Sugar-Free///Pungwe

Program of Sugar-Free///PUNGWE events 2017

23/05/17  – 16/06/17  Looking After Freedom, Michaelis Gallery, Cape Town, S.A

9 June /// 12:00 to Late: Caribbean Shake, ChâteauGhetto, Lausanne, CH

13 June //// 18:30 Cahiers d’Artistes, Kasernen Platz, Basel, CH

17 June ///// 16:00 and 18:00 BIG Genève with EOFA, Geneva, CH

24 June ///// Circuit, Lausanne, CH

Sugar-Free and PUNGWE are collaborative engagements and will include a range of protagonists. organisers for the projects: Sugar-Free: Zen Marie & Dimitri Madimin, PUNGWE: Memory Biwa & Robert Machiri


About the project:

Nous nous battrons pour que
la liberté ne soit plus
un mot beurré à la sardine.

Together we shall fight
until freedom is no longer
a word buttered with sardines.

Sony Labou Tansi, The Shameful State, 1981

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Aim

 

To critically re-imagine and re-map colonial histories through contemporary urgencies. To provoke discussions and build international networks of artists, musicians, theorists, performers, activists, via research, symposia, performance and exhibition. To stage encounters, to explore issues of “colonialism w/o colonies”, global finance, international commodities trade, immigration and more. To research and design ongoing events in the global south.

Motivation

Sugar-Free>>>PUNGWE is an experimental collaboration between two collectives, Sugar-Free and PUNGWE. This June, 2017, in Switzerland these collectives organize around an intensive research residency to carry out archival work, stage discussions, performances and exhibitions and further to conceptualize and design ongoing structures for the activation of further actions.

Sugar-Free arises out of an urgency to examine underlying histories of global commodities. We specifically focus on commodities that act as stimulants, that create desire or heighten the senses, e.g. coffee, spices, cocoa, gems, precious metals (etc) and of course, sugar. These substances are desirable but also dangerous. They rely on and create aggressive and abusive relationships in their farming, mining, extraction, distribution and consumption. They are marked by slavery, coercion and environmental fallout. It is the aftermath that follows the global markets for these commodities that we will explore as a series of connected and disconnected moments across the ‘global south’ and ‘global north’. Relationships of inequalities and tactics of subversion will be mapped as they are both historically produced and located in contemporary realities.

PUNGWE is a collaborative that works with African music and related contemporary arts discourses. PUNGWE NIGHTS is a participatory public platform hosting alternative music and sound performances. It is a project committed to struggle, resistance and ‘Chimurenga’ as it engages with cultural forms as catalysts for change. Together, Sugar-Free and PUNGWE focus on tactics enacted as contestation, subversion or amelioration of colonial, neo-colonial or globalized hegemonies. It is for these moments of critical and creative push-back that we search, engage and map in relation to historical and contemporary forces.

Collaboration, Context and Conceptual Frame

Together, Sugar-Free and PUNGWE focus on tactics enacted as contestation, subversion or amelioration of colonial, neo-colonial or globalized hegemonies. It is for these moments of critical and creative push-back that we search, engage and map in relation to historical and contemporary forces.
Historically and in the present, Switzerland impacts, in many ways even determines or controls international finance and global trade in commodities. Switzerland can be thought of as practicing “Colonialism Without Colonies” (Lüthi, Falk and Purtschert, 2016). With Swiss collaborators, we intend to critically open up these questions in a series of public, arts based events. Beyond this, we will also use this period to conceptualize and design future events in the global south, esp. in Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa – the home countries of 3 of the convenors. One of the core aims of the project is to facilitate this movement of ideas and resources from ‘north to south’.

These engagements will be developed into collaborative exhibitions, live events, public discussions, DJ sets and performances, but will also be the basis for a series of publications (digital and print) in order to broaden the future critical potential of this project and to set it into relation with other spaces and sites.

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