Press Release | Lusaka, Zambia|
We as Modzi Arts are excited to announce a new ground-breaking project within the arts and music that intends to change the way Artists, Artist Managers, Booking Agents and Gallery Managers work, in Zambia and the region! We present to you the Rackless Abutu project, in partnership with the Sound Connect Fund, an initiative by the Music In Africa Foundation (MIAF) and Goethe-Institut.
Rackless Abutu is a multi-discipline program focused on Artists, Artist Managers, Booking Agents and Gallery Managers aiming to ensure that the current generation of Zambian and Southern African artists and art practitioners in the industry continue thriving in their creative business.The program will have three mayor focuses, Rackless Kazi, Zamrock Museum and #modzinauts.
Rackless Kazi, is focused on Artists, Artist Managers and Booking Agents to ensure the current generation of Zambian and Southern African artists augment the Zamrock music industry. Zamrock museum, is focusing on gallery and museum management and aims to teach the residents about, and revive, the Zamrock music genre. #modzinaut is the part of the program where we explore and build with sustainability in mind while we expand our space in the urban area, while also expanding the Modzi Arts activities to the rural context.
We welcome participants from Zambia, Congo DRC, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
We focus on a historical Zambian sound Zamrock, that was birthed in the late 1960s through the liberation movement, into a rock revolution within the southern African context. As a new federation Zambia found itself under self-imposed, autocratic rule. Conflict loomed on all sides of our landlocked home, which pushed our first president Kenneth Kaunda into protective mode from any war and distancing the country from the apartheid regime of the southern neighbors. This resulted in a struggle with poverty and aggressive attacks from the apartheid rulers. This is the environment in which the Zamrock expression rose. It found its inspiration in everything from fuzz guitars, rhythms and western sounds, from James Brown to Jimi Hendrix. The Zamrock scene became a commonplace for the local masses to relax and enjoy the performance arts in places that were once restricted for indigenous Zambians.
In the 1970s the sound evolved to reference traditional Ngoma drums, rhythmic and local languages blending myths and parables into the lyrics. These eccentric legendary bands took center stage within Zambia and Southern Africa going on tours around the region. Modzi seeks to trace, interrogate, and contemporize with a local perspective of its arc. With a new revival for the genre it is important to remember its roots and the Rackless Abutu project will re-introduce the Zamrock genre to artists, inspiring them and growing the genre's audiences.
Modzi Arts is a groundbreaking art institution founded in 2016 with an aim to combine the Zambian arts and culture. We look to strengthen the modern, contemporary Zambian narrative locally and internationally. Through access, residency, and programming Modzi introduces the network to artists and art practitioners and strengthens the livelihood in their local community. Located in a recently restored 1970s building, it houses a gallery, studio, kitchen, office, art farm, performance, DJ mixing studio, library of tools and books and living spaces.
We are proud to present our Partners in this project, Sound Connects Fund, Jagari Emmanuel Chanda, Rikki Ililonga, Akum Agency, and First Floor Gallery. The Sound Connects Fund (SCF) is a multifaceted initiative that aims to accelerate development and increase the capacity of the cultural and creative sectors in Southern Africa. The fund is made possible with funding from the ACP-EU Culture programme, a project implemented by the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and funded by the European Union (EU).
Rikki Ililonga is a Zambian music pioneer from the 1960s as well as Modzi Arts Board member. With his band Musi-O-Tunya he is generally credited as a key player in the creation of Zamrock. Emmanuel "Jagari" Chanda is the lead vocalist of the legendary band W.I.T.C.H (We Intend To Cause Havoc). A mentor on this programme, and one of the last few survivors of the largely undocumented Zamrock scene. First Floor Gallery Harare (FFGH), is Zimbabwe’s leading contemporary art gallery. Focused on artist empowerment and innovation, the gallery hosts residencies and exchanges, masterclasses, as well as supporting projects by creative professionals from fashion designers to poets, musicians, and filmmakers. Akum Agency is an independent artist management and booking agency, promoter and creative production and music consultancy company founded by Jess White. Together we will bring this groundbreaking project alive.
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