[Imc-london] :: Kalahari :: press release
joe_duncan_uk at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 21 05:35:09 PDT 2005
Kalahari A Bushmen Benefit
Friday 23rd September 2005
The London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London WC2A
£10 (adv, before 11am) £12 otherwise.
www.thesynergyproject.org, www.survival-international.org 07766 566691.
We live at a time when we face some of the greatest challenges of our history. Can we afford to lose a people and culture which has understood and lived for thousands of years in harmony with an ecosystem which we seem to be fighting a losing battle with? Can we afford to let a vast repository of spiritual and human understanding which could benefit us all be destroyed to make way for more mines and factories which would only benefit some? Toby (Banco de Gaia)
After a successful summer in the festival fields, the Synergy Community is returning to London to host another series of conscious gatherings. The first of these is a benefit night, produced in partnership with Tribal Vibrationz, in aid of the Bushmen of the Kalahari, who are suffering forced relocation from their ancestral lands and are subjected to beatings and torture if they attempt to return. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Survival International, who campaign on behalf of the Bushmen in Botswana and to the Omaheke San Trust, who work with the San Bushmen in Namibia.
Survival International, the NGO that campaigns in support of tribal peoples worldwide, is working in partnership with the Bushmens own organisation First People of the Kalahari to highlight the role of mining giant De Beers in the relocation of the Bushmen. Diamonds are vital to the Botswana economy, with De Beers and the government enjoying a relationship described by President Festus Mogae as akin to that of Siamese twins. The forced relocations have run parallel to prospecting by De Beers for diamonds in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve where the Bushmen live. Yet again, distant and corrupt political elites are working with powerful, private financial interests to confiscate land from its ancient guardians in order to maximise the material wealth of the few at the expense of the many, symptomatic of a culture of exploitation and greed that is sowing the seeds for progressive environmental degradation and imminent crisis.
As well as drawing attention to the plight facing the Bushmen, the Kalahari night seeks to raise awareness of how traditional and indigenous cultures must be protected as an integral part of global bio-diversity. As the environmental costs of unfettered material growth and consumption are becoming increasingly apparent, indigenous cultures can offer much needed spiritual guidance that can inspire us to adopt ethically and ecologically sustainable lifestyles rather than continue with the reckless consumer capitalism that takes no account of the social and environmental costs. Such issues have long been close to the hearts of the alternative dance community. Often this has taken the form of producers and promoters appropriating the imagery, sounds and costume of non-western cultures with little thought for the wider social or economic context, not least the poverty and marginalisation faced by societies at the harsh end of global economic inequalities. By hosting a benefit night in
support of one of the worlds most ancient and marginalised cultures, Kalahari seeks to go some way towards correcting this imbalance.
The Kalahari line-up features a long awaited return to the capital by world-dance pioneer Banco de Gaia, creator of the ground-breaking album Last Train to Lhasa, which sought to raise awareness of the destruction of ancient Tibetan wisdom and knowledge through the Chinese invasion of their country. Also performing are Kakatsitsi, Master Drummers from Ghana, one of Africas finest drumming groups, who will be performing their club-fusion set, layering the organic sounds of traditional drumming and chanting onto a western dance track composed by world-dance producer Greg Hunter. Also appearing are Gaudis Live Dub Laboratory, best described as roots dub with eclectic global influences, mixing cutting-edge and vintage old-school technology with acoustic instruments. Tribal décor, information stalls, films and speakers, plus the legendary Synergy conscious community vibes promise a unique and inspiring night out.
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