They gotta take Wakanda too? Wakanda Festival will happen in São Paulo without any black artists scheduled to perform
By Marques Travae
WTF? What really igs me about ish like this is that, throughout my entire life in the edcational system, from kindergarten to high school and on to the universities, I was consistently taught how important Europe and Europeans are to World History. It was only over the course of my own studies did I ever learn about advanced African societies such as Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and other African civilizations that were as amazing and in some cases, even more amazing than Ancient Kemet. But if it were left up the school system, I would have never even heard about these civilizations.
I remember a little after the release of the film Black Panther, I heard podcasts by a number of white nationalists speaking of how it was necessary to create a fictional advanced African civilization in the Black Panther film when such societies have in fact, long existed in Europe. As such, my question would be, if there were so many advanced European civilizations, why did a group plan to stage an event in São Paulo borrowing the name of the fictional nation in the Black Panther film to promote the event?
We had already seen singer Daniela Mercury suggest that Wakanda is also in Europe and now this. What am I talking about? Well, a festival was scheduled to go down in the neighborhood of Lapa in São Paulo this weekend. It’s an electronic music event with a schedule of only white artists performing. At least, that’s the idea one gets based on the official Instagram ads posted for the event.
We’ve seen numerous events go down in Brazil in recent years that have sparked an ongoing debate over cultural appropriation. “Cultural appropriation” is defined as the adoption of some certain elements of a culture by people from another that is competely different. It describes acculturation or assimilation, but may also imply a negative view of the adoption of a dominant culture by a minority culture. People who have studied this phenomenon argue that the issue goes much deeper than that and that the real problem comes when a person or company makes use of a culture that doesn’t belong to them to make money. Well, based on this definition, wouldn’t this apply to this so-called Wakanda Festival?
We all know the story. Wakanda is a fictional country based in the African continent that was created by Marvel Comics with its leader King T’challa, the famous Black Panther, which was a huge hit in Brazil released as Pantera Negra. In most comics and movies, the nation is inaccessible to the rest of the world, 100% black and contains the most advanced scientific resources and knowledge on earth.
In Brazil, in São Paulo to be more precise, a group of artists see no problem in appropriating the name of the the fictional nation at a music festival and they seem to be unaware of the issues involved with such exploitation. Or are they? As I’ve argued in the past, I’m to the point that I think that people and groups know EXACTLY what they’re doing when they do such things.
Questioned about the issue and lack of black artists, the organizers of the event responded in this way.
“Our proposal is a charity electronic music event where everyone has the same rights and equality. We want our audience to think more about the next person regardless of color, race and so on. The artists are mostly white, but it wasn’t because of color, race, gender and gender that we chose, but for what we had in the budget”
In addition to using the name of Wakanda, the event will also sell products such as glasses and T-shirts with the theme of the event. Check out the event description below.
Imagine a society where all inhabitants are literate in different languages, where the cure for the most feared diseases is easily accessible to all, where tradition is not forgotten, but does not prevent technological and civil advances. This society is Wakkanda, founded under the union of tribes for the common good. Wakkanda suffered numerous attacks from invaders who envied his technological potential, as well as the cultural differences present in every developed society, but nothing undermines the grandeur of the fictional city that bases itself on education, health, and the battle for rights.
If we can sum up Wakkanda’s organization in one word, that word would be “tactile.” Everything is meant to be used, not merely admired. It is with all this spirit of Wakkanda that we will conduct our celebration. For unity, plurality, and for the common good that we can bring with our proposal. Wakkanda hides in the woods to protect itself from those who want to exploit it to commercialize its riches, so it suffers from the growing environmental attacks. Our celebration aims to collect values to contribute to reforestation in stream spring areas, where there is the greatest potential to reverse this scenario. We rely on our audience, and the values of P.L.U.R., so that together we can positively impact our ecosystem to the fullest.
We know it was a big shock to hear the news of the event canceled, there are not enough apologies to retract the situation. But rest assured, it was just a wrong click. Planning is stable, on November 10th Wakkanda will catch fire in Lapa’s tent 🤟🏻🔥 However, to resume the movement we were already generating, and try to compensate for the inconvenience caused, we will advance one more bomb for you! Increasing this mess further, and ensuring the presence of the accelerator on the track, could only be Marquinhos 🤟🏻😎 Then, Venancci, Darky and Chemical Noise, MK13 is coming !! But, as we said, there are not enough excuses to portray ourselves, so along with this bomb, we are proud to announce the fruits of our incredible partnership with Psychedelic Soul – 6th Edition 🔥🔥 Let’s raffle a ticket to this wonderful party, for all who bought our tickets. How will our raffle work? You need to: 1) like and share our page 2) confirm attendance at the event. https://www.facebook.com/events/1119055404946961/ 3) share this post in public mode 3) have purchased any tickets, 4) mark 5 friends in this post. We will draw a number that will be linked to a comment for this post. Confirming the other steps required for validation, we will have a winner! The more friends are tagged, the more chances you have to win! Are we forgiven for the scare??
A post shared by Wakkanda (@wakkandafestivaloficial) on Sep 27, 2019 at 3:01 pm PDT
Of course, we’ve seen this all before. Remember, we’re talking a country in which a TV network can produce a novela based in a city and state that has a reputation of having the largest black population in the country, where black culture is dominant but yet featuring few black faces in the cast. It is also the country where an industry standard fashion magazine can put on an African-themed ball with very few black people. Or where a cultural event can be based on Yoruba contemporary art with only one black model featured on the runway. I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the point.
The question is and will continue to be, how long and how far will they go with this total disregard of black people and their culture?