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SOUND SYSTERS REFLECTIONS



As part of its Jenga CCI programme, Goethe-Institut Nairobi implemented a workshop, titled Holla Systers – Sound Engineering for Women, in partnership with the Sound Systers Collective. Some of our staff had the opportunity to take part in this with the aim being to encourage non-male participants through skill sharing and exchange, to take the steps needed into the technical, musical and production areas in the live music, cultural or political industry.

Reflecting on their experience, this is what they had to say.

Sharon: "The Soundsysters workshop was an incredible experience. I got to interact with topics I was always intimidated by, feeling like I didn't have any concrete ways to learn in a safe space. The environment was great, and we dove into live sound engineering fundamentals such as signal flow, DIY cable-making, set up, and set down. We also put on a concert at the end of the workshop, with performing artists in the scene such as Janice Iche, Polaris, Njerae, Wendy Kay, Vallerie Muthoni and Corinne Kahi. I look forward to being part of a really supportive and ambitious group of femme audio engineers!


Moige: The SoundSysters workshop was incredible and different from any other workshop I’ve eve attended. Every morning before class, we would have a grounding session where we got to connect to each other and the earth, and set intentions for the class ahead. The classes would have a brief period of theoretical instruction but ultimately we had more practical sessions. I felt empowered everyday for several reasons:

1. There was a pack of tampons and pads right at the entrance of the classroom, no hidden in any way. I have never felt more welcomed to a space as a woman, or more at ease.

2. Working with cables, there’s a lot of redundant language around naming the parts i.e male and female parts. Right off the bat, our instructors cancelled those terms and introduced calling them by their proper names - receivers and senders. It was givin crushing the patriarchy through the destruction of problematic language structures.

3. The instructors are very good at their professions; it was so inspiring to see non-male people talk so passionately/knowledgeably about things that are stereotypically for men. It made me feel like I could do it too.

4. I learned so much. I can confidently set up both a DJ and live stage as well as d mixing and even though I am not that experienced, the training gave me lots of confidence. Coming from a background where I was the only girl in the band, in several bands, I feel almost vindicated now that I have learned the basics in soun engineering and I can stand up for myself and other femme artists in the space.

5. During the grounding sessions, we would sometimes sing a song by Nalini Blosso called the Circle of Women and bonding in this way was empowering in a very spiritual way. It’s so important to have spaces for women to be vulnerable togethe and to remind each other how strong and beautiful and worthy we are in the wake of all the gender based violence and oppression that goes on everywhere; th workshop definitely provided that space.

I had lots of takeaways: I can solder my own audio cables now which makes the femmes of Santuri that much cooler (because I’m pretty sure the guys can’t do it as professionally). I have more passion for contributing to making femme safe spaces through teaching others, and showing up to support my fellow soundsysters who are also artists and musicians in their own right. I’ve made wonderful friends and from them, I have learned so much more than just sound engineering. This workshop has made me a better producer and in general,a better musician for sure.









SEMA PLAYLISTS











At the end of each SEMA cohort, we compile a playlist of music made during or as a direct product from the course. Take a listen.













The inaugural edition of Santuri Signal saw Huilly Huille and Coco Em interview some of the rising stars of the East Africa underground:










Some releases from the early days of Santuri. 





VIDEOS




Santuri’s YouTube is full of videos covering the full range of work we do. Enjoy some highlights below! 



























 

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