Stolen Moments. Namibian Music History Untold

  • Language: English
  • ca. 150 pages
  • Illustrations
  • ISBN:
  • Print: 978-3-905758-76-4
Baby Doeseb, Hauke Dorsc, Thorsten Schütte (ed.)

Stolen Moments. Namibian Music History Untold

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Namibia’s popular music is coming back. A magnitude of unknown sounds, undiscovered melodies and songs appear blending local musical traditions with jazz, blues and pop from around the world, creating something unique and yet familiar. There are many reasons most people have never heard of Namibian popular music from the 1950s, 60s, 70s or 80s. It was censored, suppressed, prohibited – or simply not published. Many of its creators are long gone or have given up on music making, by reasons of adversity, death and despair. And yet this beautiful music exists with a liveliness as if it had never stopped playing. It is still there in the minds of the few who can remember, it is still there with the ones who played it and it is still there on those rare recordings that have survived in archives and record collections scattered all around the globe.

“Stolen Moments – Namibian Music History Untold” tells the story of performing, recording and enjoying music in Namibia under the occupation of the South African apartheid regime. This book lists and presents the most famous musicians and their bands, it shows images of the juke joints, shebeens and backdoor ballrooms. It presents today’s artists designs of album covers of records that have never been published. Musicians, producers, dancers and fans share their memories of music making in the pre-independence era. Short essays by anthropologists, historians, musicologists and archivists reflect on the wider context of these experiences and on the relations of popular music and the Struggle. This book helps closing a significant gap of Namibia’s cultural history.

Featured authors and artists include Heike Becker, David Coplan, Baby Doeseb, John Liebenberg, Dag Henrichsen, Joas Julume Ipinge, Kharixurob Gerhard Kubik, Ben Molatzi, Ugly Creatures, Warmgat and many others.


This exhibition catalogue is published in co-operation with Baer Family Records and includes a CD with original Namibian popular music.

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