Arts + Culture
The Archive of Forgetfulness

Review: An Online Exhibition Highlights The Limits Of Memory


The Archive of Forgetfulness is an exhibition dedicated to remembering both our personal and collective histories.

Cheriese Diljrah's Existence is An Occupation is a six-minute video installation that starts with the artist creating a paper jet to the sound of Miriam Makeba's "A Piece of Ground". "When the white man first came here from over the seas. He looked and he said, this is God's own country. He was mighty well pleased with this land that he'd found and he said, 'I will make here my own piece of ground,'" sings Makeba. The song sets the emotional tenor of Diljrah's piece, which compares the state violence in occupied Palestine with the forced removals enforced by the City of Cape Town. The video ends with her asking: Can people be illegal invaders in their own country or continent?

The video is a commentary on the circular nature of colonial history — how it's bound to repeat itself — and the inextricable link between the past and the present. Bubbling beneath the images of forced demolitions and her poetic spoken word piece about a mother cradling her child through a forced eviction, is a simple question: Why do we seem to forget the past when it informs so much of our present social realities?

Diljrah's piece is one of hundreds that makes up The Archive of Forgetfulness, an online exhibition that interrogates the failure of memory and the histories of racial violence and forced segregation. The exhibition, funded by the Goethe Institute, compiles essays, podcasts and visual art from artists across the continent to tell personal and collective stories about our different histories.

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Interview: ‘The Boom’ Compilation Showcases New Cape Town Talent

The Boom compilation album showcases the talents of Cape Town's emerging hip-hop and R&B artists.

Cape Town's hip-hop scene is teeming with talent. With the likes of Dee Koala, Kashcpt, Soul T, Simulation Rxps and a few others breaking into the rest of the country, what's more exciting than going on the ground and exploring more of the scene? The new compilation album, The Boom, brings the streets to your headphones and lets you in on the city's future stars.

The project consists of 10 songs that are collaborations by a selection of Cape Town's emerging talent—Nqobile Eland, Mvula Drae, TRP Don Gy, Cozmik and several others. Production on The Boom is handled by the likes of Lay-Lay, Mark Akol, GreekGod, Sid The Great, LYRIQ and IllRow.

Gung Ho's self-titled song from The Boom acts as a lead single. In the song's racy visuals, the duo of Nqobile Eland and Siya Sam show that their chemistry goes beyond beats as they back up their assertive proclamations with moves that match.

The Boom is a project facilitated by Mic In Check, a blog dedicated to documenting Cape Town's music scene, especially hip-hop. "Similar to how other regions have breakout sounds like gqom and amapiano that carry with them a group of artists," says Wandile Dumakude, one of the founders of Mic In Check, "'Xhosa Nostra rap' is going to be the next break out sound from Cape Town and many artists will come along with it."

The first installment of what will become an annual venture, The Boom is prevalently hip-hop and R&B, and according to MIC, the album "promotes cultural diversity whilst building unity in the local music industry."

In the interview below, Dumakude gives an inside look into The Boom project and what to expect from the Cape Town scene in the near future.

This interview has been slightly edited for length and clarity.

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