromo are the largest ethnic group in the Horn of Africa, but were relatively little known outside of the region until recently. This episode "Oromo Music: Historical Memory and Competing Nationalisms in Ethiopia" looks into the history of the Oromo people and how music became an integral part of the Oromo early nationalism movement in the 20th century. Georges speaks with Kumera Zekarias, a PhD student in ethnomusicology who is working on an oral history project of the 1977 Oromo Cultural Showcase in Finfinne (Addis Abeba), a landmark two-day event which brought together Oromo musicians and listeners from across the diverse regions of the nation. The showcase was a statement of ethnic unity, which has since influenced how Oromo music is created, performed, and received.. They are joined in this show by other Oromo academics, musicians, and music fans who relate the story of this event to larger themes of colonialism, multiculturalism, and how music continues to serve as an important source of oral history and historical memory. Produced by Kumera Zekarias.
Sit back to watch an exclusive performance by Women at WOMEX. Afropop Worldwide had the pleasure of covering the 2022 edition of the WOMEX world music trade fair in Lisbon, Portugal. As we noted at the time, this edition, the women artists ruled! This short video, made especially for friends and supporters of Afropop Worldwide, features clips of three of them, Djazia Satour of Algeria and France, Selma Uamusse of Mozambique and Portugal, and Lia de Itamaraca of Brazil. Support us at www.afropop.org/donate. Your matching donation will allow us to continue our unique, award-winning work. Please become a sustaining member today.
Bongeziwe Mabandla Releases Fourth Studio Album, AmaXesha
The wait is over. This new studio album by South African Bongeziwe Mabandla called amaXesha, has simple melodies and the arrangements are delicate without being contrived. You will realize as you hear it over and over again, that you sometimes need to sit down and take stock of life. The album has a resonance for anyone who has wrestled with the dislocation that was COVID lockdown and the uncertainty of the times. When you settle and listen to the whole album, you truly grasp the depths of emotion and gravitas running through these fourteen songs. This album is a series of sonic memories by a great artist. Listen to a few of the tracks and read the studio album review by Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe
Gotopo's Afro-Indigenous Future Vision
Gotopo is an Afro-Venezuelan artist living in Berlin. She was born in Caracas and began her formal musical training in Barquisimeto, home of a renowned musical conservatory. She trained with a youth orchestra using the El Sistema methodology, but that was just the start. As she releases her debut EP Sacúdete on May 19, she joins the ranks of the Afrofuturist movement, but with a twist. Her ancestry is both African and indigenous Venezuelan, and all of that is central to her genre-bending music and videos. Her 2020 song and video "Malembe" gets to the heart of the matter. "I have several hundred years of grief in my soul." A deep message, delivered with a sound full of determination, purpose, and even a sense of humor. Afropop's Banning Eyre reached Gotopo by Zoom to talk about her career and music.Here's their conversation.
Events in New York
Film at Lincoln Center and African Film Festival CONTINUES 30th New York African Film Festival (NYAFF) Sun., May 21 and Fri., May 26 - Thurs., June 1 FLC, BAM, Dance Africa Opening Night marked the New York premiere of Moussa Sène Absa's Xalé, the third film in his trilogy focused on women. The centerpiece selection is the U.S. premiere of Hyperlink, comprised of four short films and directed by South African filmmakers Mzonke Maloney, Nolitha Mkulisi, Julie Nxadi, and Evan Wigdorowitz, who reflect on the seductive, and at times treacherous, illusory reality of the internet. Tickets and Information
Africa Day Celebration Thurs., June 1 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. Queens Borough Hall We will honor, celebrate, and uplift Africa's beauty, achievements, and potential. You will enjoy an amazing evening of diverse cultural performances, music, food, and guests of honor. Individuals who identify with having African ancestry are welcome to attend and participate. https://bit.ly/africaday2023
World Music Institute Presents: Kiran Ahluwalia with Yacouba Sissoko Collaborations Series Sat., June 3, 2023 Doors: 7 p.m. | Show: 8 p.m. Tickets: $20 advance | $25 day of show | Flushing Town Hall – 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Queens Two-time JUNO (Canadian Grammy Award) winner Kiran Ahluwalia is a modern exponent of the vocal traditions of India and Pakistan in this performance, she will be joined by Malian kora master, educator, and longtime WMI friend Yacouba Sissoko. Yacouba was born to a well-known djeli family in Kita, Mali. Tickets and Information
Afropop Staff: Sean Barlow, Executive Producer Banning Eyre, Senior Editor Michael Jones, Chief Audio Engineer (jonesaudio.com) Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe, Director of New Media and Operations CC Smith, Editor at Large