More than a year before Egypt’s inspiring revolution, Afropop began planning a research trip to the country as part of our ground breaking Hip Deep program series. The plan is to travel to Egypt this summer to gather material for four radio programs, and a variety of web offerings, including videos, blog posts and social media outreach.
The programs are:
• Cairo, Part 1: A Musical Portrait: A history of the city told through music
• Cairo, Part 2: The Seduction of Production: How Cairo became the region’s music and film production capital in the 20th century
• Cairo, Part 3: 21st Century Underground: From Sudanese hip hop to heavy metal, a behind the scenes look at the city’s contemporary scene
• Egypt: Living Legacies of the Past: Sufi festivals, wedding bands, cultural revival in Port Said, the epic poets of Luxor, the music of Ramadan, and the way the past inhabits Egypt’s fast changing present
Through our radio show and our multi-media website, Afropop will bring you aspects of Egypt you won’t find anywhere else. Programs will sample Cairo’s heavy metal scene, its Sudanese enclave with hip hop stars and mystical healing ceremonies. We’ll spend time in recording studios taking the pulse of new music for a new nation. And along the way, we’ll hear the music of Sufi mystics, Coptic Christians, epic bards, sha’bi street philosophers, and more.
Each of these radio programs, hosted by Georges Collinet, will be accompanied by extensive web materials: blog posts, web videos, audio playlists, photo essays, interview transcriptions, music reviews, and more. Social media outreach to a worldwide community engaged in Egyptian music has already begun, and will continue beyond the broadcast of the four radio programs.
For 23 years, Afropop Worldwide has taken radio listeners and web fans to some of the world’s most exciting cultural destinations: Ghana, Cameroon, both Congos, Guinea, Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Republic of Congo, Angola, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria, Brazil, Cuba, Martinique, Trinidad, Jamaica, Belize, Honduras, Ecuador, Colombia, Portugal, Spain…But there’s one very important country we have never visited, a place where much of the Afropop story began: Egypt!
“Hip Deep in Egypt” was already going to be a one of a kind offering on the American media landscape. Now it’s going to be downright historic. Guided by a team of leading musicians and authorities on Egyptian music, Afropop producers Banning Eyre and Sean Barlow will spend four weeks working in Cairo, Port Said, and Upper Egypt. This team will come home with material for a production marathon that will extend well into Afropop’ s 2012 season. Beyond the first-rate productions and web postings our listeners and viewers expect, Afropop will build lasting ties with artists, bloggers, institutions and individuals in Egypt, to keep the channels of communication open long after we leave.
This will be Egypt as only Afropop Worldwide can reveal it. Become a part of Hip Deep in Egypt. Become a part of history!
Afropop Worldwide is a syndicated public radio program introducing listeners to the music and culture of Africa and the global African diaspora. Hosted by veteran Cameroonian broadcaster Georges Collinet, the program started in 1988 and is now heard throughout the United States on public radio stations. It is also distributed in Europe, and heard globally via the companion website www.afropop.org. Afropop’s website began in 1997 as one of the first dedicated to African music. The site has kept up with changing technologies and remains one of the richest African music destinations on the internet.
Since 2004, Afropop has produced a unique set of Hip Deep radio programs, supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Hip Deep programs use music to explore important chapters of history, from slavery and colonialism, to diaspora communities and the rise of today’s hip hop generation. Hip Deep in Egypt extends the reach of this ground-breaking initiative both geographically and thematically. It will also make extensive use of original field work by the Afropop team, a new emphasis in the Hip Deep program series.