13/04-28/05/2016 Kallio Library, Helsinki


Chimurenga Library & Pan African Space Station at Kallio Library

Pan African Space Station 13.4.-16.4.2016
Chimurenga Library 13.4.-28.5.2016

Can a past that the present has not yet caught up with be summoned to haunt the present as an alternative?

In April and May 2016, the Cape Town based group Chimurenga’s installation Chimurenga Library and pop-up radio station Pan African Space Station will infiltrate the Kallio Library in Helsinki. Chimurenga, a South African editorial collective and an innovative platform for free ideas and political reflection about Africa, will map primarily Kallio Library’s music and multimedia's collection to create an alternative route to the library's collection, a setting for a pop-up live studio and an archive for the future.

The intervention continues Chimurenga's ongoing exploration into the utopian moment shortly after African independences, when a series of Pan African festivals staged in Dakar, Algiers, Lagos and Kinshasa functioned as laboratories for the development of new, continent-wide politics and cultures. FESTAC 77 (Lagos 1977) and its predecessors, The First World Festival of Negro Arts (Dakar 1966), the First Pan-African Festival (Algiers 1969) and Zaire 74 (Kinshasa 1974) presented a shared vision of an Africa yet to come.

This Africa was as much a geographic reality as it was a construct, a continent whose boundaries shift according to the prevailing configurations of global racial identities and power. Building on their previous research platforms staged in Cape Town, Lagos, San Francisco, Sharjah, Paris, London and New York among others Chimurenga will remap these Pan-Africanist imaginations and cultural visions in Helsinki. What is important here is not the reiteration of the actual past, but the persistence of what never actually happened, but might have.  

The space of Kallio Library will be transformed into a pop-up live studio Pan African Space Station for entangling different realities and experiences – with participants and listeners prompted by ideas of utopia and oppression, history and the future, borders, time, art and technology. The Pan African Space Station's live broadcasting program on 13.4.-16.4.2016 will include music, conversations, travelogues and performances with local musicians, journalists, writers, curators and filmmakers. The Chimurenga Library will function amidst a cartographic installation, mapping a series of "routes" running throughout the space. Books, records and other material from the library's collection will be connected through a physical map that highlights networks of exchange and collaboration across place, time, disciplines and ideologies.

The Helsinki Pan African Space Station is programmed and produced by Chimurenga (Ntone Edjabe, Graeme Arendse and Stacy Hardy), in collaboration with the Helsinki-based collective Third Space (Ahmed Al-Nawas and Christopher Wessels) and the arts journal Rab-Rab (Sezgin Boynik). Guest performers and speakers include: Sonya Lindfors, Sasha Huber, Hassan Blasim, Koko Hubara, Dope Saint Jude, Angel-Ho, Jowan Safadi, Aino Korvensyrjä, Hosni Boudali, the Tricont collective, Ali Akbar Mehta, David Muoz, Aiyekooto and many more.

Founded by Ntone Edjabe in 2002, Chimurenga – a Shona word that loosely translates as struggle for freedom – takes many forms operating as a platform for vibrant new cultural and political projection across Africa including music, literature and visual arts. Drawing together myriad voices from across the continent and the diaspora, Chimurenga’s outputs include a journal of culture, art and politics of the same name, a quarterly broadsheet called The Chronic, The Chimurenga Library—an online resource of collected independent pan-African periodicals and personal books, and the Pan African Space Station — an online music radio station and pop-up studio.


In collaboration with: Kallio Library

The project is part of the Remembering Silences season curated by Ahmed Al-Nawas.


Photos: Noora Geagea

Pan African Space Station - program 13.4.-16.4.2016

Live at Kallio Library (Viides Linja 11, Helsinki), online: panafricanspacestation.org.za

Wednesday 13.4.

15:00 Third Space
Language: English

Third Space will be playing truant at the Pan African Space Station agitating for
new forms of civil (dis)obedience with echoes from struggles past and present, noise forgotten and remebered and remixed.

16:00 Aino Korvensyrjä & TRICONT
Language: Finnish

How did a group of young people in Helsinki start to see itself as active supporters of Third World liberation movements, civil rights and anti-apartheid struggles? Members of the Tricont collective, among others, Anja Koski-Jännes, Viveca Hedengren and Mikko Pyhälä, review some of the materials for constructing internationalist solidarity and militant information in the late 1960s and early 70s. The discussion is moderated by Aino Korvensyrjä.

