Kingston Reflections

Original Post (with pictures) by Reuben

I’m back in Detroit after a trip to the east, having made stops in NYC, Massachusetts, and Kingston, Jamaica. I traveled with members of BAMU Detroit and WOAH Collective, to continue an artists’ exchange with our contact Afifa Aza. We first met Afifa when she traveled to Detroit to present as part of the Black Survival Mixtape at the Allied Media Conference, resulting in a magical event at O.N.E. Mile, which she titled “Leap Of Faith Into The Multiverse“. Afifa operates two collective spaces in Kingston: SO((U))L HQ, and Di Institute for Social Leadership. Our first stop was SO((U))L HQ, where ZANJ RADIO is broadcast. HQ is a beautiful space up in the mountains. We met Zanj and Isabel who, with Afifa, program the radio station. I presented the crew with their very own set of Octahedron speakers, as QUADRIVIA couldn’t have had the impact that it does without Afifa’s early support.

I interviewed with DJ Zanj Rracc on his show World Music Fusion, which you can listen to here. We discussed African music technologies of the past/present/future, the pivotal roles of Jamaica and Detroit in the innovation of Black electronic music, how the pyramids in Egypt are actually octahedrons, how frequency + vibration are intrinsic properties not just of sound, but shape, color, and material as well, and how broadcasts travel infinitely through space, a form of communion with ancestors.

Our second stop was Di Institute for Social Leadership, which is located more centrally in the city of Kingston. We linked with Afifa and Isabel there. We brought paint, they invited some local youth, and we improvised a collaborative mural on the spot. I’m extremely grateful to Afifa and the crew down at SO((U))L HQ for hosting BAMU and WOAH, for allowing my speakers to live internationally, and coordinating the mural. We are looking forward to future collaborations! Check out the gallery below for photos.

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