Sound production

Southern Guild presents ‘Black Exodus: Summer Departure’, a solo exhibition of new works by Nigerian-Canadian artist Oluseye. Spanning sculpture, installation, and photography created over the past five years, the exhibition weaves the artist’s personal narrative, trans-Atlantic journeys, and artistic evolution into a broader exploration of historical and contemporary Black life. The following document of the exhibition is accompanied by a soundscape which responds to these themes.

Directed and edited by Malik Ntone Edjabe
Sound design by Malik Ntone Edjabe
Commissioned by Oluseye
Filmed by Chris Kets

This piece was commissioned by Manyaku Mashilo as part of her solo exhibition, ‘An Order of Being’. It draws on found sound, including recordings of devotional music from across Southern Africa, electronic music production and prose written and recited by Julie Nxadi to construct a sonic response to Mashilo’s work.

released January 23, 2024
Cover art by Manyaku Mashilo
Mastered by Solomon Philips
Recorded and mixed by Malik Ntone Edjabe
Sound design by Malik Ntone Edjabe
Produced by Malik Ntone Edjabe
Vocals by Julie Nxadi

‘Hophuis’ (2023) documents a series of journeys to and activations at the Steinkopf Community Centre in Namaqualand, Northern Cape. The town of Steinkopf is situated in what was declared a “Coloured Reserve” by the apartheid government in 1948 – previously Kookfontein, it was renamed by German missionaries who settled there in the 18th century.

Along with a new name, the missionaries brought what James Baldwin referred to as “theological terror”, warning of eternal damnation for all those who followed indigenous spiritual practices. Dance and song, a core part of the spirituality of the Nama, were prohibited. Many of these cultural practices, along with the Nama language, remain treasured by community members and a few enthusiasts, but are otherwise forgotten.

Steinkopf was also witness to the early 20th century diamond and copper extraction by Anglo American – De Beers. By 1975, as diamond extracts began to dwindle, the company proposed a “community centre” for Steinkopf. A Chairman Fund was established and the mining executives reached out to the University of Cape Town’s Urban Problems Research Unit to provide architectural services. The funds provided by Anglo American – De Beers were insufficient to pay for the building, prompting the community to raise the rest of the money.

Finally, instruction to implement the project was received on 12 September 1977, the day the world learned of the killing of Black Consciousness leader, Stephen Bantu Biko.

In 1973, Biko had published his landmark essay “Black Consciousness and the Quest for a True Humanity” in the edited volume Black Theology: the South African Voice, calling for a re-examining of Christianity in light of the spiritual destruction of Africans at the hands of missionaries. Hophuis echoes the calls of Biko, Baldwin, and others for the re-insertion of dance, song, and language as practices of liberation. It also asks us to consider this unsung building in Steinkopf as a ruin and a potential site of freedom, both.

Letitia Pandohe
ǂHoab Soreb, AKA Culture
Stephanus Daniels
Vloos Andreas
Fernando Damon
Siyabonga Mthembu
Chalwyn Thomas
Brownwyn Katz

Directed by Ilze Wolff
Produced by Wolff Architects
Researcher & Associated Producer – Mmakhotso Lamola
Cinematography by Heinrich Wolff & Malik Ntone Edjabe (astroclutterfilms)
Edited by Malik Ntone Edjabe (astroclutterfilms)
Music Supervision and Sound Design by Malik Ntone Edjabe (astroclutterfilms)
Translation (Afrikaan- English) by Danielle Bruintjies
Translation (English – Portuguese) by Fundação Bienal de São Paulo
Commissioned by Fundação Bienal de São Paulo for the the 35th São Paulo Biennial

Music (in order of appearance):
‘Walking Shadows’ by Assif Tsahar, Petter Kowald & Rashid Ali
‘War is jy nou’ by Brian Toue & Zebulon Ricardo
‘Ras Zebulon’ by Fernando Damon
‘SAD’ by Fernando Damon
‘Wat die here jan doen’ by Fernando Damon
‘Trot riler (Hophuis version)’ by Malik Ntone Edjabe
‘Footmovements’ by Fernando Damon
‘Ok’salayo ons bly’ by Siyabonga Mthembu & Malik Ntone Edjabe
‘Motion from the gut (Hophuis version)’ by Malik Ntone Edjabe

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Lakheni Nobatana
Written and performed by Shima Mojapelo