PRESS RELEASE December 2013

THE FOREST VOICES TOUR

Orchéstre Baka Gbiné are taking their music on tour. Starting in Baka communities, their music will bring people together to discuss the problems and solutions of forest life in modern Cameroon, where their way of life is under increasing threat.

Launching in February 2014 the Forest Voices Tour will be a celebration of Baka peoples' music and life within the rainforest. It will aim to promote Baka culture and create an opportunity for different Baka communities to come together to share their love of music. It will also be a platform to discuss the problems they face due to their land being taken for mining, logging, agriculture and conservation.

At present the Baka have virtually no representation at local or national level. Global Music Exchange will use The Forest Voices Tour, as a unique opportunity to document Baka views and let their voices be heard.

Project Aims

  • Tour Baka Communities
    The Baka live in small family groups deep in the forest. A Baka concert will draw them together and provide the opportunity for sharing news and ideas.
  • Give the Baka a voice
    We will spend 2 days in each community. At the end of discussions we will film the key viewpoints.
  • National Tour
    We will continue the tour to major cities in Cameroon, spreading awareness of the Baka and their situation.
  • Document the tour
    The entire project will be recorded and documented with the intention of producing a film to raise awareness of the Baka’s struggle.
  • Presentation to ministers and officials
    Opinions gathered from the Baka communities will be presented to the people making decisions that directly affect their forest existence. A special concert and film presentation will be organised in the future for this purpose.
  • Raise the self esteem of the Baka people.
    Watching Orchéstre Baka Gbiné perform will boost the status of the Baka in eyes all that see them.
  • Give Orchéstre Baka Gbiné touring experience
    After this tour the musicians will be ready to perform internationally.

None of this will be possible however without the support and help of the public who have enjoyed Orchéstre Baka Gbiné’s music so far. If Global Music Exchange reach their target of £7,500, the tour will be a much needed exchange, empowering the Baka Peoples and encouraging cultural ownership. Following up on this success, it will also create the possibility of a future European tour, widening the discussion on indigenous music and peoples.

An IndieGoGo campaign has been set up in order to raise the funds needed to make this tour possible.

[ENDS]

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Notes to Editors

  • The nomadic Baka tribe originate from the Cameroon and their current population is estimated at between thirty and forty thousand.
  • The Baka have been the guardians of the forest for thousands of years and they possess vast reservoirs of medical, ecological and musical knowledge.
  • Recent awareness of the Baka culture was raised by the broadcast of Phil Agland's documentary – 'A Cry from the Rainforest'- on the BBC in February 2012.
  • Martin Cradick first visited the Baka tribe over twenty years ago after their music inspired him to form Baka Beyond who continues to write and perform today.
  • Orchéstre Baka Gbiné released their first album – Gati Bongo - in 2006 to critical acclaim leading to significant sales in both Europe and America.
  • The title track from Gati Bongo appears on the Zumba Core Fitness game released for both Xbox & Wii in November 2012.

Global Music Exchange has:

  • Formed a Baka association (Gbiné) and provided national ID cards to help protect their human rights
  • Built a music house with rainwater harvesting system. A cultural centre and performance space, the first built and owned by an indigenous community in this part of Africa
  • Managed touring projects, both within Cameroon and to Europe
  • Set up health projects - day to day healthcare, paying for operations that would otherwise not be done, and primary health education
  • Set up education projects - a small school for primary education at Gbiné, and projects in co-operation with the local government school.
  • The current plight of the Baka is getting worse. Producer, Martin Cradick visited last winter and has written this report

Read Martin's Feb 2013 report of the current situation

Contact Information:

For more information on the Forest Voices Tour,

contact Clyde Kramer at clyde@1heart.org.

DOWNLOAD PDF Press release

pictures on this page link to high res versions

More background information available from links in header.


CLICK ON PHOTOS
TO OPEN HI RES VERSIONS

MAHACD30


Baka Gbiné in concert near Congo border

Mbeh recording at Lupé

Pelembir recording in the Music House

Big Tree Studio

All royalties earned from the sale of the Baka's music goes to them via the registered charity, Global Music Exchange, so be sure that if you buy their music you are making a difference!

You can make a donation to Global Music Exchange using the button below:

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