New @ Kwani?
The Chimurenga Chronic, out October 19th in Nairobi, Johannesburg and Lagos
It was Sun Ra who said it a long time ago: “Equation wise, the first thing to do is consider internal linktime as officially ended… we’ll work on the other side of time… we’ll bring them here through either isotope, internal linkteleportation, transmolecularzation… ” .The time was 1974 and Space was The Place. A prolific jazz composer, bandleader, philosopher, afronaut and historian, Ra was ahead of his time.
Almost four decades later, it is increasing clear that time, once thought continuous, is actually marked by radical disjunctions and overlapping time-spaces. What’s more, the tools we have at our disposal, particularly in the area of knowledge production, do not help us much to grasp that which is emerging.
a one-time only edition of Chimurenga which takes the form of a speculative newspaper.
What we need now is a Time Machine! A device that will allow us to work “on the other side of time”, to discover possibilities for new ways thinking through the “having been and yet to come.”
The Chimurenga Chronicle such a machine, a once-off edition of a speculative, future-forward newspaper that travels back in time to re-imagine the present. Both a bold art project and a hugely ambitious publishing venture, the Chimurenga Chronicle comprises of a 96-page multi-section broadsheet, the stand-alone 56 page Chronic Life Magazine and a self-contained 96 page Chronic Book Review Magazine.
Back-dated to the week May 18-24 2008 – the first week of the xenophobic violence across South Africa three years ago, the Chimurenga Chronicle is an opportunity to provide the depth of reporting and analysis that should have appeared during this period.
The newspaper also looks outward – covering events, scenes and situations from around the world during this period.
By imagining the newspaper as a low-tech time travel machine, our aim is not only to reanimate history, to ask what could have been done – but also to provide a space from which to re-engage the present and re-dream the future.
A pan African collaboration
The Chimurenga Chronicle is published by Cape Town based Chimurenga, in collaboration with Kenya’s leading literary magazine Kwani? and Nigeria’s acclaimed independent publisher Cassava Republic Press. A first of its kind, it brings together journalists and editors, writers, theorists, photographers, illustrators and artists from around Africa and the world to create a platform for debate, dialogue and exchange.
Other participating partners include Chinua Achebe Centre for African Writers and Artists at Bard College, New York, USA; Mail & Guardian, South African’s weekly national newspaper; and Glanta, the Swedish literary journal.