Posts Tagged ‘forced resettlement’

Breaking Barriers – DJ Kwe unites indigenous women in music

2019/04/24

Crystal DJ Kwe Favel “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga” album was released in early April 2016. Kwe’s dance tracks of electronic drum music are dedicated to the Tonga people in Binga Zimbabwe.

Kwe herself belongs to the Cree and Metis, indigenous people of BC Canada. DJ Kwe – that is, “DJ native woman” [pronounce: kway] – listened to many of the 2012 recordings from Binga by radio continental drift; she heard her relations and ancestors speak in the Voices of Binga:

This is the story of my people…” she wrote to me, “i want to make an album of my music dedicated to the Tonga women…”. And she did…

Award ceremony at Damba Primary School 2012

Radio Remixes Voices of Binga” went public the very day I took off to Binga to join Zubo Trust women on the journey to their own media production. “Women document women stories” is an oral history collection recorded by Zubo women in their villages, communities and Women Forums.

When I traveled around Lake Kariba to join women producers at Zongwe FM in Zambia, oral history became “radio active” and Binga women recordings built a radio-bridge between Tonga communities both sides of the Zambezi.

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DJ Kwe’s dance tracks were part and parcel of these three-in-one journeys. Her music joint women across frontiers in listening to each others stories, uniting indigenous knowledge from Canada and Zimbabwe in contemporary dance tracks, and marrying oral-history-in-remix to contemporary electronic media and music.

 

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Women on-air Mweezya Sinazongwe

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Prior to the release of “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga”, and starting from Kwe’s first contact to me, another amazing, but much more hidden journey unfolded… The album was produced in a year long email and listening correspondence between DJ Kwe’s studio on the West coast of Canada and my attic room somewhere on the Eastern edge of the Ruhr-Valley in Germany.

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The journey here unfolds entirely between two pairs of ears and imaginations. Crystal would choose the tracks which spoke to her most clearly and which she wanted to remix; send me her tracks packaged in her thoughts and descriptions of musical elements; I would listen, and listen again, and write comments, recommend different or related recordings, highlight certain excerpts, and package it all with my storytelling of local experiences in Binga and bits of ChiTonga knowledge.

Crystal DJKwe Favel turn-table and Zubo women Ilala bag copy

In finalising the Album, DJ Kwe wrote letters of appreciation and gratitude to all the vocals featured in “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga”. Displayed here in image are the letters for tracks 2 and 9 both addressed to Abbigal Muleya, at the time monitoring- and evaluations officer with Zubo Trust.

 

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Abbi tells the story of the traditional team work of Tonga women, how it can even break barriers for women, and how it came to stand at the very centre of Zubo women’s work.

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Download the Letters of Appreciation From DJ Kwe

During my stay in Binga in 2016, I made an effort that the letters, appreciation, and music of DJ Kwe reached firstly those who were featured in the music. This included a visit to Siachilaba Primary School meeting Mr Kelias (former Head of School; track 4, The Baobab Tree) and Jossam Munkuli, keeper of the horns of Tonga Simonga musicians (track 14 Revitalise our culture).

 

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Together with Luyando Muyalali (tracks 10 and 14), we walked the 8 km from Manjolo to her native Damba. The Tonga Anthem included in the album’s first track was sung by children of Damba Primary School and recorded during an award ceremony under the tree…

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Mrs Chilowana Senior Teacher – it is not so easy for the girls…

2019/04/05

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Sinazongwe Primary School was established in 1958 – i.e. at the time of the forced resettlement of the Tonga people. Over the 50 years since it was established, the school didn’t have one female head teacher… as Mrs Chilowana tells us.

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Mrs Chilowana has been in the teaching services for 25 year; the past 10 years as a Senior Teacher at Sinazongwe Primary/ Secondary School. In the interview, we ask Mrs Chilowana to give us a little insight in to the life of a woman in employment and public service in the rural areas of Sinazongwe district. In the first track, Mrs Chilowana tells a bit of her own story…

It’s not so easy…”

In the main part of the interview, we ask Mrs Chilowana to describe for us the social expectations on girl children in the community and how these community customs translate in to challenges in young women’s lives and education…

Girls are expected to do much of the home chose…”

There are various programmes in place to sensitize the community, lighten the plight of the girls and take steps of changing community habits. In the last part of the interview, Mrs Chilowana describes some of the “moderate changes” and tells us i.a. about the activities of the Guidance Office, a re-entry policy to school for young mothers and the involvement of the various stakeholders in the area.

