The Modern Tate in London is based upon a story of how the colonial powers used thousands of Africans as Porters to carry the heavy loads over long distances, as part of the war effort. The South African Artist work, William Kentridge seems so hard to classify his dealings in drawings and animation varieties.
The involvement of Thuthuka Sibisi and Philip Miller, the composers seem to create extraordinary works with Kentridge for actors and singers evoking episodes of unknown history. There was a huge number of Africans deployed on African soil in 1914-18 by the combatant Nations.
Kentridge told the BBC that around one to two million Africans were involved in the First World War, and most of them primarily acted as porters or carriers, just a few of them were converted to be soldiers. He continued saying that the biggest echo came from European Nations more than what people can realize as colony combatants.
The countries like Germany, Italy, Belgium, Britain, France, Portugal and Spain had acquired most of the Africa big lumps. The biggest interests from Berlin came from Tanzania and Rwanda, long ago known as German East Africa and Namibia of today long ago known as German South West Africa.
In this post-war, Britain together with its allies were adamant that African possessions would be maintained from the teeth of Germany. The whole process about new project’s origin was hidden from Kentridge’s lack of knowledge, as he and other white Africans grew up in the knowledge of only Wilfred Owen and All Quiet on Western Front creating war limitations.
The most impressive sequences on stage were how the porters evoke foot delivering as entailing whatever they needed to wage war.
He also said that the boat was to be carried to where there was no railway, and this entailed the breaking of it into thousands of constituent parts and then black porters had to carry one by one until it was over. This condition the black porters went through was so tedious and hideous as the treks were lethal.
The rich musical palette was enhanced from the conflict between the European powers and the African culture encounters, says Thuthuka Sibisi on stage. As the music says: things are forever looping back for themselves, meaning the black soldiers fought for the British colonies, or Germans or the Belgians.
The western modernism or the infringed beautiful waltz sometimes embraces the African war-chant coming from either Vienna or Paris having African ingredient in it.
Philip Miller says sometimes they have wonderful field moments where musical genre collisions are generated in conversations. The sequence where God saves the King is finally created by Miller and Sibisi and sung on stage in soprano voice at first then followed in a chorus.
“This is sung in Maskandi (Zulu folk-music), spiced up with beautiful words, and danced in stylish, not as if you are standing in England cathedral.” They said. From the premiere huge Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, Kentridge is pleased that his work will be witnessed in Germany and also in New York.
Though the reality from harsh politics was stemmed depicted, Kentridge says the beauty of human voice fills up the Tate Modern. In one way or the other, in Africa, the first world war was like a completion of the Berlin Conference in the 1880s.
It was a cut-out point of European powers to Africans for their own ends. The stage presents how the German altogether was cut out in the world war one. The demonstration for loyalty hoped for peace was some of the steps towards independence at the war’s end. This did not happen but John Chilembwe was anti-colonial protester who was met at that time.
Since Africa leaders thought by taking part they will be treated well and given the land rights for better Africa, coming real after the world war effects. These leaders were the earliest stirrings of Africa with a feeling of, Africa deserves better. Still, have a long road to travel, Kentridge and the team presents Head and the Load from the beginning. #Rewordit