Music composed by people of African descent has a long legacy throughout the diaspora and has been used as a tool to fight for social justice, convey one’s emotions and acted as a bridge that connects people together. On the 24th of May we facilitated a workshop where music was used as a weapon to deconstruct and re-imagine the image of African youth living in New Zealand. With so many misconceptions, half-truths and stereotypes about the continent it was time to take matters into our own hands and used our voices to tell our own stories and express who we are.
We were fortunate to have a panel of knowledgeable individuals in the music and performance industry who shared their journey and how their stories influence their art form. After the panel discussion we participated in a exercise that allowed us to use our voices to tell our stories as we navigated through the murky waters of identity. The above is the poetry we wrote regarding our stories, journeys and experiences. As a whole the workshop was the beginning of awakening African consciousness and a contributor to community cohesiveness through dialogue and drums.
Photo credit: Jean Kim