CANCELLED - Here History Began - Tracing the Re/Verberations of Halim El-Dabh

MaerzMusik - Festival for Time Issues

Exhibition Opening with performance

Here History Began pays homage to the Egyptian-American composer, electronic music pioneer, researcher and teacher Halim El-Dabh (1921 – 2017). A paramount figure in shaping African and Arab sonic philosophy, El-Dabh’s oeuvre has vanished into oblivion, despite the fact that his important work spans a period of seventy years and includes, amongst others one of the earliest works of electroacoustic music, Taabir El Zaar (1944). At the beginning of this two-year-long retrospective project, SAVVY Contemporary and MaerzMusik present an exhibition based on El-Dabh’s immense archive of tapes, scores, letters, texts, photographs and videos. Contemporary transdisciplinary artists and musicians have been commissioned to make new pieces, to relate and pay tribute to, get inspired by, and reflect on El-Dabh’s practices and positions within music history and beyond, to deliberate on what contemporary African and Arab soundscapes are today and where they stand within the genealogy and legacy of Pan-Africanism.

The exhibition will be shown from Wednesday, March 25 till Monday, April 20 (daily 2pm - 7pm) at Savvy Contemporary.

Works by

Halim El-Dabh (EG/US)
Theo Eshetu (UK)
Emeka Ogboh (NI/DE)
Sunette Viljoen (ZA/DE)
Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman (RW/BE)
Yara Mekawei (EG)
Lorenzo Sandoval (ES)
Satch Hoyt (UK)
Leo Asemota (NI/UK)
Tegene Kunbi (ET/DE)
and others

Concept: Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung & Kamila Metwaly
Curators: Antonia Alampi, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Kamila Metwaly
Communications: Anna Jäger
Design: Elsa Westreicher
Management: Lema Sikod & Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock

MaerzMusik 2020 revolves around a simple and powerful idea: the beginning of time. A notion so common and naturalized, that its peculiarity, even strangeness, often goes unnoticed. Across geographies, times, and cultures, humans have tried to account for that which cannot be known. Whether in the form of creation myths or scientific theories, these governing narratives – that construct origins beyond human grasp – tend to reveal their inventors’ relation to the world, their philosophies, assumptions, imaginaries, as well as their politics.
More about the programme

Presented by SAVVY Contemporary, MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues & Deutschlandfunk Kultur

Thursday, March 24
Doors: 6pm / Start: 7pm
Free Entry