LyonMay 25 — 28 2022
NS Lab will give the floor to mobilised artists, to scenes in the midst of their own battles, from Eastern Europe to Brazil.
Co-organised by Nuits sonores festival, thinkers, journalists and activists will present the keys to understanding the major challenges facing our world : music, independence, war in Ukraine, migration, ecology and gender equality…
With its finger placed firmly on the pulse of the events and underlying movements that characterise contemporary artistic scenes, NS Lab will be a space for dialogue, a place for interaction and empowerment that espouses a vision running counter to a depoliticised culture that is impervious to its environment and purely hedonistic in nature.
meetings, panels, workshops, training & artistic performances
From the ruins of Mariupol to the streets of Kyiv, citizens – musicians, graphic designers and cultural actors among them – are taking up arms to defend the independence and sovereignty of their country. Clubs, cultural venues and restaurants are being transformed into part of the logistical home front, supporting resistance to the Russian invasion, defending an ideal of freedom, pluralism and an attachment to Europe.
Millions of people are being forced into exile, joining refugees from other parts of the world, all fleeing war or despair.
How do we approach the programming of our cultural venues and events in such a context?
It is a moment marked by the return to war in Europe, by the tragic nature of history, by the rise of authoritarianism and cultural isolationism, by a capitalist age whose reach extends all over the world, and by an environmental emergency. Never before have questions over the role of those spaces dedicated to artistic programming and public debate, over the function of the platforms we strive to create to connect artists, activists, philosophers and the European media, been posed with such acuity.
How can we make these spaces and occasions ‘useful’ to generations who have grown up under the false illusion of the End of History, following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain, and who are now confronted by such colossal challenges?
How can our means of cultural action, our tools and resources – a music festival, a forum for idea debates, a media incubator, a network, a European cooperation project – accurately reflect the diverse realities within our fractured world and foster collective intelligence, alternative models, solidarity and calls to action?
With the new NS Lab programme, Nuits Sonores and European Lab intend to pose this question with renewed vigour, while reaffirming the major role to be played by club culture, the dancefloor and, more generally, the independent culture sector in contemporary social and cultural transformations.
NS Lab will give the floor to mobilised artists, to scenes in the midst of their own battles, from Eastern Europe to Brazil. Thinkers, journalists and activists will present the keys to understanding the major challenges facing our world. With its finger placed firmly on the pulse of the events and underlying movements that characterise contemporary artistic scenes, NS Lab will be a space for dialogue, a place for interaction and empowerment that espouses a vision running counter to a depoliticised culture that is impervious to its environment and purely hedonistic in nature.
Over four days, this programme will offer festival-goers a new experience – neatly complementing Days and A night with…, the daytime and nocturnal programmes at Nuits Sonores – in the Confluence district of Lyon, spread between Hôtel71 (Arty Farty’s home, as well as a media incubator and creative hub), HEAT (a food court and meeting place) and H7 (a forum and converted halls dedicated to digital innovation).
With NS Lab, the musical programming of Nuits Sonores will be enhanced by idea debates, transmission and testimonies thanks to a series of meetings, interviews, workshops, discussion panels, audio conferences, radio broadcasts, artistic performances, training sessions, masterclasses and speeches.
A core element of the Nuits Sonores project, NS Lab is a platform dedicated to raising awareness about and reflecting on today’s struggles. A sounding board and a place of communion between local populations and European cultural actors. A collective space ensuring that we need not face up to the tragic nature of history alone. An event aimed at (re)positioning political speech at the very heart of the artistic arena.
Nuits sonores and European Lab present NS Lab ✊
For 4 days, this program will offer festival-goers a new experience, complementary to the other Nuits sonores programs: meetings, panels, workshops, training & artistic performances will be there every day from 14:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. between Hôtel71, H7 and HEAT in Lyon, France.
The outline of the program:
panels, meetings & conferences-listening
NS Lab is a platform for visibility and reflection on ongoing struggles, which will give voice to mobilized artists, to scenes in struggle, from the East of the European continent to Brazil.
At the center of the discussions, a main question: how can our means of cultural action, tools and resources, take into account plural realities within a fractured world, produce collective intelligence, alternative models, solidarity, calls to action?
Thinking and creating a cooperation project for migrant artists, from local to international
Facilitation: Aura Burzynski from L'atelier des artistes en exil
In partnership with L'atelier des artistes en exil
L'atelier des artistes en exil (aa-e) aims to identify artists in exile from all origins, all disciplines, to accompany them according to their situation and their needs, to offer them working spaces and to put them in touch with professional networks (French and European), in order to provide them with the means to test their practice and to restructure themselves
Aura Burzynski (L’atelier des artistes en exil,FR)
Musical creation: ground of crossbreeding of subjectivities
In a currently tense geopolitical context, from Afghanistan to Ukraine, from migrants in the Mediterranean to the climatically displaced, migrations, whether chosen or suffered, are a social fact and a major issue of our time. How can a social, political and philosophical process such as migration be transcribed in a musical creation? How to translate the displacement, the side step, the geographical and cultural crossing? By mobilizing intersubjectivity, i.e. the ability to consider the thoughts of others in their faculty of judgement, music makes it possible to deconstruct the stereotypes linked to migrations and express the nuances of plural identities.
