Jazz for Rural Development Volunteer Programme
14 December 2024 - 19 December 2024
Jazz Against Apartheid, now in its 38th year, is a profound South Africa Germany co-operation. Since inception, JAA has hosted over 100 concerts in the fight for democracy in EU, USA, Canada and UK and is a complete archive of 25 years of cultural heritage and exile history.
As a free association of people dedicated to the cause of freedom and individual and social solidarity and responsibility, the mission for freedom and equality did not end once apartheid ended. As founder Jürgen Leinhos described, “Overcoming apartheid does not stop once apartheid – being a name and definition of a political system – stops. Since isolating political voices and groups not only from the political process, but from education, health care, etc. have not stopped, Jazz Against Apartheid still has a legitimate reason to exist.”
As Jazz fought the struggle and won, and as Jazz Against Apartheid have always stood by the oppressed and fought for the anti-apartheid cause, it will be fascinating to see what comes forth from this event in terms of the role jazz can play in rural development.
The events are curated and supported by former South African exiles in Germany, namely Professor Peggy Luswazi, rural and social development practitioner and Vusi Mchunu, former director for arts and culture at the Department of Military Veterans.
These South Africans in exile enjoyed a direct interaction with the Jazz Against Apartheid project during the many active years of study and work in Berlin, at the peak of the anti-apartheid struggle and have contextualised the event in the contemporary setting of Jazz for Rural Development which is built on “Nachwuchsforderung” – the conscious policy and practice of transferring societal values, knowledge and skills to the next generation.
The event has growing support and recognition in South Africa, namely the 2021 Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo in silver awarded to Mr Leinhos and a three year grant from Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC). One of the driving forces behind the return of Jazz Against Apartheid to Eastern Cape is Professor Peggy Luswazi. Prof Luswazi’s enthusiasm and support stems from direct interaction with the project and its founders during the many active years of study and work in Berlin, at the peak of the anti-apartheid struggle. As a rural and social development practitioner, she has championed the use of “Nachwuchsforderung” – the conscious policy and practice of transferring societal values, knowledge and skills to the next generation – as a core focus for Jazz Against Apartheid in the Eastern Cape.
The Jazz Against Apartheid Homecoming Tour in Buffalo City in 2022 has further cemented the profound and long-term co-operation between Germany and the Eastern Cape, as per the bi-lateral agreement signed between Eastern Cape and Lower Saxony in the early 1990s.
This event is a profound collaboration in youth education and development through the sharing of resources, knowledge and skills transfer between a generation of international musical freedom fighters with the future generations through life skills, collaborative performances, cultural tourism, heritage and music and events workshops.
Activities of the event include
- Music tuition across musical instruments of all categories including strings, percussion and brass, and performance in a group setting (collaboration).
- General knowledge tuition pride in the rural areas and a shared awareness of the role Jazz artists from the EC played in the international struggle against apartheid including the subsequent richness of the artistic heritage that has been cultivated over decades in Europe and especially in Germany.
- Professional skills development and transfer through access to these well-established international professional contributors and the contemporary influences from their own projects.
- Dialogue session bringing an intellectual historical memory exchange around music.
- Cultural Exchange through the live and streamed event
- Partner with universities, offering jazz, culture and development courses in Eastern Cape and Germany. So that the mentorship may build towards a syllabus-based direction. And once more talented students may have further opportunity to apply for such tertiary education. (The Archive of African Music at Walter Sisulu University which was established as a result of a partnership project between former UNITRA and the UNIVERSITY OF MAINZ (Jurgen Leinhos and Dr Wolfgang Bender) in Germany can be revived and developed through this project.)
- Youth band: Grow the music tuition into the long-term creation of a resident Jazz Against Apartheid youth band in the Eastern Cape.
- Database of students, institutions and study opportunities for future music and creative economy practitioners in Germany thus growing the cultural exchange.(Historically study exchanges have been offered and the visit of the UNITRA CHOIR to participate at the International Richard Wagner Music Festival in Nurenburg 1997 is an example)
- On-the-job training for youth jazz and culture learners to work on the Jazz Against Apartheid festival (that happens alongside the mentorship programme). The on-the-job training would be goal oriented, supervised and assessed.
- Panel Discussion offering skills transfer and building towards longer-term research exchanges, between institutes, archives and universities.