Music Venues - Space for Social Cohesion

Why they are closing down

Brad Holmes by Bridget Hilton Barber
André Marmot by Stephan Klenke
Johanna Beckman by Märta Thisner
Ahmet Ulug


Chaired by Brad Holmes (South Africa), Bassline;
with André Marmot (UK), Wormfood/Earth Agency;
Ahmet Ulug (Turkey), Pozitif/Babylon;
Johanna Beckman (Sweden), Huset Under Bron/Trädgården

Bassline, a live music venue in Johannesburg opened four months after liberation in 1994, creating a multicultural location in a conservative white area to build social cohesion through music, a space that facilitated the navigation away from the deep-rooted racial prejudices into a new world of social freedom. From the Knitting Factory, Village Underground, passing clouds of fabric to Babylon, these venues have been the anchor for multicultural awareness and development, increasing the area’s popularity only then to be threatened closure due to social political or economic reasons.

This panel will discuss their ideologies, the local impact of their venues and the battle against closure. They will invite perspectives from the audience on what can be done so such places can continue to play a critical role in social cohesion and cultural inclusion.