After years of soul searching, boredom, panic, hysteria and sometimes, depression, I, together with some other like minds, have brought to the fore our informal community based learning program , to fill the void occasioned by bubble-gum artistry and accelerate creative potential.
Why the WiBO Culture ARTcellerator?
We believe that the psychological and socioeconomic well being of society is a direct outcome of the quality and quantity of performance art. Otherwise put, we have been struggling to answer the question – why are our toddlers twerking? We understand that this is a source of pride to many, but – why do we want to make twerking a boring affair? It should be a preserve of a few professionals.
As is characteristic of every philosophy, we spare some energy to share with you ours. We are well aware that it might not please you, but again the ARTcellerator was birthed by dissatisfaction and dissapointment in the under current order of our performance art. Are we bringing anything new? Perhaps yes, perhaps not – depending on how you look at it – half full or empty it’s up to you, because, we just want to sustain a coherent thrust against the bubble-gum tide. May be it works, may be we give up, may be we change something – we don’t know yet, we will just try.
So, honorable musicians, distinguished poets, lyricists, comedians, twerkers, audience and anything in between.
1. Do not call us simply because you need to make an extra buck from another gig, or you simply need a stage to be seen at the right place at the right time with the right people. We dont do celebrity, we dont pay well, we simply do art and the rest has a way of following. Show us your work, tell us your journey, struggles, ambitions, dreams and dissapointments, demonstrate your core following, even if a handful, and we will think through with you and put up the appropriate occasion for you.
2. Our performing artists, if you agree to put on a show on a stage we are curating, we have the pleasure of providing a production team to stretch the potential of your performance. We are tired of mediocre acts, with flashing china lights, guys scratching their crotch, girls swagging boobs and the struggle to twerk at every beat. Whereas that might be important to you, we dont consider it art. That is why we chose a curatorial path that improves the quality of performance, and differentiates us from well endowed event organizers.
3. Our dear djs, do not pester us to have you in our line up only for you to show up to play generic commercial tunes downloaded from charts and flash drives of friends and fellow djs. Scratching , nduru, nyongwa and the journey through synthetic effects, breaking bottles and sirens simply destroys music. They do not add an inch to your creative worth. Music already playing on radio doesnt need to be played twice. Every phone has a radio today, indeed, we could listen to that instead. In fact, we need to let radio know that there is great music, fresh from the oven, that they ignore to play. So, please, take us on a journey through soundscapes, to places we have never been before. Show us your homework.
4. All ye comedians and spoken word lyricists, we are tired of tribal, political and religious stereotype and associated rhetoric. Please get done with it. We love to tackle the most serious of issues amidst laugther and light. Hip hop, we are tired of your anger. We dont need it. We need engagement and flow that takes us to spaces we have never been. We are done with the minimalist nature of these spoken art forms, we need to see something immersing and characteristically different.
5. Our esteemed audience, We understand that you are important to us, but allow us to think and be creative. Therefore, do not show up at our events and ask us to play you what you were listening to on your way to the event. Do not demand that our artists play for you riddims and covers of Adelle. She has made it, that’s why you know her, our artists havent made it. There are places you can find covers and unconscious music, we recommend you to Karaoke, it does exactly that. You see, you also have to go to the toilet to let out yesterdays food so that you can have some more today. Creators are constipating because you are not allowing bowel movement. We sweat to rehearse and put on live events. We have a reason why we vigorously promote Afro + Live + Electro & Experimental, and we know we are not boring.
Finally, If you want to attempt the path not easily followed, explore new dimensions, find new markets, be experimental, try out emerging technologies, take risks on behalf of the generation that comes after us, defend our ever eroding cultural identity, collaborate internationally, build an ethic around our art, make timeless art, advance the quality of productions and shows to new spaces that you don’t see clearly, be an artist and not a mere entertainer, enjoy trust and allow yourself and others around you to give you feedback, put the art before the stomach, then we would love to work with you.
From the desk of Mwalimu Mkuu,
WiBO Culture Artcellerator.