Bawrut (artiste, IT)
Diana Azzuz (artist, UA)
Mous Bahri (artist, LB) Paloma Colombe (artist, FR & DZ)
Moderation : Amine Metani (Shouka, FR)
How is the story of migration told in the media
In Lyon, NS Lab will propose to analyse the narratives of migration that appear in the media on both sides of the Mediterranean, from Tunisia to Eastern Europe. How are mass migratory movements, both within the African continent (at their biggest) and on the borders of Europe, reported by the media? Who writes those narratives, and how are they perceived? At the same time, how can people who are or have been on the move wrest (back) control of their own stories, by producing media content or even launching their own platform in the image of Guiti News? Ultimately, this means welcoming and supporting refugee journalists to pursue their profession in spite of the various obstacles in their way, such as language barriers and precarious working conditions.
Francesca Spinelli (VoxEurop, IT) Abdessamad AIT AICHA (Maison des journalistes, FR) Haifa Mzalouat (Inkyfada, TN) Hajar Drissi (Guiti News, FR) Moderation : Philippe Couve (Samsa, FR)
Towards new programming practices
The eastbloc antifascist sound allianceis a community initiative created around the desire to connect artists working around sound and electronic arts in Eastern Europe and diaspora from former eastbloc territories.
Black Artist Database (formerly known as Black Bandcamp) is a community-based platform, hosting a wealth of international Black-owned record labels, artists, producers and bands.This crowd-sourced database provides an easy way to search, filter and directly support the creative output of Black artists globally, via their online profiles. The database is a continuous work-in-progress maintained by volunteers and paid administrators.
Niks (Black Artist Database, UK) M (The eastbloc antifascist sound alliance, CZ)
Listening session: Deena Abdelwahed
The world of Baile Funk is a direct and confrontational response to the powers that be. We have invited a selection of iconic Brazilian counterculture artists to explain how baile funk – a powerful, to some disconcerting sound born in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro – is allowing plural sexualities to emerge and creating spaces for the expression and representation of black women and the favelas. Teto Preto and his Mamba Negra collective, part of the line-up at Nuits Sonores 2022, organise parties in Brazil to which trans people and drag queens get free tickets for life.
Meanwhile, MC Carol ran for the Brazilian Communist Party in the Rio de Janeiro state elections in 2018. Resolutely politicised, with its subversive stage performances and uncompromisingly powerful sound, the baile funk scene has emerged as a platform for resistance against the authorities, promoting freedom of expression and identity and fighting against racism.
Thanks to the strength of these convictions, it has taken on the stature of a genuine counter-power, with radically different methods and activities from those seen in the West. This is the creation of a genuine parallel system, one that is constantly searching and reinventing itself through performance and art.
Teto Preto (artist, BR) MC Carol (artist, BR) Alessandra Moura (artist, BR) Moderation : Felipe Maia (BR)
Scenes, club culture and the war in Ukraine
At different levels, the various communities of club culture, such as the Clubcommission in Berlin, are working to support those affected by the war. All of which raises questions over the true role of these scenes. While a minority may deplore the increased politicisation of electronic music, they forget that politics is inherent to club culture.
As Ukrainian journalist Mariana Berezovska reminded us in her powerful article for Resident Advisor, Kyiv occupied an extremely important place for clubbers throughout Europe right up until the start of the war. She urges artists, cultural actors and citizens to assume their responsibilities at a time when Ukrainian DJs are taking up arms and the clubs of Kyiv are becoming places of refuge.
Daniel Jakobson (Club Commission, DE)
Mariana Berezovska (Borshch Magazine, UA)
Diana Azzuz (artist, UA)
Zviad Gelbakhiani (ICKPA, GE)
Moderation : Andra Amber Nikolayi (artiste sonore, RO)
Music, gender and power dynamics
Gender norms are becoming professional norms. Although the majority of students reading culture-related subjects in higher education are women, the latter account for barely half the workforce in the cultural sector and are often confined to support roles – executive assistants, human resources, and production and communication administrators, rather than artistic directors and programmers. From cratediggers and DJs to programmers for festivals or radio stations, musical expertise is often considered to be the sole reserve of men. What are the obstacles that continue to prevent women from accessing management, strategy and decision-making positions on a mass scale? Why are men still considered to be the experts and guarantors of trends and good taste? In the face of this reality, an increasing number of corrective measures are being taken to de-gender the industry, including coaching and mentoring programmes and various professional, aesthetic or territorial networks for women and gender minorities.
Les Canutes, a collective of contemporary music professionals in Lyon, works to support, train, empower and assist in the professionalisation of women, trans and non-binary artists.
