Tuesday 12 March 2019

Did you ever want to know exactly what the roles of the Selector, Operator and Deejay are? We rifled through the archives for early audio and video footage of sound systems in the UK, to see how they evolved and operated, taking us through everything from white labels to sound clashes.

As one of three locally commissioned poets for Collections in Verse, Khadijah Ibrahiim was inspired by footage of dub poet Mikey Smith featured in the Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land exhibition to explore the role of the Griot – the person in West African tradition responsible for maintaining an oral record of civic history through music, poetry and storytelling – and how Caribbean folklore and culture has been used to pass on the stories of the Windrush generation and their children today.

Celebrating the role of culture as a form of social commentary, the Symposium sought to archive the history of sound systems in Leeds and discuss how the aesthetics and poetics of sound system culture have affected us today.