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Kudzanai Chiurai tackles equality and racism in new film ‘We Still Insist’

 

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Acclaimed multi-disciplinary Zimbabwean artist and activist Kudzanai Chiurai explores issues of racism, the civil rights movement and the continuous fight for liberation in “We Still Insist” as part of the Heritage Month celebrations.

“We Still Insist” is an art film that is accompanied by a performance presented by “The Library of Things We Forgot to Remember and What’s Wrong With Groovin’?” set to showcase at Constitution Hill in Jozi, today at 7pm.

“The Library of Things We Forgot to Remember and What’s Wrong With Groovin’?” is a readaptation of Max Roach’s “We Still Insist” avant-garde jazz album and a vocal-instrumental suite on themes related to the Civil Rights Movement, which was released in 1961.

The album was considered highly controversial and even banned in several countries.

“We Still Insist” symbolised solidarity, resistance and collaboration, Chiurai told IOL Entertainment.

“It is a presentation of a visual and audio archive installation that speaks to the history of oppression, resistance and liberation throughout Africa in the latter half of the 20th century.

“The collaboration with ‘What’s Wrong With Groovin’?’ seeks to bring the past into the present, as our present is still shaped by our colonial history.”

“It evokes the traditions of resistance, solidarity and collaboration that are synonymous with the album, ‘We Insist, Freedom Now Suite’.”

Kudzanai Chiurai tackles equality and racism in new film ‘We Still Insist’
Stills from the film ‘We Still Insist’. Picture: Supplied

Chiurai added that the album was an ongoing project that he had been working on for a few years.

“This one is interesting because it references an album, events and materials from the 1960s.

“It is also a reflection of that particular time… Some African countries were getting independence and more so within the US, the civil rights movement and bloodbath boycotts were a reflection and resistance to legislative racism and disposition.

“And I think these were not only the experiences particular to the US but globally.”

The film will be accompanied by a live performance by South African drummer, artist and activist Tumi Mogorosi.

Mogorosi and The Freedom Now Suite band will be re-imagining this special album, which played variations on the theme of the struggle for African-Americans to achieve equality in the US.

“The collaboration with Tumi has been present from the time we met a couple of years ago, and I think it was important to wait for the right moment to have a collaboration.

“We share a common interest in solidarity and resistance. And these are the ideas that we both share within our individual practices and that is what bound us together.”

Chiurai is urging art and music lovers to be part of this artistic experience that celebrates Africa’s diverse cultures.

 

Original Article

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