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Asian Dub Foundation's exclusive performance as part of Sussex professor's exhibition

As part of his widely publicised exhibition exploring the cultural impacts of migration in Paris and London between the 1960s and 80s, a University of Sussex professor has now helped facilitate a new and exclusive performance by the acclaimed music act, Asian Dub Foundation.

The ciné-concert ‘The Battle of Algiers’ has been performed by the collective only three times – twice at the Brighton Festival in 2004.

But the British crew have now developed new music to perform an exclusive show on Friday 5 April at the French National Museum of the History of Immigration as part of Professor Martin Evans’ exhibition ‘Paris-Londres Music Migrations 1962-1989’.

Professor of Modern European History, Martin Evans, said: “Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1966 film ‘The Battle of Algiers’ is a portrayal of anti-colonial resistance that unsparingly recreates the violent confrontation between Algerian fighter and French paratroopers in the casbah of Algiers between 1956 and 1957. 

“It went on to have an enormous global impact on other anti-racist and anti-colonial groups, such as the Black Panthers in the USA.”

The film was initially banned in France but will now become a key legacy of the Paris-Londres exhibition, which was recently cited by French Vogue as one of their top five exhibitions in Paris.

Co-commissioned by the University of Sussex’s Resistance Studies Network, led by Dr Chris Warne, the performance by the Asian Dub Foundation is significantly different to the original, with a newly written Maghreb influenced flute section which will feed off the images as well as the original sound track by Ennio Morricone.  

The performance will be documented in a film by Babak Goodarzi, who is working with Professor Martin Evans to explore why the film resonates with the Asian Dub Foundation. The two have also collaborated on an art installation exploring the ADF story that is at the heart of the Paris-Londres exhibition.

Steve Savale, the group’s founding guitarist, plans to tour the new musical interpretation of the film with performances at the Barbican Centre in London, as well as in San Francisco, Sydney and Algeria.

The Asian Dub Foundation have been delivering live soundtracks to film and operas, combining a fusion of music (including punk rock, electronic beats, reggae, bhangra and hip-hop) with social activism for nearly 20 years.

The work of the multi-cultural British crew came to the University of Sussex last year, through their live score to La Haine which was performed at the Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts in November 2018.

For a taster of the Paris-Londres Music Migrations 1962-1989 exhibition, listen to our Spotify playlist here.

By: Stephanie Allen
Last updated: Thursday, 4 April 2019