Image credit: Still from film about The Black Box Project created by Petra Hermanova
The tenth Berlin based Border Movement residency saw Dhaka based producer, artist and curator Nafis aka The Black Box Project get selected to spend 2 months in Berlin.
Check out the video below for a glimpse into The Black Box Project’s experience. Filmed in Berlin and Dhaka and created by Petra Hermanova, this video embodies the passage of transition for the artist…
Image Credit – Cloat Gerold
“I think music creates safe spaces outside the ‘norm’ where people can be themselves and think freely. For music values individuality more than conformism. Art and music bring people from all walks of life together. In my opinion, art is leading everything farther than science. Science works on tomorrow while art shapes the day after thereby influencing scientists, politicians, designers, engineers and everyone building the world. However, art must be more open to anyone who needs to access it,” says Manuel Jesus, Berlin-based producer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter who has just begun his residency in India as part of the Border Movement Residency program — a joint project conceptualized by the Goethe-Institut, Musicboard Berlin, Wild City and Ableton.
Image credit: Nafis, no_name_face
“Here, in this land of equality, black and white are not buried in separate graveyards; nor do black and white pray in separate rooms and churches. There are no conflicting religions, no cacophony of conflicting scriptures. The priest and the padre, the mullah and the monk, drink water from the same glass here,” wrote Kazi Nazrul Islam — a Bengali poet, writer, musician and anti-colonial revolutionary in his poem ‘Samya’ (equality), “I sing the song of equality, of a country where fresh joy blossoms in every heart, and new life springs in every face. Friend, there is no king or subject here. No differences of rich and poor.”
Left – Pulpy Shilpy (image credit -Ron Bezbaruah) / right – no_name_face (image credit – Nafis Ahmed)
The Border Movement Residency project has worked with over 15 producers and musicians since its launch in 2015 – creating unique experiences tailored around the individual needs of the participating artists. The aim of the program has always been to create meaningful and relevant creative exchanges between musicians in South Asia and Germany.
Image Credit – Ériver Hijano
“Artists have the ability to design perception. They can find ways to convey tough subject matter in a tolerable manner. As artists, we can create spaces and platforms where people feel safe and enabled to engage in critical conversations without having the pressure of being assigned a certain societal, political or ideological expectation. And, we can be infinitely creative in how we enable this dialogue. It does not always have to be a literal dialogue using language. For, language itself can sometimes become a mode of exclusion” says Ramsha Shakeel — an interdisciplinary artist and experimental musician from Pakistan. In her explorations, one often discovers the romance of dimensions where individual archetypes in both sound and art coalesce to create aural interactions that define human emotion.
“Even If There’s A High Risk & I Die Poor In A Ditch, I Have To Do It” Dena Zarrin On Identity & Straddling Two Worlds
At the core of Dena Zarrin’s personality, and the music she writes as Madanii, is a sense of identity. Zarrin’s life as the daughter of Iranian immigrants in Germany informs a lot of her musical output, existing in that space between western and eastern cultural and aesthetic values, straddling the two worlds. Music had always been a part of her, but she’d gotten involved with the industry, the business side of things. “I somehow lost my way in all that. I just felt physically and mentally ill—I realised I have to do music. Even if there’s a high risk and I die poor in a ditch, I have to do it. I started the project [Madanii] around three years ago, when Trump was president of the US, a lot was going on,” she says over a Skype call. “I just felt there weren’t many second generation migrant children in music here; there weren’t many people speaking up. I felt the need to be a voice somehow and bring my cultural heritage to the forefront.”
“I dont think my journey as an ethnomusicology scholar has begun yet. It’s an interesting field of study, with its own setbacks. I believe neither I have nor can I immortalise anything. I feel more and more inclined towards the ‘making’ side of things than the studying of the making or makers within a culture,” says Rajan Shrestha a Kathamandu-based interdisciplinary artist whose work revolves around music, photography and videography.
Image: Golden Diskó Ship by Sara Perovic
It’s an odd kind of dichotomy that drives Theresa Stroetges. She’s hyper-prolific, juggling multiple musical and creative identities, constantly writing and creating. “I feel almost like, the more I do, the more inspired I am. The less time I have, the more productive I become. It’s strange,” …
Berlin Through The Eyes Of Nigel Perera: The People I Met Have Made A Huge Impact On My Views About Music & Life
“Music has always been my way of connecting with people. I often feel the most comfortable getting to know someone just by playing, listening to or making music with them. My first exposure to music as a child came from my parents. My school friends and I listened to Sinhalese pop music. Even though the local pop scene is a far cry from what I’m into now, I often revisit those tracks. I feel they have a certain quality which draws me to them even now. Not the songs as such rather certain details or moods that resonate with me, all these years later. I’ve gone through a lot of phases throughout my life — always trying to learn new things — but music is the only thing that has really stuck with me,” says Nigel Perera, a Colombo-based producer, DJ and visual artist whose influences draw from a broad range of funk, jazz, hip-hop and varied sub genres of electronic music.
Earlier this year, Natasha Humera Ejaz visited Berlin, from July 10 to September 9. The Pakistani artist, who produces music under the name Stupid Happiness Theory, was in the city as part of the Border Movement Residency. She had a plan: she was going to learn about the business of music; collaborate with artists; perform; introspect. Somewhere along the way, though, she threw it all out. …