Durban Sings: Africa Remixed

So much of what we see and hear about Africa gets filtered through an American or Western lens. One of the great gifts of the “world wide web” and the age of the global internet is that we can seek and find and hear authentic and unmediated voices that connect us to other cultures.

Thanks to the Waves For Change blog, I discovered Durban Sings, a fascinating project from South Africa that is creating a platform for oral history, community engagement, cultural celebration.

Durban Sings invites contributions of raw audio to an open source archive of sounds, and then asks artists and activists around the world to dip into it and “remix” African history using the voices of the people, and the pulse of the community. 

 Durban Sings is facilitated by the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu Natal. Eight editorial collectives in communities around Durban are recording and uploading interviews and ambiences through the end of March, 2010. 

At AIR, we like to say that MQ2 was “taking public media to the streets.” Durban Sings is taking the streets to public media, or making public media from the streets.