INSTITUT FÜR RAUMEXPERIMENTE; TOBIYA POETIC JAZZ (eds.)
Poetry Jazz: Wax and Gold
The book is a collection of translation acts that chronicles six editions of live events alternating between Addis Ababa and Berlin. Fusing poetry in Amharic, English and German with live music, primed players from the international collective perform in critical and entertaining concert, drawing connections between diverse lyrical traditions, traditional Ethiopian pentatonic music, jazz influences, protest songs and contemporary electronic music. The practice of “poetry jazz” activates the invested audience through “Wax and Gold,” an Ethiopian form of artistic communication imbued with layered, clandestine meanings. The literal, superficial layer of ‘wax’ conceals a core of ‘gold’ that reveals itself through the intimate exchange between performers and public.
The Poetry Jazz artists act as popular ambassadors for the lively crowds and broadcast (hi)stories of destabilized communities from Addis Ababa to Berlin, Chicago or Cape Town. The story behind the scenes is just as compelling and suggests subversive methodologies to challenge threats to the freedom of expression.
The book both presents a selection of best practice examples that vibrated between stage and auditorium and offers insight into the working processes of the Poetry Jazz artists, their detours of uncertainty and the gaps in their translations acts and modes of shared knowledge-production. The texts derive from linguistic collisions that turn poetry into physical spaces where history is continually approached, negotiated, tuned and returned to. Poetry Jazz: Wax and Gold showcases poems, word experiments, acoustic mappings, visual renderings, essays and reflections in various states of translation and documentation. [publisher’s note]
With contributions by Frezer Admasu Molaligne, Olafur Eliasson, Eric Ellingsen, Clara Jo, Mihret Kebede Alwabie, Erica Licht, Robert Lippok, Bekele Mekonnen, Nebiy Mekonnen, Abebaw Melaku, Jorga Mesfin, Ari Benjamin Meyers, Neo Muyanga, Nolly Nesbit, Cia Rinne, Solomon Sahle Tizazu, Rike Scheffler, Robel Temesgen, Misrak Terefe Ergetu, Rediet Terefe Wegayehu, Christina Werner, Uljana Wolf, and Meheret Zelleke.
English, German and Amharic text.