Anarchist Africa​:​:​When Visions Fall From Sky

by IR::Sankara Future Dub Resurgence

/
1.
sometimes its necessary to question. the paradigms that have been implanted in our minds so we ask you to be pensive as opposed to defensive those who seek to reclaim our African glory so often put centralised african kingdoms like kemet mali kush at the center of their story name checking kings and queens to add to the sheen but Africa was more than those anarchist examples more common than we suppose in fact these centralised kingdoms were a minority instead we can look at the igbo a federation of autonomous communities without kings queens chiefs dont shake your head in disbelief at one point 4 million people organised into 2000 separate villages should the presence and existence of a Kingdom, empire, nation or state radiating immense material wealth be the yardstick we use to contemplate our self worth for this time we spend on earth are we not detracting from those who did not choose to chase that particular vision of glory? Are we not detracting from African indigenous peoples who chose instead to humbly respect and flow with the earth acting as caregivers of this land on which we stand! Many will acknowledge on our African continent we live within imposed colonial boundaries artificial state constructs Geographic lines drawn by others which interfere with people's lives while simultaneously being a constant cause of strife most African peoples were stateless prior to colonialism. this stateless presence often referred to as a sign of our so-called underdevelopment a barometer of lower intelligence but what if it was a conscious rejection of Kingdoms, empires, nations, states, And other political forms of centralized hierarchy refusing to live a life of subjugation insisting on African mutual aid created by those unafraid of social living, communal living. Peoples like The Shona of Zimbabwe, the Mano of Ivory Coast, the Kusaasi of Ghana, those of the highlands of Madgascar and other African peoples with anti-authoritarian philosophies of living together yes indeed time to reshape the historical algorithm do your on research reach your own conclusion and always be ready to shatter any illusions as we challenge the framework we ask you to be pensive as opposed to being defensive sometimes its necessary to question the paradigms that have been implanted in our minds
2.
Slowly I lifted my head Looked around carefully Sisters on the left Brothers on the right Everyone laughing Enjoying the moments before night I searched into their eyes for acknowledgement of what I had heard To see heads nodding is what I would have preferred But no one had registered what my ears had heard A sonic intervention almost like a blur Where do you think you are going The women's voice from above Said just to me I swim in the ocean of timelessness A sense of higher dimensions is already present in me I remember when the ancient keepers of knowledge said to me In voices so stern Hit me with three sets of knowledge They felt I should learn 18th century literacy rates in west africa in places like Senegal were two to three times higher than any place in Europe at the same time Boom Plantation records in America were often kept by enslaved African Muslims using African languages written in Arabic script because the slave owners could not read or write Boom In 1770 before the French and American revolutions there was a revolution in Futa Toro ,West Africa that not only abolished slavery but kings Boom They can not take the book from you if you are the book " The sistren said to me We send down the visions like rain We send down the pure water To those who walk with hearts open and clean Ready to receive waiting state visions Dub meditation took my hand Guided me across the land Placed me in the company of children So I could further overstand Sitting on tallest mountain peak Surveying as far as I could see Simultaneously looking deep within me Where do you think you are going The woman's voice said again A hint of reverb on her refrain Now that the airports are closed The borders are closed The ground transportation shut down With a gentle smile I waited a while Before giving my reply Okuteka dub Ku mutindo omulala To take the dub to another level More tools for those that rebel Babylon ignores at their own peril Transformation the essence of our endeavour With no apology what so ever We resist with truth Because we know there is life that comes from truth There is life that comes from truth
3.
It was 4 am with a cool Ugandan night wind in our open air recording space i was watching kabaka recording a verse. he stood directly between the microphone stand and a big Free West Papua poster designed by Dubdem. he kept repeating this line: " a sonic intervention almost like a blur". Each time he did a take he put extra emphasis on that last word: “Blur” At first, i was very puzzled. Some months later, i was having a conversation with a Masaai sistren nkina, and she said to me, “You told me of your Haitian filmmaker friend Michelangelo Quay who attended a gathering of ancient spiritual practitioners in the forest of Gabon. He learnt that when someone in the gathering had a dream or vision, they wouldnt use the words “Dream” or “vision.” they would simply say , " I see this..." Because such experiences were just a part of the natural flow of life. The sistren said, “I know you and I have been joking about how you learnt about Masaai traditional values. Did I tell you this before through a dream ? because I dont remember telling you in a day to day conversation. are we in a dream now?” At that very instant, my mind returned to the recording session and the word that Kabaka repeated like a chant. “Blur” and suddenly i realized, why that word was so important to a recording session that produced so many lyrics that touched on the future in a prophetic way. Because in that moment, the line between past, present and future had dissolved, and time became one. When Visions Fall From Sky
4.
