Roots To Fruits 1 Ghanaian Highlife

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Roots to Fruits is a magazine about music; its migration and origins, and its role against oppression.

The first issue is dedicated to Highlife and its vital role in the struggle for independence and the creation of an African identity during the time of Kwame Nkrumah. It features an article by Dele Adeyemo, and a visual essay by Mirelle with images from the archive of the Wereldmuseum (NL) and the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT).

Dele Adeyemo’s ‘The Modernizing Beat’ rereads the production of space in a modernizing Ghana through highlife, taking the modernist New Town and Tema Harbour as a case study about how the emergence of the ‘worksong’ has governed urbanization in Ghana.

The beat of highlife’s precursor, the worksong, bound the community together in collective life that was attuned to the rhythm of the tides and cycles of the seasons; the evolution of the highlife sound can tell a story of the circulation of cultures, commodities, and political-economic structures condensed into the spatial forms of a modernizing Ghana.

Editing, Design and Riso printing: Mirelle van Tulder