Spotlight on art, culture in struggle for democracy

The Shoko International Spoken Word & Hip Hop Festival is a celebration of poetry, hip hop and urban culture that strives for positive social change and democracy.

Broadcast from Harare, Zimbabwe, from the 21st – 24th September, the inaugural Shoko Festival included live concerts, an artists’ debate, an international poetry slam, film screenings, live recordings, live graffiti and a cultural activist conference. The festival brought together acts from 8 different countries including headline acts such as Akala (UK), Tumi& the Volume (SA), Hired Gun (USA) and AndreattahChuma (Botswana).

Over 1,200 people visited Shoko during thefour dayperiod that included over 50 performances and 15 workshops/seminars.In the prevailing climate of fear in Zimbabwe, the Shoko Festival proved to be unique in its use of urban culture for social change and democratization. Through the debates, workshops, conferences and concerts Shoko created a free space for open democratic debate while also encouraging a new generation of spoken word and hip hop artists.

The exclusive Shoko!documentaryshort showcases the best of the festival including the concerts, workshops, talks, poetry slams, graffiti, breakdancing and more. There are also interviews with the organizers and artists involved that reveal why such an event is key in contributing to the development of the arts and how it opens democratic space.

Magamba and Nomadic Wax are also proud to release – for the first time in the history of festivals in Zimbabwe – stand alone videos of all the live performances, workshops, conferences and talks. The Shoko!festival experience is now available to everyone as one can watch online the performance by an individual artist or click on a specific workshop video and watch it unfold.

This is part of a project to document the living history of arts and culture in Zimbabwe while also spreading the education and skills-sharing from the festival further afield. This will also help in marketing the festival abroad while at the same time it greatly assists performing artists as each artist now has a professionally edited video of their concert that can be used for promoting their works.

FEATURING… Comrade Fatso, Outspoken, Akala, Hired Gun, AndreattahChuma, Synik, Tumi& The Volume, Flow Chyld, Dikson&Vee, Monkey Nutz, T.Shoc, BatsiraiChigama, Ghetto Projekts, NTM, Timothy Mwaura, MandisaMabuthoe, Aero5ol, Upmost, Mizchif, Florian Gaag, Chabvondoka, The Essence, KB, House of Stone, Munetsi, DRM, Sphinx Graffiti Writers, Chiko, Most Quoatable, Suniva.

The official Shoko! Documentary short aswell as the stand alone videos of the performances, workshops, conferences and talks can be found here…

About Magamba:

Magamba is the country’s leading spoken word and hip hop organization and has been pioneering in its involvement in the spoken word movement in Zimbabwe. Comrade Fatso, co-founder of Magamba, started the House of Hunger Poetry Slam, Zimbabwe’s first poetry slam that continues to this day. Upon its own formation Magamba then launched the monthly Mashoko event, Zimbabwe’s leading spoken word and hip hop event, which sees over 200 youth attending each event. Magamba runs youth projects, social media projects and launched the pioneering Shoko Festival.

About Nomadic Wax:

Nomadic Wax is a fair-trade international record label, as well as a film, music, and educational events production company, specializing in hip hop and underground music from around the globe.

Since 2001, Nomadic Wax has grown into an internationally recognized brand in global urban music and media, working with hundreds of pioneering artists worldwide. Focusing on Africa and the African diaspora, Nomadic Wax has expanded its projects into the Middle East, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean.

Post published in: Arts

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