ESB (Empire Strikes Back) launches with a cross-platform online celebration of late UK music legend TY – featuring ESKA, Jazz re:freshed, De La Soul’s DJ Maseo, DJ Shortee Blitz and more
Cultural communications organisation Louder Than Words announces the launch of ESB (Empire Strikes Back) on Tuesday 15 December, with the first edition of the ESB digital zine and the premiere of seven films from ESB emerging creatives at Late at Tate Britain Online – in celebration of the late Nigerian–British Hip-hop legend TY, who passed away this year due to complications related to COVID 19.
The launch edition of the ESB digital zine will make its premiere on the night and will feature TY’s incredible award-winning creative collective, who have worked with him across his iconic music, videos, artwork and events – including the Mercury Prize nominated multi-instrumentalist ESKA, award-winning photographer Benji Reid, artist Bunny Bread; legendary Hip-hop DJs Maseo (De La Soul), Shortee Blitz, Ted and Billy Biznizz; producers Drew Horley and Leroy Brown; designer Benjamin Wachenje; husband and wife DJ duo Handson Family; No Long Ting founders Cyndi Anafo and Chris Ellesse and Jazz re:freshed co-founder Justin McKenzie.
The ESB zine will also debut an array of incredible multi-disciplinary artwork from emerging post-colonial creatives through the lens of TY’s ethos, beliefs and values, which has left a lasting legacy and impact on Black British culture. The artworks include a series of short films, photography, music, spoken word, poetry, performance art, dance, ceramics and graphic design.
Taking place online on Tuesday 15 December 2020 at 19:00, ESB will launch its digital zine at www.esb.international simultaneously with Late at Tate Britain, which premieres the seven films from ESB emerging artists on its website at https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/online-event/late/late-tate-britain-online, as part of its monthly event curated by Tate Collective Producers. It will be a unique and compelling cross-platform launch of ESB showcasing artists who have created artwork in response to their lived experience of the British Empire, while harnessing TY’s uncompromising approach to independence and arts practice.
Supported by Small Green Shoots and funded by Arts Council England, ESB is the brainchild of Louder Than Words. With permission from the TY estate following his passing in May 2020, a series of intergenerational workshops and masterclasses took place throughout the autumn of 2020 in TY’s beloved neighbourhood of Brixton, in honour and tribute of his legacy. The ESB sessions were led by one of TY’s most valued musical collaborators ESKA, who handed down his unique approach to music and life to a group of emerging creatives. Each of the participating emerging creatives were also, schooled by TY’s award winning creative collective in the exploration of the pioneering TY’s, methodology and techniques.
ESB makes its debut in London and is the connector of a diaspora of post-colonial, next generation artists to international galleries through a bi-annual programme, debuting in the UK, then moving on to the African continent, United States of America and the Caribbean. The project has been designed to strengthen global cultural ties, while challenging and dismantling systemic social structures that oppress communities throughout the colonies and former colonies of the British Empire. Its digital and print zine will be bi-annual to document the programme and celebrate a pioneering, yet under-heard artist in each country. With its DIY ethos and themes of independence at its core, the ESB zine will empower emerging creatives to decolonise their creative practice. Louder Than Words will publish the first ESB zine as a limited edition hardback coffee table book, which will be available on Monday 4th January, more info to follow.
Louder Than Words founder, Myvanwy Evans said:
TY was a true pioneer, but felt tragically under-heard in his lifetime, yet his legacy and impact lives on through ESB. TY has been part of Louder Than Words workshops with young creatives since its launch in 2011, so it is fitting that he inspires and fuels the inaugural ESB – featuring his own pioneering creative collective, together with artworks from emerging artists who have been inspired by him. During the many years that I studied Art and Art History in the UK, I was never once taught about the artists that look like me or that come from where I come from. I hope ESB will play a role in decolonising artistic practice and art history. Thank you to Tate Collective Producers for giving Louder Than Words the opportunity to present seven films from our first ESB project.
List of ESB emerging artists and their artworks reflecting their lived experience of the British Empire:
- Antiqu’e Ampomah ‘I Have Something to Say’ spoken word, film
- Andre Maynard ‘Space Gems’ mix media
- Alex Stewart ‘Build’ music album
- Beverley Bossanga ‘Home One Day’ spoken word, film
- Claire Louise Niesyto-Bame ‘British Means’ dance, film
- Enam Gbewonyo ‘Nude Me/Under the Skin: An Invocation of the Ancestral Mothers in the Regeneration of Self’ mix media
- Haroon Khan ‘Tomorrow’ poem
- Jamal ‘Eklipes’ Msebele ‘London City’ lyrics, film
- Joanne O. Art ‘Home’ film
- Johan Lamche-Brennan ‘Amalgamation’ film
- Laurence Monck ‘Free Derry’ ‘Londonderry’ graphic design
- Olga German ‘I’ll Never be a Stranger in Lo(ve)ndon’ dance, film
- Petra Haller ‘Depth Perception’ dance, film
- Simone Linton ‘Hayter Road’ singer song writing, photography, graphic design
- Tom Swindell ‘Blood Vessel’ Ceramics
- Late at Tate Britain Online premiering 15 December at 19:00 https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/online-event/late/late-tate-britain-online (follow @tate @tatecollective on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter)
- ESB digital zine launches 15 December at 19:00 www.esb.international (follow @empirestrikesback2020 on Instagram / Facebook @empirestrikes20 on Twitter_