Freedom To Create is our new six-part talk show series, broadcasting live on Berlin-based Refuge Worldwide.
The bi-monthly episodes will explore themes of identity, migration, and music creation through hour-long live interviews curated and moderated by Refuge Worldwide’s Editor, Chloe Lula.
On the second episode of our six-part talk show series, Freedom to Create, Chloe Lula interviews Palestinian artist Nour. Since 2012, the DJ, producer, and documentarian has been living in Tulum, Mexico and DJing as a resident of Papaya Playa, followed by regular appearances at clubs in The Netherlands, Greece, and Ibiza.
She has also released on Talavera Records and Sol Selectas, and is a core contributing member of Future Female Sounds—a femme collective dedicated to teaching women and gender minorities how to DJ and navigate a male-led industry. Recently, Nour began an oral history documentary project in which she is visiting Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan and interviewing the last surviving members of the 1948 Nakba. Thus far, she has collected 90 interviews, all of which she is planning to archive in an ongoing exploration of how displacement and migration has affected the lives of millions of refugees across the Middle East.
Chloe and Nour will talk about identity and citizenship, DJing, and being a woman in nightlife.
The series will kick off with Joseph Kamaru, AKA KMRU, the Nairobi sound artist who has garnered attention for innovative ambient works that utilize elements of field recording, improvisation, noise, and drone.
In addition to his work as a musician, KMRU is a core member of Black Artist Database, a graduate student in sound studies at Universität der Künste Berlin, and the lead organizer of music production workshops around Nairobi. We will discuss his work and his move from Kenya to Germany, and play a selection of the music that has shaped his creative career.
Click below to listen to the show or read the interview in full.
Chloé Lula: I'm really interested in your creative process, if you could talk about it a little bit. I mean, technically, how you capture recordings, and then turn them into music, and how you listen to your environment. At what point do you decide that there's a sound you want to record?
KMRU: Yeah, I think I find myself outside a lot, listening, or recording. And you're mostly listening, because listening has been quite a huge part of my practice. And I think, just from the listening perspective, and deciding what I really want to record, it translates so like, naturally with, with a production where it happens quite intuitively. So when I'm, for example, doing a project or wanting to make a new piece, I have, like, tons of field recordings maybe. And other times, I'd go outside and just record like maybe a specific length of a recording, and come back to the studio and sort of decide on a hard approach using the recording itself as sort of as an instrument, and processing it or maybe leaving it as is and sort of creating a narrative from the recording to creating, like a new piece around it. Because I find recordings or field recordings having so much textures and sounds which I could use. This happened when I bought my first Zoom recorder, I was just amazed at how much sound was around me and decided I'll just be recording sounds and engaging more and trying to learn more about what I can learn from the environment.
Refuge was started as a fundraising platform working in solidarity with grassroots and non-profit organisations. In January 2021 they launched Refuge Worldwide, a new radio station to amplify the music and issues that they care about, broadcasting daily from Weserstraße 166, 12045 Berlin Neukölln.
Since 2015, among others, they have worked with a young women’s centre, refugee housing support associations, a music school for marginalised persons, social equity groups, homelessness agencies, and a shelter for women and young persons fleeing domestic violence.
From their home in Berlin Neukölln they now host weekly workshops, training programmes and classes in media, creative fields and mental health. These are free to attend as part of their community outreach. Refuge Worldwide is also involved in a number of collaborative projects around the globe, with likeminded collectives, radio stations and activists.
Refuge Worldwide commits to striving for a gender balanced station, representative of minorities. The station is focused on community-building and creating space / visibility for underrepresented artists.
Chloé Lula is a Berlin-based DJ producer and journalist. She is the Managing Editor of Resident Advisor the Editorial Director of Refuge Worldwide Radio and the Critical Beats columnist at The Wire magazine.
She received her master’s degree from Columbia Journalism School in 2020 and is a fellow with the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting.
Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post the New York Times Politico and Esquire among other major publications where she covers gender justice human rights and their touch points with music and activism.
She put out her debut EP, ‘Errant Bodies,’ on aufnahme + wiedergabe this spring, and will release with Berlin's Instruments of Discipline and Ciarra Black’s Pendulum imprints in early 2022.