17:00 Program by Third Space

18:00 Program by Third Space

19:00-20:00 Rab-Rab: the legacy of Amiri Baraka, a talk by Sezgin Boynik

By discussing the political core of "blues form", which Amiri Baraka defines
as the artistic and cultural expression of resistance of African-Americans, Sezgin Boynik will show in which way this form has influenced the historical-materialist
and internationalist understanding of free jazz. Archie Shepp, Jayne Cortez, Jean-Louis Comolli, Horace Campbell, Frank Kofsky, George H. Lewis and Zora Neale Hurston will be names of the programme.

Boynik is the editor­-in­-chief of Rab­Rab: journal for political and formal inquiries in art, which is an independent journal published bi-annually in Helsinki. The focus of the journal is the relationship between experimental art forms and the political commitment. The last issue of the journal published in September 2015, focuses on the concept of noise and political consequences of the music. Apart from addressing the questions of knowledge in music (its heuristic capacities), the focus of the texts was the representation ofpolitical violence in the music, the critique of Luigi Rusolo, class struggle and the music, etc.

Thursday 14.4.

15:00 Talkshow: Koko Hubara feat. spoken word artists Laura Eklund Nhaga & Eden Gebra
Language: Finnish

A discussion on the Finnish language & Brown girlhood: radio interview and performance of two up and coming Helsinki-based spoken word artists Laura Eklund Nhaga and Eden Gebra, interviewed by writer Koko Hubara.

Koko Hubara is a Finnish writer and journalist. Her award-winning blog
Ruskeat Tytöt (Brown Girls) focuses on matters of gender, race, ethnicity and identity in the Finnish context. Her main aim is to stop the process of dehumanization of racialized people in Finnish politics, media and everyday

16:00 Third Space: Artist Sasha Huber
Language: English

Sasha Huber is a Swiss-Haitian visual artist based in Helsinki. She works with performance-based interventions, video, photography, publications, and the compressed-air staple gun – while aware of its symbolic significance as a weapon. Her work often draws attention to historic trauma and its ramifications in the present.

She is known for her artistic contribution to the long-term project Demounting Louis Agassiz, which promotes awareness that the Swiss-born Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) was a proponent of scientific racism, and a pioneering thinker of segregation and “racial hygiene”.

Huber has participated in numerous exhibitions including the Biennale of Sydney 2014, the Venice Biennale 2015 and artist residencies together with regular collaborator artist Petri Saarikko. She holds an MA from the University of Art and Design Helsinki, and is currently undertaking doctoral research on racism through the lens of art at the Department of Art at the Aalto University Helsinki

17:00 In-Between: Ntone Edjabe, Dope Saint Jude, Angel-Ho & Koko Hubara
Language: English

What’s the method after Fela? Why is music a weapon? How do you play with
electricity? Ntone Edjabe (Chimurenga), Koko Hubara, Dope Saint Jude and Angel-Ho will be talking about alternative platforms and methodologies for education and knowledge production. Drawing from their diverse praxis as editors, dj’s, bloggers, MC’s and sound artists. Who no know go know.

The discussion is a part of In Between: Art, Education and Politics in the Post-Welfare State -conference.

18:00 Program by Third Space

19:00 Rab-Rab: Theories of Improvisation and Capitalism

In which way the improvisation of free jazz detaches from the neo­liberal form of improvisation? Through this question and following discussion, Rab-Rab’s editor­-in­-chief Sezgin Boynik and musician Taneli Viitahuhta will address the relationship between music and politics. Focus will be, among others, on the confrontation between Johnny Dyani's and Gavin Bryar's conception of improvisation.

Friday 15.4.

15:00 Third Space / SOUND ROOM: null.void; performance by Ali Akbar Mehta

16:00 Third Space / SOUND ROOM: Hosni Boudali

17:00-17:45 Discussion with writer Hassan Blasim
Language: English

In Pidgin English, curator Ahmed Al-Nawas will discuss with the Iraqi writer Hassan Blasim the loss of national archieves and Blasim's search for music.

