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Nonkiu Phiri - Oluzayo Music Festial
Foto: Nonku Phiri, copyright: Marcus Lampe

Oluzayo - Festival for current, experimental & contemporary music from Africa

OLUZAYO – Zulu for “what lies ahead” – is an extraordinary music festival project that will take place in Cologne and in Johannesburg in 2023. The cooperation between the Center for Contemporary Music ZAM e.V. and New Music South Africa focuses on musical creativity and innovation from Africa.

For the renowned Senegalese economist and musician Felwine Sarr , music, art and literature are the most important resources for developing visions for Africa’s future and overcoming the foreign domination of Africa’s (post-)colonial past and present. “Oluzayo” explores music and sound as a field that reflects these dissonances and possibilities – as well as the complex interconnections between Africa and Europe. The program ranges from contemporary orchestral and ensemble music to sound art and electronic music, jazz and improvised music, transcultural mixtures and indigenous forms.

“Where do we go from here?”

Curators: Thomas Gläßer & Lukas Ligeti (artistic direction), Joseph Kamaru, Nonku Phiri, Ignacio Priego

Organizer: ZAM Zentrum für Aktuelle Musik e.V. in cooperation with New Music South Africa

"The imaginary is the wrought iron on which are born the forms that societies lend themselves to feed life and give it depth ..."
Felwine Sarr, Afrotopia


The curatorial platform ZAM Zentrum für aktuelle Musik e.V. was founded in 2006 by musicians, curators and journalists. Since then, ZAM has organized, mainly in Cologne and Berlin, as initiator or cooperation partner, a variety of artistic, curatorial, and educational events, projects, and conferences, including the internationally acclaimed festival Digging the Global South, the European-African event series In Between Spaces, and the radically eclectic festival adventure Night of Surprise.

NewMusicSA is a non-profit organization that supports and promotes the contemporary and experimental music community in South Africa through unique events and activities such as the New Music Indaba and Unyazi festivals and the Visby Residencies exchange programme In 2023, NewMusicSA is to host and organize the centenary of the “World New Music Days” (“Weltmusiktage”), founded in 1923 by the International Society for New Music in Salzburg.

“Was uns vorschweben muss, ist eine Politik des Menschlichen, die zutiefst eine Politik des Ähnlichen und Unseresgleichen ist, aber in einem Kontext, in dem wir vor allem auch Differenzen miteinander teilen.”
 Achille Mbembe

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