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(en) France, UCL AL #330 - International, Maintenance. Soundz of the South (South African hip-hop collective): "Part of our traditions and cultures were taught to us through colonial construction" (ca, de, it, fr, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Sat, 24 Sep 2022 10:14:32 +0300


During their tour of France last June, we spoke with members of the South African anarchist hip-hop group Soundz of the South. ---- Soundz of the South : The collective was formed in Cape Town in 2008 following a conference with artists from Cameroon, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and South Africa. It was a question of responding to xenophobic attacks and creating spaces for exchange around concepts such as belonging and nationality. In these spaces, we cultivate critical thinking with informative material and we hope this inspires youth to self-organize. Our principles in addition to cultivating critical thinking are solidarity, mutual aid, self-organization and inclusive community building, so that people become active in the face of oppression, capitalist exploitation, racism, patriarchy and sexism.

Libertarian Alternative: What international dimension do you give to your thinking and what place do you give to local identities?

First of all an internationalist approach was needed on our side because the borders are a stumbling block and already limit the organization in the region. We are inspired by the Black Panthers, the Zapatistas, the Kurdish movement. Initially we were also interested in pan-Africanism, but over time we found this idea too limited.

Our analysis is that several traditions and cultural elements that we follow as people of South Africa have been diluted to encourage the development of institutions that promote certain colonial ideologies. At Soundz of the South, we try to decolonize and deconstruct what has been presented to us as part of our traditions and cultures because these elements limit us and don't really belong to us. They were taught to us through colonial construction.

If we don't address the plurality of identities in South Africa, we isolate ourselves and the people we want to organize with. So it is important to use indigenous languages to create space for those who do not understand English or who are not English speakers. We want people to feel welcome in our spaces when they speak their language and to be able to understand political concepts, which are often English words, in their own language.

AL: Listening to your songs, it is obvious that class issues are linked to the issue of race, how anti-racism is developing in unions in South Africa?

The trade union movement in our country has a big challenge as the majority of trade unions are affiliated to the Confederation of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) which is aligned with the ANC which governs the country. This damages the credibility of unions so today people prefer self-organization or go to independent unions like Sasawu and Casawu.

Interview by UCL in July 2022


https://www.unioncommunistelibertaire.org/?Entretien-Soundz-of-the-South-collectif-hip-hop-d-Afrique-du-Sud-Une-part-de
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