For the first Curating Lab project initially scheduled in October 2020, curator Christine Eyene proposed to examine the name of Musica’s OORtreders Festival in relation to its reference to the similar Afrikaans word. While the term refers to the notion of ‘ear promenade’ in Flemish, it also translates as ‘transgressor’ or ‘trespasser’ in Afrikaans and as such, is anchored in the history and legacy of apartheid, the appropriation of African land by the European colonisers, and the alienation of Black South Africans from their own land.
To explore this narrative, Paris-based South African artist Mo Laudi was invited to create a new sound composition that examines the meaning of the festival’s naming in relation to apartheid and his own family history.
The artists says: “Recently, my family rediscovered a grave where my great-grandmother was buried. For years, they had had no access to the location where the grave was. When apartheid laws where implemented, Black people were forcibly removed from their homes, the land was given to White people, the most known situations being District Six and Sophiatown. So was the land where my great-grandmother was buried, the grave became part of the land owned by a White farmer and my family, through generations, had no access.” – Mo Laudi
The composition entitled Movement (Mayibuye) criticises the issue of access to, or exclusion from, land imposed by apartheid, which remains unresolved to this day. However, the sound piece also creates space for conversation. Based on archives and an original score, the sonic architecture of reverbs weaves a tapestry or quilt of distant syncopated ancestral drums juxtaposed with voices and organic sounds from South African urban and savannah landscapes.