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still "Ngos'a Bedimo" (music from the ghosts) video DV 21' (2013) cultural intervention, music performance - Douala, Cameroon (2009)

movie fragment.

An attempt to start the first metal band of Cameroon.

In Cameroon I discovered during my residency at the Art Bakery in Bonnendale the presence of a rich culture consisting of stories about witchcraft and occultism, which has a profound influence in the daily lives of ordinary people. Parallel to this I discovered a complete absence of hard guitar music. Particularly surprised I was about the non-existence of any form of metal scene in Central Western Africa while in the sixties rock and roll and funk did exist. 
Especially surprised, because the metal sub-culture has an almost exclusive status as a music-genre to have a tendency to adorn itself with symbols and themes deriving from the occult. 

I saw an overlap between two distant cultures and became fascinated by the idea about how a Cameroonian Metal band would look like. (There are some fascinating scenes at the border of Botswana and South Africa but that is quite a leap from Cameroon.)

still "Ngos'a Bedimo" (music from the ghosts) video DV 21' (2013)

This idea led to a lively exchange between local musicians and myself, after which we started the creation of the first metal band in the country. 

A local music-genre normally evolves in an “organic” way or by the influence of the music industry. In my approach I follow neither of these models, and I regard my presence and influence therefore as a cultural intervention. What the project leaves behind is the spirit of an idea how Metal in Cameroon could have looked like. The t-shirts with the band logo are artefacts of that.

Boris wearing a N'gosa Bedimo T-shirt, t-shirt designed and silk screen printed during the project in Cameroon. 30 pieces were handed out during the concert, 15 in private metal circles and 5 for the art world.

About the Video

The video work which follows Jouwersma through dark streets of Douala and to the top of Mount Cameroon, shows the conversations between Jouwersma and Raska who is a known Reggae singer and is enthusiastic about starting a new music style that Jouwersma proposes. Raska tells many of the occult stories that are part of daily life in Cameroon and they become the basis for some of the first song tittles. Raksa and Jouwersma get together local musicians and The band Ngos'a Bedimo is born (Music of the Ghosts). Things turn out differently when Raska disappears just before the first performance and Jouwersma suddenly suffers from a mysterious eye infection.

still "Ngos'a Bedimo" (music from the ghosts) video DV 21' (2013)

Poster - Douala, Cameroon.

Year : 2009 

Type : Cultural intervention - Video '21 DV Video (2013)

Space: Melodies D'atan, Night Club Douala , Cameroon

Context: During a Residency at Art Bakkery (Goddy Leye)

Materials: Concert, Poster, Band T-shirts

Musicians: Dionkugu Drums, Steven Jouwersma + absent muscians by car failure Raska, Jackson Berry, Manga Jerry.

Thanks to: Goddy Leye, Jantine Wijnja, Sander Veenhof, Jackson, Silas, Raska, Manga Jerry, Jackson Berry, Nikolaj Larsen (editing) , Veridiana Zurita (editing) and all the fans.

Supported/currated by Hotel Maria Kapel for the Elopement Residency

T-shirt of N'gosa Bedimo designed by Steven Jouwersma. 50 pieces.

installation view @ social sound VHDGinstallation view @ social sound VHDG   video still - Raskavideo still - Raska   discussing the band logodiscussing the band logo   videostill : Dikongue Drums during the concertvideostill : Dikongue Drums during the concert   videostill - guide @ mount Cameroonvideostill - guide @ mount Cameroon   videostillvideostill   videostill - raskavideostill - raska   videostill - from Bonnendale to Doualavideostill - from Bonnendale to Douala   videostill - on the top of Mount Cameroonvideostill - on the top of Mount Cameroon