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Photo (c) John Liebenberg

'Stolen Moments' Uncovers the Namibian Music That Apartheid Tried to Erase

The photo exhibition, showing at the Brunei Gallery in London, highlights artists from Namibia's underground scene between 1950-1980, a time of immense musical suppression prior to its independence.

Before its independence in 1990, a whole generation of Namibians were made to believe that their country had no real musical legacy. Popular productions by Namibian artists from previous eras were systematically concealed from the masses for nearly 30 years under the apartheid regime—which extended to the country from South Africa following German colonization—depriving many Namibians of the opportunity to connect with their own musical heritage.

"Stolen Moments: Namibian Music Untold," a new exhibit currently showing at London's Brunei Museum at SOAS University of London, seeks to revive Namibian musical traditions that the apartheid regime attempted to erase.

"Imagine you had never known about the musical riches of your country," said the exhibit's curator Aino Moongo in a statement of purpose on SOAS' site. "Your ears had been used to nothing but the dull sounds of the country's former occupants and the blaring church and propaganda songs that were sold to you as your country's musical legacy. Until all at once, a magnitude of unknown sounds, melodies and songs appear. This sound, that roots your culture to the musical influences of jazz, blues and pop from around the world, is unique, yet familiar. It revives memories of bygone days, recites the history of your homeland and enables you for the first time to experience the emotions, joys and pains of your ancestors."

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Displaying the Old South African Apartheid Flag Constitutes Hate Speech

In a historic judgement, the Equality Court has ruled that it is now illegal to display the Apartheid flag in public.

Earlier this year in April, the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) and the racist lobby group AfriForum took the matter of displaying the old Apartheid Flag in public, to be heard in front of the Equality Court. The NMF argued that the public display of the Apartheid flag amounted to hate speech under South Africa's Constitution while AfriForum felt that the banning of the Apartheid flag altogether would violate the right to freedom of expression. Today, however, presiding Judge Phineas Mojapelo has ruled in favor of a "carefully guided prohibition" of the public displaying of the Apartheid flag, News24 reports. reports.

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