Hassan Blasim is a poet, filmmaker and short story writer. He lives in Finland since 2004. His debut short story collection, The Madman of Freedom Square was published by Comma Press in 2009. It was long-listed for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2010. The Iraqi Christ, his second collection of short stories were published by Comma Press in 2013 and it won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2014. Both collections have been translated into several languages. He has made numerous short films and documentaries for Finnish television.

"Perhaps the greatest writer of Arabic fiction alive..."
The Guardian, 2010

18:15-19:00 Rab-Rab: Cornelius Cardew and Great Learning

How Cornelius Cardew politicized collective involvement with learning through music? Departing from egalitarian conception of music making (through Scratch Orchestra and The Great Learning) Sezgin Boynik, Sergio Castrillón & Taneli Viitahuhta discuss how Cardew politicized this collective involvement with learning through music.

19:00-20:00 Performance by Sergio Castrillón, with Taneli Viitahuhta

Sergio Castrillión is a composer/improviser/performing artist interested in sound and any creative manifestation. As composer his work incorporates several formats including instrumental acoustic, electroacoustic, acousmatic and multimedia. His pieces have been performed and premiered in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Italy, Poland, Peru, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Uruguay. As performer he experiences a constant activity as cellist of new music, free improvisation, improvised works with new technologies and collaborations with theatre performers, poetry and contemporary dance. Currently he lives in Helsinki where develops an active career as performer, composer, improviser, curator and educator. Since 2013 Castrillón has been working on his doctoral research at the University of Helsinki called NEW DIRECTIONS IN THE CELLO TIMBRE: Pieces for solo cello and cello with electronic media from the 20th and 21st century.

In addition to Castrillón's cello solo, we will hear him improvise with Taneli Viitahuhta, whose instrument is alto saxophone.

Saturday 16.4.

13:00 Choreographer Sonya Lindfors

Sonya Lindfors is a Helsinki based choreographer, performer, curator and artistic director.
She has been working freelance on the Finnish art field since 2001. Lindfors is also the founder and artistic director of UrbanApa art platform. Both in her work as choreographer and artistic director Lindfors deals with questions of power, authenticity, inclusion and exclusion. At the moment Lindfors is busy with the themes of blackness, cultural appropriation, bad girls practice and fakeness. Her new work Noble Savage will premiere at Zodiak on 19.4.2016.

14:00 Rab-Rab & Sezgin Boynik
Language: English

Sezgin Boynik will host a discussion on anti-fascist thought. By presenting a thesis that fascism is not an aberration and anomaly of the society, but that it has a structural backup from ideological apparatuses and historical formations, Boynik will open the discussion on the
theoretical and practical problems of current anti-fascist struggles. Anti-fascist thought is based on the idea that the fascism (as neo-nazis) will not disapper by itself; it demands the struggle which is fought both in practice and theory. The theoretical premises of anti-fascism are the non-neutrality of the state apparatuses and the historical lineage of the neo-nazism with the nationalistic ideologies. Through punk, violence, anarchism, and union activism we will discuss these political theses and organizational questions.

15:00 Program by Third Space

16:15-17:00 Minna Henrikson & Ahmed Al-Nawas: Festival 1962
Language: English

Curator Ahmed Al-Nawas and artist Minna Henriksson will discuss the 1962 Helsinki Youth Festival.

17:00 Music by Jowan Safadi

Jowan Safadi is a singer-songwriter from Nazareth-Palestine, who is dedicated to introduce cutting edge sound and lyrics to the alternative Arabic music scene. While Jowan’s lyrics can be controversial – subtly toned with his personal reflections on a wide range of issues related to politics, religion and philosophy, and sexuality – these fundamental components are what gives his work a rare and revealing authenticity, making him one of the most influential contemporary artists in the Arabic scene. Jowan made headlines recently and reached Israeli, Palestinian and international media with his controversial song “To Be an Arab”, on which he sings in Hebrew for the first time, carrying a strong message to the Israeli society.

At the moment, Jowan is a Safe Haven Helsinki resident until the end of May, 2016. Safe Haven Helsinki for art practitioners at risk is curated by Perpetual Mobile and is co-organised by HIAP (Helsinki International Artist Programme). It is funded by the City of Helsinki. Jowan Safadi’s residency is realized in collaboration with the Finnish Musician’s Union, and supported by the Anna Lindh Foundation.