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Over the years at Musicians Without Borders, we have constantly seen how music, dance, and art can be used as means of communicating, of holding knowledge, and of defining a community. We believe that culture is as much a part of the treasure of the landscape as are its natural resources. This is particularly relevant when intergenerational learning is lost due to displacement, climate change, and war.

This Fall, we are very excited to announce the launch of a new project in partnership with IUCN NL, Global Vision for Africa, and FESCO: Music of the Landscape.

Music of the Landscape is designed to gain new knowledge about how music, heritage, and the environment interact in East Africa. Initially running in late 2023/early 2024, the project will work with musicians and young people from the Goma region of the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as academic researchers and conservationists. The project combines our understanding of the psychological effect of music and dance, as well as our methodologies of working with local communities through music, along with conservation research, cultural archival work, and community heritage.

Here are some of the actions we are excited to undertake throughout the project:

  • Members of the Kivu Youth Music team will train young people from the DRC to become cultural “archivers”;
  • Young archivists will talk to older members of their local community, collecting stories, songs, dances, and other forms of heritage;
  • Working with academic researchers, this music and wisdom will be saved for future generations and analyzed to see how the relationship between Congolese communities and the natural environment is represented.

Mundari tribe man blowing in a cow horn, South Sudan. Photo: Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us | Source: Getty Images

The project is a partnership with IUCN NL, Global Vision for Africa, and FESCO.

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