sometimes its necessary to question. the paradigms that have been implanted in our minds so we ask you to be pensive as opposed to defensive those who seek to reclaim our African glory so often put centralised african kingdoms like kemet mali kush at the center of their story name checking kings and queens to add to the sheen but Africa was more than those anarchist examples more common than we suppose in fact these centralised kingdoms were a minority instead we can look at the igbo a federation of autonomous communities without kings queens chiefs dont shake your head in disbelief at one point 4 million people organised into 2000 separate villages should the presence and existence of a Kingdom, empire, nation or state radiating immense material wealth be the yardstick we use to contemplate our self worth for this time we spend on earth are we not detracting from those who did not choose to chase that particular vision of glory? Are we not detracting from African indigenous peoples who chose instead to humbly respect and flow with the earth acting as caregivers of this land on which we stand! Many will acknowledge on our African continent we live within imposed colonial boundaries artificial state constructs Geographic lines drawn by others which interfere with people's lives while simultaneously being a constant cause of strife most African peoples were stateless prior to colonialism. this stateless presence often referred to as a sign of our so-called underdevelopment a barometer of lower intelligence but what if it was a conscious rejection of Kingdoms, empires, nations, states, And other political forms of centralized hierarchy refusing to live a life of subjugation insisting on African mutual aid created by those unafraid of social living, communal living. Peoples like The Shona of Zimbabwe, the Mano of Ivory Coast, the Kusaasi of Ghana, those of the highlands of Madgascar and other African peoples with anti-authoritarian philosophies of living together yes indeed time to reshape the historical algorithm do your on research reach your own conclusion and always be ready to shatter any illusions as we challenge the framework we ask you to be pensive as opposed to being defensive sometimes its necessary to question the paradigms that have been implanted in our minds
5.
in the calm of january 2020 before corona virus hit uganda we recorded some lyrics that we had prepared in the silience. Lyrics that at the time not everyone realised the full meaning. They scratched their heads and asked what do you mean when you said you heard a voice saying " Where do you think you are going?" now certain events have happened and one can use them to fill in the blanks and complete the lyrics which we see as prophesy lyrics For instance now we can be saying " Where do you think you are going now that the borders are closed, the airports are closed , the ground transportation shut down.... The lyrics again ask the question " where do you are going ?" and we see this community awake poster that says "as the entire system has been shut down you dont have to keep running anymore ..look within yourself and connect with yourself.we can connect with others. humanity is at its best when we are united."
6.
7.
sometimes its necessary to question. the paradigms that have been implanted in our minds so we ask you to be pensive as opposed to defensive those who seek to reclaim our African glory so often put centralised african kingdoms like kemet mali kush at the center of their story name checking kings and queens to add to the sheen but Africa was more than those anarchist examples more common than we suppose in fact these centralised kingdoms were a minority instead we can look at the igbo a federation of autonomous communities without kings queens chiefs dont shake your head in disbelief at one point 4 million people organised into 2000 separate villages should the presence and existence of a Kingdom, empire, nation or state radiating immense material wealth be the yardstick we use to contemplate our self worth for this time we spend on earth are we not detracting from those who did not choose to chase that particular vision of glory? Are we not detracting from African indigenous peoples who chose instead to humbly respect and flow with the earth acting as caregivers of this land on which we stand! Many will acknowledge on our African continent we live within imposed colonial boundaries artificial state constructs Geographic lines drawn by others which interfere with people's lives while simultaneously being a constant cause of strife most African peoples were stateless prior to colonialism. this stateless presence often referred to as a sign of our so-called underdevelopment a barometer of lower intelligence but what if it was a conscious rejection of Kingdoms, empires, nations, states, And other political forms of centralized hierarchy refusing to live a life of subjugation insisting on African mutual aid created by those unafraid of social living, communal living. Peoples like The Shona of Zimbabwe, the Mano of Ivory Coast, the Kusaasi of Ghana, those of the highlands of Madgascar and other African peoples with anti-authoritarian philosophies of living together yes indeed time to reshape the historical algorithm do your on research reach your own conclusion and always be ready to shatter any illusions as we challenge the framework we ask you to be pensive as opposed to being defensive sometimes its necessary to question the paradigms that have been implanted in our minds
8.
sometimes its necessary to question. the paradigms that have been implanted in our minds so we ask you to be pensive as opposed to defensive those who seek to reclaim our African glory so often put centralised african kingdoms like kemet mali kush at the center of their story name checking kings and queens to add to the sheen but Africa was more than those anarchist examples more common than we suppose in fact these centralised kingdoms were a minority instead we can look at the igbo a federation of autonomous communities without kings queens chiefs dont shake your head in disbelief at one point 4 million people organised into 2000 separate villages should the presence and existence of a Kingdom, empire, nation or state radiating immense material wealth be the yardstick we use to contemplate our self worth for this time we spend on earth are we not detracting from those who did not choose to chase that particular vision of glory? Are we not detracting from African indigenous peoples who chose instead to humbly respect and flow with the earth acting as caregivers of this land on which we stand! Many will acknowledge on our African continent we live within imposed colonial boundaries artificial state constructs Geographic lines drawn by others which interfere with people's lives while simultaneously being a constant cause of strife most African peoples were stateless prior to colonialism. this stateless presence often referred to as a sign of our so-called underdevelopment a barometer of lower intelligence but what if it was a conscious rejection of Kingdoms, empires, nations, states, And other political forms of centralized hierarchy refusing to live a life of subjugation insisting on African mutual aid created by those unafraid of social living, communal living. Peoples like The Shona of Zimbabwe, the Mano of Ivory Coast, the Kusaasi of Ghana, those of the highlands of Madgascar and other African peoples with anti-authoritarian philosophies of living together yes indeed time to reshape the historical algorithm do your on research reach your own conclusion and always be ready to shatter any illusions as we challenge the framework we ask you to be pensive as opposed to being defensive sometimes its necessary to question the paradigms that have been implanted in our minds

