December 9, 2009
Charles will give a talk about his discovery of hip-hop as a teenager living in Zimbabwe. Building from a lost letter he wrote to a New York radio station, WBLS, he will discuss the impact that the new music (Run-DMC, MC Shan, Roxanne Shanté, Boogie Down Productions, Eric B and Rakim) had on his developing imagination and his relationship with his parents, who were so distressed by the mechanical “boom, boom, boom” sounds coming out of his bedroom, they moved him out of the main house and into a mother-in-law cottage.
In that cottage, Mudede started to build a theory that connected the new music with the emergence of the modern African family, the realities of post-independence Zimbabwe, and the post-national utopian promises of globalization/Americanization. That theory, which is still in development, he calls “The Twilight of the Goodtimes,” and the talk will flesh out this theory with forgotten photographs, forgotten album covers, and forgotten bits of music.
Charles Mudede is Associate Editor at The Stranger. He is the screenwriter of the films Police Beat, Zoo and North American. Charles’ talk is part of Parenthesis, Western Bridge’s fall exhibition.