Ten Cities - Goethe-Institut

Ten Cities - Goethe-Institut

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Whether it's in Nairobi or in Kyiv, in Bristol or in Cairo: in all the major cities of Africa and Europe, people get together in dedicated spaces to dance to music and party – and create communities, subcultures and public spheres. Club culture is a global phenomenon, but what music are these people dancing to in these cities and what music did they use to dance to in the past? In what sort of spaces do they meet up? What public spheres do they form? What do these club cultures mean to the urbanity of a city? And what happens when the club music from two different continents meet head on? More...

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© Lukas Richthammer

Whether it's in Nairobi or in Kyiv, in Bristol or in Cairo: in all the major cities of Africa and Europe, people get together in dedicated spaces to dance to music and party – and create communities, subcultures and public spheres. Club culture is a global phenomenon, but what music are these people dancing to in these cities and what music did they use to dance to in the past? In what sort of spaces do they meet up? What public spheres do they form? What do these club cultures mean to the urbanity of a city? And what happens when the club music from two different continents meet head on? We will look at ten cities on two continents that have been influential centres for club music up to now: the European cities of Berlin, Bristol, Kyiv, Lisbon and Naples and the African cities of Johannesburg, Cairo, Luanda, Lagos and Nairobi.



© Lukas Richthammer

TEN CITIES is a journey of musicians and writers. It consists of a music- and a research part. The project brings together about 50 DJs, producers and musicians from the ten cities, enabling them to cooperate and produce music together. This part is guided by ten local curators in each city who have chosen the participants, together with a central curatorial group in Berlin and Nairobi, and are facilitating the cooperations. Intensive work periods by the participating musicians in the ten cities will form the central stages of the project, accompanied by concerts and parties. At the same time, a research project will use the perspective of club cultures to explore and investigate again a crucial notion of political theory: the public sphere - from a different perspective than the usual research tradition and in a serial, intercultural approach. About 20 authors, all from the city they are writing about, will tell us the history of club music in those ten cities, and the history of the public spheres that have been formed around club music for the last 50 years.

The project will culminate in putting out the tracks in music albums and downloads, whereby the results of the research project will be published in a publication. More content will be published on this website, among others: city portraits by our musical curators, free downloads, mix tapes, photography and visual content. In addition, we will screen film series with a selection of documentaries and feature films on club culture in different parts of the world, in most cities, in cooperation with the local Goethe-Instituts.



© Lukas Richthammer



2011-2012
Concept, scouting trips and curatorial process

November 2012, Luanda, Angola
Project Kick-off: Recording phase Naples>Luanda and concert at the Elinga Teatro, Luanda

January 2013, Lagos, Nigeria
Recording phase Bristol>Lagos and concert at Freedom Park, Lagos

February 2013, Johannesburg, South Africa
Recording phase Kyiv>Johannesburg and concert at King Kong, Johannesburg

April 2013, Nairobi, Kenya
Recording phase Lisbon>Nairobi, warehouse party at Marshalls Service Workshop, Nairobi

April 2013, Nairobi, Kenya
Seminar and public talk with 21 authors from the 10 cities at Goethe-Institut Nairobi

May 2013, Berlin, Germany
TEN CITIES Session and after-party at re:publica

May 2013, Cairo, Egypt
Recording phase Berlin>Cairo, concert at Rawabet Theatre, Cairo

July 2013, Naples, Italy
Recording phase Luanda>Naples, concert at the Ex Asilo Filangeri

September 2013, Nairobi, Kenya
Special recording phase Bristol/Johannesburg>Nairobi

October 2013, Berlin, Germany
TEN CITIES meets Mash Up The Archive - Exhibtion & Club Night

December 2013, Berlin, Germany
Special recording phase Cairo>Berlin during the Worldtronics Festival

March 2014, Nairobi, Kenya
Continental recording phase Johannesburg/Lagos/Luanda>Nairobi

November 2014, Berlin, Germany
Album launch and final party in Berlin



© Goethe-Institut

We take a shared referential framework (club cultures and club music) and combine it with an awareness of precise local contexts. With this, we subvert the usual stereotypical images of continents, as often the differences between the local contexts are often just as great among the cities on one continent, for example between Naples and Kyiv or between Nairobi and Lagos, as it is between the European and African cities. The project develops this awareness of the local contexts in a serial approach, taking a close look at ten very different locations. Participants stem from the local context they are working on. We aim at implementing a consistently symmetrical and cooperative approach. This is not about workshops or development, but it is about joint production of music and knowledge, engaging a broad network between musicians and producers, activists, scholars, writers and journalists, as well as artists in the ten cities. We aim at maintaining an equal level in both the production and curatorial areas.

The music part is guided by a network of ten curators from each city that is working with a central coordination group, consisting of participants from Nairobi and Berlin and the two project offices in Nairobi (Goethe-Institut Kenya) and Berlin (Adaptr.Org). For the research project, the cooperation is assisted by editors from Nairobi and Berlin. Even the visual language of the project is a cooperation. TEN CITIES is a process, focusing on creating and producing, carried forward by travels and visits. During this process, the project aims at creating networks that are open and involve more and more participants. We are happy with the dynamics taking their own path.
Sabine Bretz
2014-10-15