In the third episode of WHAT’S WRONG WITH GROOVIN? curated by DJ Kenzhero and Tha_Muzik, and narrated by Lebohang Masango we delved into the highly controversial and contentious topic of land. Laying at the heart of a society’s security, culture and heritage losing land has caused generations of people to lose access to critical resources which in turn has threatened livelihoods, triggered conflicts and erased histories.
Insecure land rights have deeply affected people on the continent, and the third episode unpacked the ripple effect of land displacement. Colonies were made for the economic exploitation of natural resources and human labour—there is no greater example of this than what has taken place on the continent.
The episode unpacked the mass destruction caused by these colonial borders that still have an effect on the continent. The “Scramble for Africa”, a moment during the Berlin conference in 1985, saw different European powers cut Africa into pieces, theirs for the taking. Taking control of Congo post the infamous conference, King Leopold II’s rule can only be described as a dark history of genocide and human rights violations in around the minerals industry. The DRC is known to be rich in many resources including coltan a mineral which powers multi-million dollar technology industries. The people at the core of mining this ore today, however, do not see any of its wealth.
The episode also interrogated who gets to project their romantic narratives of the land and its ownership. South African landscape artist Jacobus Hendrik Pierneef is known for paintings of the country’s wilderness which through his eyes is mostly unpopulated . Hailed for his depiction of our beautiful country the selective nostalgia of his work comes into questions as the era in which he was creating was a time where Black people could not move freely in and out of these landscapes. In contrast activist Sifiso Ntuli, helps us reclaim these histories through the Bantu Trek’s, which interrogate the “first settler” narrative in and around Johannesburg.
We can’t think of the spatial geography of what our country without thinking about the brutal history of forced removals, which were formalised by the Group areas act of 1950. The episode gave a nod to Cosmas Desmond who in his book , The Discarded People, gave a poignant account of how millions of Black people were uprooted from their homes into slums and townships. The episode also touched on the present-day anxieties of navigating the spatial geography of Johannesburg for Black Women, from suburbia to taxi ranks— and how women take back those spaces through the power of protest.
Here is the tracklist for WHATS WRONG WITH GROOVIN episode 3, if you missed it:
- Letta Mbulu – What Is Wrong With Groovin’
- Malombo – Sangoma
- Blue Lab Beats feat. Theo Crocker – Vibe Tribe
- Raw Artistic Soul feat. Ursula Rucker – The Light
- Renovation Unlimited feat. Roy Ayers – Antonata
- Sathima Bea Benjamin – Africa
- Dwight Trible – Ooh Child
- Courtney Pine – I’ve Known Rivers (4 Hero Remix)
- Nina Simone – Baltimore
- Ulysees Owens Jr – Yakhal’Inkomo
- Ebo Taylor – My Love And Music
- Mop Mop feat. Anthony Joseph – Let I Go
- Wunmi – Comercialism
- Theo Crocker – This Could Be For Travelling
- Zara McFarlane – Peace Begins With You
- Mirriam Makeba- Sophiatown
- The Sahara All Stars Of Jos – Feso Jaiye
- Chaos In The CBD – Midnight In Peckham
- Joao Donato – Emorio
- Sonar Kollektiv Orchester – Universal Love
- Eddie Henderson – Inside Out
- The Last Poets – Understand What Black Is
- Bonobo – The Keeper
- Ski Oakenful – This One;s 4 U
- Condry Ziqubu – The Land Is Ours
- Donald Byrd – Places And Spaces
- Yukihiro Fukutomi – All Over The World
- Dolly Rathebe – Meadowlands
- Weather Report – Birdland
- Yazmin Lacey – Body Needs Healing
- Nigtmares On Wax – Morse
- Amy Jones & Jay Em – I Wanna Know
- Lord Echo – Woah! There’s No Limit
- Asheru & Blue Black – Elevator Music
- Fela Kuti – Colonial Mentality
- Dj Kenzhero & Tha Muzik – What Is Wrong With Groovin
Listen to WHAT’S WRONG WITH GROOVIN? every Sunday between 14h00 and 18h00.