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One of our responses to the situation Mrs Chilowana describes in her interview was “Basimbi Radio” – radio with and for girls, a special venture throughout the school holidays in August with weekly workshops and live shows. Music: DJ Kwe

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The Radio-Bridge Compilation has some powerful tracks, tools for us, that we often played in our Basimbi Radio shows like this remix by Feralmind (London woman DJ) based on a recording by Zubo Trust’s Margaret Munkuli of Labecca singing a warning song for girls…

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RADIO BRIDGE open call to artists

2018/02/13

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Open Call to Artists to contribute Remixes, Sound-and Radio pieces for

A RADIO BRIDGE ACROSS THE ZAMBEZI

with a compilation

to be released on Bandcamp in April

in support of Zongwe FM and radio-makers both sides of the Zambezi

Contributions will feature in live broadcasts on Zongwe 105.0 FM and international radio stations

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explore and use the call-out playlist for your remixes and radio-work:

https://archive.org/details/RADIO_BRIDGE_open_call (I)

https://archive.org/details/RADIO_BRIDGE_open_call_503 (II)

 

Please send your contribution via wetransfer to theairisfree4u@gmail.com; WAV 44/16 audio file; include a text file with: title of track, duration, artist’s name, 3 lines of bio and link; 3 lines about your contributions; photo/images 300 dpi. ;

closing date: 21. March 2018

download the call-out and playlist details

 

Hallo Listeners, Artists, Radio Activists,

In June, radio continental drift will rejoin sound-recordists and radio-makers both sides of the Zambezi for a training- and broadcast project over several months. A special playlist now invites you to join us on the journey by listening. The playlist introduces you to sounds and voices of the Zambezi Valley in Binga, Zimbabwe, and across Kariba Lake, in Sinazongwe, Zambia.

Together with the team of radio-makers at Zongwe FM and the women of Zubo Trust in Binga, we are calling on artists to contribute with remixes, sound- or radio pieces to our live broadcasts on Zongwe FM. Explore and use the call-out playlist for your remixes, as an entry-point to our online archives, and for inspiration to introduce us in remix to the sounds and voices in your daily life.

Resulting remixes, sound- and radio-pieces will be presented and released as a Compilation on Bandcamp in April. All proceeds from sales will benefit radio-makers in training both side of the Zambezi.

Twalumba loko, thank you! for your resonant solidarity!

 

The rural communities both sides of the Zambezi speak one language, ChiTonga. The BaTonga lost their ancestry land at the Zambezi when the valley was flooded to construct Kariba dam and lake in a huge colonial, World-Bank financed project at the end of the 1950. The Tonga people had to undergo the traumatic experience of forceful removal and resettlement. While the benefits of Kariba bypass most of the rural communities till today.

After 60 years of struggle, the Valley Tonga people have a story to tell about cultural survival, creative resilience and determination for self-help and self-organisation; and this is what you’ll hear across all the archived recordings which are featured in excerpt in the call-out playlist.

Zongwe FM in Zambia was set up in an initiative of local and international, community- and radio- activist organisations to bridge the communication between the divided Tonga communities; while across the lake in Zimbabwe, community radio stations have still not been licensed. Currently, the signal from Zongwe’s transmitter is still only hardly making it across Kariba. Efforts are ongoing to advance the station’s technical set up for direct broadcast next year.

Your contributions will uplift our work to radio-bridge communication across the Zambezi and join us in communal listening even with people in other parts of the world ! Twalumba maningi !

 

“Stories of Gardens…” on Datscha Radio

2017/09/13

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Stories of gardens are better than none at all…”

first broadcast on Datscha Radio Berlin, a 5-days radio-festival from a Berlin allotment garden, August 2017; produced in response to Datscha radio’s open call by radio continental drift

radio continental drift is proud and happy contributing to Datscha Radio in Berlin together with women audio/ radio producers from both sides of the Zambezi and beyond, namely Zubo Trust in Binga, Zimbabwe and Zongwe FM in Sinazongwe, Zambia; DJ Kwe joins the all-female radio-gardeners team from Canada with her music, excerpts from the inspiring Album “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga”.

Margaret Munkuli and Lucia Munenge recorded songs and stories of elders in their communities about their life at the Zambezi before the forced resettlement displacing the Tonga people for the construction of Kariba Lake. The old ladies still danced and played Chilimba at the Zambezi, as they themselves tell, and they could shout across the river to their relatives on the other side; water for gardening was no problem…

DJ Mo and DJ Petty Young took many of these recordings on-air at Zongwe FM relating voices and stories from the Binga community to the Tonga community on the Northern shore of Kariba Lake thus, joining the now divided people in radio community. Radio continental drift joins the dots in the radio piece with bits of narration in English and German to invite further listening communities along on the journey. DJ Kwe’s beats lifts our voices to danceable teachings.

You can even follow our journey to Tonga gardens on the sound maps of aporee radio where you’ll find all the original recordings. 

Enjoy the listening. And have a nice day in the garden!

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Buy the Album “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga”

In purchasing the Album “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga”, you’ll support the healing arts of DJ Kwe and the work of women for women across the globe. From the online sales, 50% of proceed go to project work with women in Binga via Zubo Trust and Basilwizi Trust. Twalumba look! Thank you for your support!

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Dance of carrots and baobab with stories of gardens and Tonga-song-remix by DJ Kwe performed to link and honour the women of Zubo Trust in Binga, Datscha Radio in Berlin, “Radio Remixes Voices of Binga” by DJ Kwe in Canada and Apocalypso Now, a performance party hosted by Alma Tischler Wood and John Wood at Lewisham Art House in London on 25 August 2017.”


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