December 2019 & February 2020 — Music
Swiss musician Sarah Elena Müller and Congolese slammer Orakle Ngoy met at the international PUNCH Agathe Project in Münster (DE). The two musicians were inspired by each other’s stage performance and set about developing plans to work together.
In December 2019 Sarah spent three weeks in Kinshasa on a research trip to participate in the 2nd edition of the YAMBI City Festival in the city organised by the female artist collective Afrika Diva Collectifand and to collaborate with Orakle. This is followed by Orakle’s research trip in Switzerland in February 2020 to continue and share their work with Swiss audiences.
While together, the two artists will be researching and gathering texts, sounds, samples and discussing common issues they want to bring to the public in their future work. They will exchange and reflect on the concerns of women in the DRC and Switzerland and establish a lyrics pool based on the work of Virginia Woolf and Octavia Butler. After Kinshasa, the musicians plan to continue their collaboration in Bern followed by a series of public slams, concerts and discussions in the DRC and Switzerland in summer 2020. Sarah intends to create an audiovisual dossier of material to promote their music and content to venues, institutions and festivals.
Sarah shares her motivation for visiting Kinshasa and working with Orakle:
“It seems both of us are engaged in feminist projects and dearly care about women’s situations in cultural production, their responsibility to revolutionise the society they live in, their position in violent conflicts and areas but also the challenges they face in daily life. For me it’s crucial to experience life in Kinshasa; I want to understand the struggle, change and power Orakle is incorporating on stage with her lyrics and her voice. My activities and dedication to feminist and queer projects, issues and groups is still based on the very privileged common grounds of a Western European lifestyle and conveniences. I feel I need a reality check with the situation in other parts of the world, learning about intersectional and legal disadvantages women in the DRC are dealing with and how they stand up for themselves in their cultural commitment and projects, like Orakle and her Afrika Diva Collectif.”