The Venus Club is a booking agency that was founded during the first lockdown. It is a collective of artists who share a passion for benevolence, good music and partying, which contributes to the fight against gender inequality in electronic music by organising introductory sessions and training courses on the art of mixing.
shesaid.so France, which has been the focal point for a community of 4,300 music professionals since 2017, is launching *Majeur·e·s*, an online directory and tool for inclusion and equality that aims to enable the entire sector to take ownership of this issue and eradicate its outdated habits and stereotypes.
The speakers will share their experiences and expertise, with a view to dismantling the “boys club”, highlighting the skills of those working in the shadows and restoring the balance of power.
Claudia Courtial( Les Canutes, FR) Laurie Hagimont (sociologue, FR) Claire Morel (shesaid.so France, FR) Elodie Vitalis (Venus Club Agency, FR)
Impact(s) workshop: building a concerted method for assessing the environmental, social and territorial impacts of the music sector
Aimed at creating and reaching consensus on an “impact scorecard” for our sector, this workshop presents the opportunity to take an inventory of the existing assessments and tools – the most relevant indicators for our ecosystem – and to examine how effectively they can be measured.
Gwendolenn Sharp (The Green Room, FR)
Maxime Faget (Fairly, FR)
Journalism Workshop with RA
But being a journalist requires expertise in at least two subjects: music and the craft of writing, along with a strong tenacity to follow a story. In this workshop, Resident Advisor’s editor-in-chief Whitney Wei, and managing editor, Chloe Lula, will instruct you on how to land a pitch, what it takes to write a compelling feature, and answer your questions on music journalism as a viable career path. Please note spaces are limited and pre-registration is required.
Whitney Wei (Resident Advisor) Chloe Lula( (Resident Advisor,DE)
Listening-session: Paul Georg
It further stretches the paradigm that electronic music inherits a political meaning - being used as not only an escape of daily sorrows but an active force to draw attention to the harsh reality of marginalized Ukrainian artists in the imperialistic Russian sphere of influence. Eventually it asks important questions of the future of the involved artists and focuses on the individual fates of the resistance fighters these artists have become.
Paul Georg (Standard Deviation, UA)
Sound ecology: vinyl, streaming and the material culture of music
Through its discussions on sound ecology, Bellona magazine aims to move the debate beyond individual responsibility in order to grasp the reality of the wider relationships that exist between creation, art and nature. What are the aesthetics of a sound culture based on huge server clusters and fossil-fuel derived records? What role do artists and cultural actors have to play in the fight against ecological destruction and waste? And at the end of the day, is it still possible for musicians to practise their art in a separate space, removed from the impending environmental and capitalist catastrophe? Gwendolenn Sharp (The Green Room, FR)
Leticia Trandafir (artist,FR)
Guillaume Heuguet (Audimat Éditions, FR)
Moderation: Jean-Hugues Kabuiku (Bellona Magazine, FR)
#StopEACOP: a narrative for global activism
The EACOP project – French oil giant Total’s plan to build a pipeline across Uganda and Tanzania, including through a vast protected area of nature – has already displaced over 100,000 people.
Having started in Africa, the #StopEACOP movement soon spread to France, then Europe and the rest of the world thanks to a campaign orchestrated by Make.sens and 350.org and relayed by climate activists such as Camille Étienne. It has gained further momentum as Total struggles to distance itself from Russia, serving as a movement both in favour of the climate and against the fossil fuels that finance war.
At NS Lab, the architects of the movement will tell us all about this new form of activism that spans major issues, crosses networks, mobilises young people and, above all, gets results! Christian Vanizette (MakeSense.org, FR)
Listening-session: Olivier Cachin
Baltics, Finns, Poles: artists in the rear close to the war
Our eyes are turned towards the front line of the Ukrainian conflict, its dramas, but we do not look much at what is happening in these close backgrounds. Through this discussion, we will hear the involvement of cultural actors and artists from these countries to help the Ukrainian people. We will hear their position towards Russian artists and discuss this increasingly widespread feeling of relative "abandonment" of their countries by European countries that do not border Russia.
A way to strengthen the links, in this critical moment, where it is essential to show that we are united and strong.
Kadi-Ell Tähiste (Kai Art Center and Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center, EE)
Antti Nylén (writer, FI)
Paulina Żaczek (Granko Agency, PL)
Moderation : Arnaud Contreras (journalist, FR)
A geopolitical awakening in Europe?
How are the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, the rivalry between China and the United States, the parliamentary elections in Hungary, the presidential elections in France and the energy crisis changing the panorama of international geopolitics?
To take a step back from today’s conflicts and measure their impact on the world, NS Lab is inviting the brilliant young editorial team from *Le Grand Continent*, a journal founded by a geopolitical study group at the École Nationale Supérieure de Paris, to share its analysis of the current situation.
This online journal, born in May 2019, has become a point of reference for strategic, political and intellectual debate in Europe and its growing popularity is contributing to a renewed interest in geopolitical issues. Gilles Gressani(Le Grand Continent, IT)
Ramona Bloj(GEG, FR)
Elena Maximin (Le Grand Continent, FR)
Mathéo Malik (Le Grand Continent, FR)
Raphael Glucksmann (European Deputy, essayist, FR)