Zagaza | Research TripGhana | Music
April 2022 — Music
Based in Swiss Romandie, the creative laboratory Zagaza grounds their artistic practice in merging mixed performance art with alternative approaches to understanding the contrasting spatial experiences and co-existences of creative communities in multiple social and political landscapes.
Zagaza will be in Accra, Ghana for 2 weeks in April 2022 for a research trip. During this time, they will co-create a satellite installation called Club Secrets with Oroko Radio DJ residents. The project will explore the importance of orality in African cultures and the understanding that Black cultures of resistance and alliances have created a network of cultural dissemination and exchanges from one continent to another and from one nation to another. Club Secrets will be a creative incubator allowing for discourse around “communal becoming” to emerge. Zagaza’s desire is to hold space to address collective memory work as well as the phenomenological trajectories of women and queer afro-descendant artists and event curators in the clubbing scene.
Zagaza explain, “Our hypothesis is that very little seriousness has been invested into archiving the autobiographical experiences, narratives and memories of Afro-descendant women and queer artists’ contribution and participation in the emergence and democratisation of new clubbing art forms and curation. This minimises their stories’ potential to impact and inspire the development of historical canons and practices that pay homage to their artistic, cultural and intellectual labour.”
Starting from the point of their shared experiences as music curators on Oroko Radio, Zagazo want to examine how they can rethink “conscious clubbing spaces” that centre the creative authority and cultures of Black women and queer communities and also their knowledge of event curation emphasising discourse around “the spirit of care, resistance and resilience”.
The primary goal of the research project is to retrace and map the experiences of cultural workers (local and international) in order to revisit artistic practices and forms of organising that Zagaza perceive as subversive, transformative and revolutionary.
Zagaza’s objective with Club Secrets is to co-create a container to explore how the celebration of minority artistic communities and their organising impacts the ways in which club cultures function. They will use visual and sonic recollection to emphasize the importance of memory work as a tool to enable a visionary historical community archiving process, as a way to not only remember the spaces that have been built and lost over the years but to preserve the traces of the places that are emerging. The archival project will also be an opportunity to connect the personal with the political by engaging the dimensions of an ethical collective analysis as Afro-descendant folks with histories of migration, refugeedom and forced displacement.
ZAGAZA is a creative laboratory that hosts a collective of multidimensional afro-descendant artists from Switzerland. They are a galaxy of cultural workers wanting to create eclectic connections with local artists in the diaspora and on the continent through the co-production of multifaceted artistic performances. Their collective is driven by the centrality of collaborative work in curating, artistic directing, styling, vjing, djing, mcing, dancing and ceremony holding in the form of club parties and festivals.
Shalanda – Alias Sweetgyalshal/ Themina juicy is a committed dancer, coordinator and activist. Her body performances are inspired by her Caribbean origins and her exploration of several Afro-descendant art forms and cultural practices ((Ballroom, hip hop, house and afro house). She curates spaces, events and content through an intersectional militant ethic & framework. Through her artistry, she seeks to create artistic projects that rethink systems of exploitation and inequality while promoting marginalized and oppressed communities and arts.
Tanya – Alias MO/YO alias Bala Bala Babe alias Space Pimpress is a Swiss Canadian Cameroonian and Zimbabwean multifaceted artist & cultural practitioner. As a care researcher and social pedagogue, she anchors her work in the somatic episteme of Black spirit and the exploration of Black liberation theologies and practices. Co-founder of Zagaza, Afro-future-feminist and asserted militant, she devotes her artistic practice to various channels of creation as an MC, DJ, dancer, singer/song-writer, actress & poet.
Hirma – Alias NDH is a DJ and producer who desires to facilitate the discovery of Black music, immersing her listeners into a mixture of varied, opposite & complementary styles to above all reveal our musical memory. She focuses mainly on Afro rhythms, with Hip hop as a main reference point, merging Afropean art forms like drum’n bass, jungle and alternative music. Her leitmotif is to entice sensual & erotic experiences in her listeners and allow them to feel connected to their bodies.
Sandra – Alias Brutus Labiche is a multidisciplinary artist whose objective is to explore her plural identities through different mediums. She is an Afro-feminist painter, artistic director, stylist, graphic designer,jewelry designer, model, performer and DJ. Her creative universe is anchored in a desire to mix tradition, futurism, afro-psychedelia in order to offer a colorful and warm visual and musical experience. She previously worked as a Creative Director for Danitsa second album and worked as a content creator for Antigel.