October 23, 2019 - November 19, 2019
Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries
Opening Reception: Friday, October 25, 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
From October 23 – 25, 2019, Chimurenga will install its Pan African Space Station (PASS) at the Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, New York City. After PASS’ three-day broadcast, the gallery transforms into a reading and listening space of Chimurenga’s radio archives and publications as well as recording and performance space by WNSR New School Radio students and as well daily jazz recitals by duos, trios, and quartets of students from The New School’s College of Performing Arts students (see below for details).
The PASS broadcast will explore the participation of African American artists, activists, and intellectuals in the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, FESTAC ’77, held in Lagos, Nigeria, in January-February 1977. The nearly 700-strong US delegation at FESTAC ’77 was “the largest single group of African Americans ever to return to Africa in one body” (Ebony Magazine), and featured luminaries such as Sun Ra, Stevie Wonder, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, Jayne Cortez, Barkley Hendricks, Betye Saar, Louis Farrakhan, Faith Ringgold, and many, many more. The poet Kalamu ya Salaam described the event as “the culmination of the Black Art Movement oriented artistic conferences, festivals, and gatherings”.
The Pan African Space Station in NYC will feature many of the participants in the 1977 event [names to come] and will close on October 25th with a rare performance of composer and trombonist Craig Harris’ suite titled FESTAC ’77 at the John L. Tishman Auditorium – Harris traveled to Lagos as a member of Sun Ra’s Arkestra.
This PASS landing will also serve as a presentation of Chimurenga’s new book on FESTAC ’77, the first publication to consider FESTAC in all its cultural-historic complexity, addressing the planetary scale of the event alongside the personal and artistic encounters it made possible.
Listen to PASS live here!
Chimurenga, a pan African platform of writing, art, and politics was founded by Ntone Edjabe in 2002. Drawing together myriad voices from across Africa and the diaspora, Chimurenga takes many forms operating as an innovative platform for free ideas and political reflection about Africa by Africans.
Outputs include a journal of culture, art and politics of the same name (Chimurenga Magazine); a quarterly broadsheet called The Chronic; The Chimurenga Library – an online resource of collected independent pan-African periodicals and personal books; the African Cities Reader – a biennial publication of urban life, Africa-style; and the Pan African Space Station (PASS) – an online radio station and pop-up studio.
Taking advantage of both the intimacy and unpredictability of the live radio studio space and the reach and scope of the internet, the Pan African Space station seeks to forge new collaborations across time and space. A combination of live conversations, discussion sessions, and performances, together with exhibitions of new and archival material interrogate our shared histories.
The Jane Lombard Prize for Art and Social Justice (formerly the Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics) 2018-2020 is awarded to the Pan African Space Station and is organized by Carin Kuoni, director, and Eriola Pira, curator, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, and is made possible by Prize Founding Supporters James Keith (JK) Brown and Eric Diefenbach, Elizabeth R. Hilpman and Byron Tucker, Jane Lombard, Joshua Mack, and The New School for Public Engagement.