Kim Karabo Makin: Resident in 2022
In three broadcasts, Kim Karabo Makin remembers and revives the history of the Medu Art Ensemble and its role in the Anti-Apartheid struggle.
on Gaborone, 1985
“The hell started at about half past one on the morning of... the fourteenth of June”
- (Nyelele & Drake, 1985)
"on Gaborone, 1985" considers the June 14 raid on Gaborone by the South African Defence Force (SADF) as a traumatic turning point for Botswana’s creative development – resulting in the demise of Medu Art Ensemble overnight.
1. "The hell started at about half past one on the morning of Friday the fourteenth of June", The Botswana Guardian newspaper, reported on 19 June 1985
2. The doors of culture shall be opened, 2021, Installation view at Michaelis Galleries, Cape Town (Wall + Sound Installation)
3. Wreath-Laying Ceremony in Commemoration of the victims of the SADF Raid on Gaborone (1985), 14 June 2022, Gaborone Cemetery, Extension 14
An intertextual audio essay which endeavours to explore the transnational space that Medu Art Ensemble has occupied historically ‘in another South Africa’, with a focus on the route that connects Gaborone, Botswana and Amsterdam, the Netherlands (via Chicago). Satellite Activism notably traces the life and legacy of Medu Art Ensemble in contemporaneity, with a particular look at themes that connect the Culture and Resistance Festival and Symposium, 5 – 7 July 1982 in Gaborone, to the Culture in Another South Africa Conference, December 1987 in Amsterdam. Additionally, with particular reference to the Art Institute of Chicago publication The People Shall Govern! Medu Art Ensemble and the Anti-Apartheid Poster 1979-1985, the project extends off of Kim Karabo Makin's exploration of ‘the living archive’ – a live sounding of the archive as expressed through lived experiences and shared storytelling, where my practice considers the DJ as an archivist.
1. Still of Robot Boii (Mzwakhe Mbuli Jr.) performing 'Salary' at Idols SA, 2022-min
2. Still of Barbara Masekela singing 'Senzeni Na' at 'The Cultural Voice of Resistance, South African and Dutch Artists against Apartheid', Amsterdam, 1982 (Source_ YouTube)
3. Still of Amsterdam in 'Before Dawn_ Culture in Another South Africa', 1987 (Source_ YouTube)
Unpacking "Satellite Activism"
‘Unpacking Satellite Activism’ is an extended conversation hosted by Kim Karabo Makin along with artist friends and colleagues – Ann Gollifer and Thero Makepe, at the home of the Art Residency Centre in Gaborone, Botswana.
The conversation unpacks Makin’s final outcome of her radio residency with Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee, a sound piece entitled Satellite Activism. In so doing, Makin engages a conversation with Gollifer in considering her practice as an archivist, as well as in unpacking the potential for an exploration of the archive as ‘living’, with specific regard to the strong presence of oral traditions in the context of Botswana. In addition, Makin engages Makepe in reflecting on the role of the DJ as an archivist of sorts, in curating the living archive. Furthermore, with a look at the cultural significance of radio in the local soundscape, the three collectively present the sort of intergenerational passing on of knowledge that Satellite Activism embraces.
Unpacking 'Satellite Activism', an extended conversation hosted by Kim Karabo Makin ft Ann Gollifer & Thero Makepe