Live8 concert marginalising?

by oneafrikan on June 10, 2005

I was listening to an interview with Damon Albarn from Blur on the radio this morning, and he was talking about how the Live8 concert has marginalised African artists by not inviting them to perform. He mentioned that Yassou Ndour would have performed if he had of been invited, and he made the point that we need to stop thinking of Africa as the poor, helpless, forgotten cousin that so much of us do.

Listening to him speak I thought to myself that he had a point, and that it was an oversight I’m sure Bob Geldorf would regret, unless there was a real reason for not doing so. But then I also started thinking that the concert’s purpose is to create awareness of what is happening with the G8 in Scotland, not to put on a concert – the concert is the vehicle, and as such surely it needs to be able to draw as many people as possible?

So, if you follow that line of thinking, then surely you would want to get the artists that would draw the most crowds, to create the most awareness? If that is so, then perhaps the lineup is right, is going to draw the most crowds, and will serve the purppose it was intended to?

This doesn’t detract from what Damon was saying, ‘cos I agree with him – coming from Africa I’m amazed at the different reactions that I get when I tell people where I’m from. Africa has it’s problems for sure, but boy so does the rest of the world – so let’s put our pointed fingers down, realise we all have work to do, and start doing it!

For my part in this story, I’m working with a few people to bring you something cool over the next few days, so watch this space…

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