about

Based in Uganda, East Africa, the musicians IR::Sankara Future Dub Resurgence like to describe their music as “Future Dub.” They take elements of noise, non-metric riddims, experimental electronics, dub reggae and dub poetry, and djembe and nyabinghi drumming together to create the unexpected.

The opening lyrics to “Anarchist Africa” set up the critical, yet self-reflective, mindset of this mini-album.

Sometimes it’s necessary to question
the paradigms that have been implanted in our minds.

So we ask you to be pensive
as opposed to defensive.

Lyrically, these tracks aim to challenge our political and cultural concepts, especially of the African subcontinent and its colonial as well as pre-colonial histories.

Those who seek to reclaim our African glory
so often put
centralised African kingdoms
like Kemet, Mali, Kush
at the center of their story
name-checking kings and queens
to add to the sheen

But Africa was more than those anarchist examples,
more common than we suppose.

In fact,
these centralised kingdoms were a minority

“Anarchist Africa” also addresses the history of indigenous people in Africa and how their lives and contributions have been evaluated.

Are we not detracting from African indigenous peoples
who chose instead to humbly respect and flow with the earth
acting as caregivers of this land
on which we stand?

Africa’s anarchist and anti-authoritarian traditions are presented on this track to give a radically different perspective of the continent’s political story.

The track “When Visions Fall From Sky” pays homage to African ancestral practices, emphasizing the mystical experience while challenging the grand narratives and stereotypes that have been made (and used against) African peoples throughout modern history. It utilises bass-heavy voices of dub poetry and jagged, dub-inflected percussion. Together, these elements have the piercing effect of presenting what Sankara Future Dub Resurgence describe as “Our African story” (as opposed to his story):

18th century literacy rates in West Africa
in places like Senegal
were two to three times higher
than any place in Europe at the same time

BOOM!

Plantation records in America
were often kept by enslaved African Muslims
using African languages written in Arabic script
because the slave owners could not read or write

BOOM!

In 1770, before the French and American revolutions,
There was a revolution in Futa Toro, West Africa
That not only abolished slavery, but kings

BOOM!

They can’t take the book from you
If you are the book.

The “BOOM” behind each message represents the power of remembering African knowledge-traditions in light of racist, historical erasure. As photographer and musician Aniruddha Das notes, "seldom is there ANY depiction of African people with books or reading.”

This EP was created physically and virtually with the collaborative forces of IR::Sankara Future Dub Resurgence, Herman "Soy Sos "Pearl, Dhangsha, the Professor Of Dub and others in the Shadows.

Lastly, this EP is incomplete without director Joshua Black Alibet's film visualization of the track “When Visions Fall From Sky.” Filmed on the beautiful Ugandan island of Senene, it uses the natural lighting of the early morning sunrise to create luminous, soft textures. It draws on the subtleties of the colour spectrum in ways that evoke Daughters Of The Dust (1991), a landmark work of African-American cinema in which director Julie Dash handled lighting in ways that caressed its Black protagonists in a beautifully affirming manner. You can watch Alibet’s film here on Vimeo:https://vimeo.com/473864476

credits

released October 30, 2020

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