Stokvel # 2 was…
point blank gallery, Drill Hall, Jozi
Saturday July 18
Jozi massive-Johannesburg, Durban Sings-Durban & Allied Media Conference-Detroit
How can we use hip-hop to transform our communities?
One veteran Jozi emcee remarked during the Detroit/Jozi skype exchange that we can discuss hip-hop all day, and discredited the subject of hip hop as a squandering use of the resource that was the dialogue between Jozi & Detroit. That could be true, yet when you consider that Invincible, one of Detroit’s most active citizens learnt to speak English through listening and writing to hip hop music while growing up in Israel/Palestine then it is something else. Invincible is making a difference in a community that is socially and economically challenging, where a majority of people communicate in English. Hip-hop does and will continue to be valuable; lived, experienced, made and dialogued. The value of dialogue around hip hop is important because this thing changes all the time, morphing into other cultures to redefine and transform those forces it interacts with. The Jozi and Detroit exchange ratio of female/male was a near even of opposites, with more sisters in the D and more brothers in Jozi. What does that tell us? Does it tell us that its still cool to pair riches with bitches on equal basis in a rhyme scheme or that heads are cool with being ‘groupies’ within hip hop?
For us it’s disturbing when a culture elevates out-dated and ill-informed street cred and the hustle as the classic, when in reality cultures are interdependent. That kind of view is cousin to the “hip-hop is dead” rhetoric, or that predecessors will never retire from the throne. That’s pure arrogance in the face of collective growth and development. There are always new people entering into the hip-hop realm. Some of these people are not on the same tip as us in terms of knowledge of hip-hop, where it’s from and going and so forth. Meanwhile our very own perceptions of hip-hop vary from sharp to skewed. If we behave in extreme ways such as vandalizing, disrespecting women, provoking fellow brothers and being jerks at hip hop spaces we are tainting the reality of an evolving organism. And it may well be how the forces wish it to be. Hip-hop is our pride and joy of a life created from scratch, a capacity to aspire…back track to Stokvel # 2.
We had li’l cuties in the space, and man did they look cute…
Smangele and Kutloano and Lerato a big thank you…
What can we do better?
In all honesty will did not make a conscious decision to make Stokvel # 2 child friendly. As we had it, the design and packaging section kept kids and teenagers busy crafting dope creations, from scratch. The balcony meant that smoke did not affect the little ones. Instead what they had was an inspiring atmosphere, plenty of adoration and extra affection. While at did, we did not prepare for special guests such as those using wheel chairs. Again, lucky we did not have the VIP’s. Noted.
While still on the heavy part, it would have been of good use if we had a printout of the programme or an ongoing in house radio in between the dj sets to keep people updated. For example, how many of those of y’all who made it know that up to 17 FRESH tracks were laid down? That’s madness right? Much love and respect to Slang Entertainment and Pullover Records. That the quality is dope is magical in a space where people were laughing and dancing and talking and stuff. Look out for Stokvel mixtape!!! Most aspects of Stokvel #2 meant that people were participants rather than audience, for example the huge canvas kept people busy painting and visualizing thoughts live in the space.
The canvas had the question; Stokvel ? as a prompt for people to [re]define the practice as they see it. Look out for the final piece on this here blog soon!
A million thank yous to the people behind the stalls for investing in Stokvel # 2, your contribution meant that we could cover transport for some of the donated equipment and facilities that was used in the space. We hope the experience was worthwhile for all of y’all.
Stokvel spoke to some participants about Stokvel # 2 while writing this. Amongst other critical stuff mentioned, it was stressed that we must make an effort to involve groups from ko-Kasi and expose them to things like skype communication so as to broaden mindsets. Dance, theatre and writing are themes that people would like to see taking place at the next Stokvel #3, emphasizing the importance of including township groups that may think of the Market Theatre and such spaces as the only avenues. Stokvel # 4 may take place at a township near you, since # 3 will be at the point blank gallery as an after party for Keleketla! Art Auction.
You are all welcome to comment below, offer feedback and recommendations for Stokvel # 3
What moment is this?…
…courtesy of the AMC was the theme which guided emcees when they wrote 4 bars (lines) defining what the theme meant to them i.e. the present moment of global economic crisis. Imagine singers, poets and rappers all on one track. The energy created that night could power two blocks. Writer after writer exchanged insights on the mic for hours on end without a breather “We do the Stokvel thing all night” spat ‘The Locksmith’, one of the recording artist that night. Spontaneous collaborations and freestyles defined the night as truly magical.
The skype conversation had all leanings of a fever pitch pitching exchange with emcees and hip-hop scholars alike, bearing souls in regards to wrangles predominant in independent circles and how the activist edge of it all can fully be realized. Both parties being J-sec and Detroit shared noteworthy sentiments of how mobilization at grassroots level through the power of lyricism can spark significant change in a community. Present on the J-sec panel were luminaries such as Last Days Fam, Sub-stance, Projectah and Quaz all of whom ripped to shreds on the mic.
Detroit held it down on its end, with most of their dopest lyricists being female – a feat which could well deliver hip-hop from the doldrums; a sense of being in tune with the genteel.
Branding…for Stokvel # 2 was swiftly put together by three suspects;
Mmatseleng, Dala & Small who all are from different collectives but fighting for one root cause. The brand was rapidly hand-printed on numerous surfaces, such as fabric that acted out as a banner dropped vertically outside the balcony of the point blank gallery. Other branded surfaces include street poles, which were branded with red chart paper with the Stokvel # 2 ID going right around the poles acting as a guide route to the Drill Hall from Newtown.
The rest of the surfaces where strategically and randomly printed within the point blank gallery space itself. In the end, the day branded itself out in people’s minds…
…Stokvel # 2 was hot, considering that it was in July it can only be the result of so many people putting their energies together…
Peace to Fananathi Movement, innacitycommunity, Vosloo Namanje, Likwid Tongue, Eternal Beat, the Jourbet Park Project, Spiral, Slang Entertainment, Allied Media Conference, Durban Sings, Eskodini, Pullover Records, Imbawula Trust, secondOpinion, Davina Moon, Stanley Parkies, MsButtons, Nkosinathi Quwe, Infinite ISO, Frans Radebe, Joao ‘Djoca’ Dapiedade, Bie Venter and very many individuals who continue to [re]define inter-dependent, independent community economic models. We are history.
review by k*blaqque, jabu, ra and 4matt
snaps by ra, tolo, breeze & mathoto