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Beyond Exile : Celebrating 30 Years of Democracy

oppression, The expression born of suppression and depression

Culture is a wheel of understanding one another or telling a story that cannot otherwise be told as a collective.

Due to the parallel streams of oppression, suppression and depression, South African exiles and their European counterparts worked tirelessly to promote the cause of a long-term and sustainable freedom, both musically and politically.

South Africa and Europe share inglorious, burdening experiences in their history. The apartheid system in South Africa was inspired in essential points by the race laws of the National Socialists in Germany. And, as a result, the experiences of exile that the cultural avant-garde of both countries went through. Structurally similar is also the ignoring of these very experiences up to the rejection and denial of the achievements of those who had to spend substantial parts of their lives in exile.

Institutionalized racism on the one hand, denial and defense of exile on the other – how are these experiences processed artistically? And how do they flow into the oeuvre and consciousness of artistic work?

The early 1960s was a dark period in our country as the Apartheid regime tightened its racist programme. With the ANC Rivonia trail and jail sentences, with the PAC Sharpeville massacre, with the forced removals, the Africans felt the sharp oppression. Musicians were frustrated by curfew laws, segregation in performances and police harassment.

Against the backdrop of forced removals, the “dangerously hip” artists, poets and philosophers go into exile. 

The South African jazz exiles found a welcoming home in Europe, and most particularly Germany. Sympathy for the exile movement was particular to the German consciousness, as Germany had an exile movement during the Nazi era. Very many important intellectuals and artists and people immigrated and left Germany because of the political convictions.

It’s that people who go into exile, very often create marvellous works in exile in those conditions under exile. And they teach us to listen. And this is why they’re so very helpful and fruitful for our society as well, for the society in which exiles live.

South Africa and Germany have a shared exile history. Like South Africa, very many important intellectuals and artists and people immigrated and left Germany because of the political conditions.

Celebrating 30 years of democracy in South Africa

Making an essential aspect of the buried cultural heritage accessible to a young generation of scholars, current and future professionals and the creative arts, research and activism careers who have grown up in the post-apartheid society.

Additional motivations include:-

  • Initiating a spark for an ongoing exchange for further cooperation between South Africa and Sweden
  • Profiling the role of South African exiles in Stockholm and generally in Sweden in the fight for democracy.
  • Saving the art of exile from oblivion through creating long-term resource of South African cultural memories.
  • Mentorship to build education resources and enhance skills transfer.
  • Contributing to the living archive, and dynamic knowledge foundation for the cultural heritage of South African exiles, thereby furthering the cause of freedom, equality, social responsibility and humanity through cultural activism. Shedding light on the immense importance and impact in jazz music as a liberating art form.
It is music of meaning and impact. Those people, all of those people are heroes in many ways to the, to the culture, to the music, to the society, and to the diaspora and the exile. The more awareness we can bring.
claude deppa
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About Sausage Films

Sausage Films produces audio visual works for better accessibility of South African Jazz and freedom culture to a include wider young and old audiences across gender, age, and colour. Celebrating the pioneers and legends of South African Jazz and freedom who left a legacy of sacrifice, self-expression, wisdom and bravery.

About Jazz Against Apartheid

After the inaugural Jazz Against Apartheid in Berlin 1986. Juergen Leinhos and his organisation Kultur im Ghetto continue the event building on the SA exiles and growing the movement to progressive European musicians. The JAA Archive of this era is a complete archive of 25 years of exile history.

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