The pan-diasporic nature of African individuals all over the world has prompted the formation of NON – “a collective of African artists using sound as their primary media, to articulate the visible and invisible structures that create binaries in society, and in turn distribute power” as it claims on its websites- and started a worldwide resistance movement that is not only a movement, but a community.
The founders Nigerian-American Chino Amobi, Cape Town’s Angel-Ho and London’s Nkisi started the movement as part of a resistance movement against the exploitation of African diaspora members where the resistance of hegemony comes through sounds that are not “traditionally thought of as black or African sounds” as stated by Amobi in an interview with Okay Africa.
The term “pan-diasporic” comes from strengthening the bonds of diasporic individuals of African descent through an intellectual movement that uses the Internet to share music under a single movement that is also aimed at connecting these diasporic subjects situated in all parts of the world.
As diasporic subjects spread all over the world unified through the movement and forming its pan-diasporic identity. NON encourages its contributors to maintain a sense of unity through the cultivation of the arts and prompting social growth and economic independence. In rejecting a definition as a name for its movement and sticking with NON as the name of their movement.
Their vision was clear:
“NON SUPPORTS ITS CITIZENS OF THE UNITED RESISTANCE”
Its citizens span all “corners” of the world and contribute to the movement and each of them aim to create music that forces its listeners to question their society and using music as a confrontational tool rather than an escapist tool. The afro-diasporic community of defiant voices that exist particularly on the digital sphere allows leads to the physical meeting of artists made possible by the digital sphere.
The digital sphere has allowed for the movement’s philosophy to manifest itself as a socio-cultural and political critic that “describes [them] in terms of [their] relationship to institutions, the music industry, daily living, plus [their] identities nationally, politically, and aesthetically” allowing anybody to join in. Instead of being limited to being a label, they wanted to be known as a movement.
Including artists such as South Africa’s FAKA (who make music critiquing the oppressiveness of homophobia) and RudeBoyz and including other international artists such as 1127, Gaika, Mhysa and N-Prolenta who all make a number of oppression critiques reveals NON’s focus on standing up against oppression in their respective societies.
NON Worldwide, however, is not a digital sphere, it is a community, just a community that is formed on the digital sphere of the Internet. It does not end on the digital sphere as NON artists are sometimes asked to perform at events, transcending the digital sphere. Most of the artists are already performers who use the NON Worldwide as a platform to connect with other artists and listeners who relate to their movement.
The movement, in its un-definition is not reserved to one space, one genre or to a single artist. Some artists have moved past the SoundCloud space and even past the physical performance space and even have music videos of their music. Its flowing form as a movement means that it can place itself anywhere and anyhow with anybody as we see with Angel-Ho’s feature on Dope Saint Jude’s “Keep In Touch”.
True to the aims of NON, “Keep In Touch”, it embraces the aim of commenting against an oppressive society using a digital united resistance.
The worldwide movement of NON, has developed into a digital social commentary of society and offered a digital space for people to unite against societies built on oppressive identities. The best part of this Internet movement is that the person who relates to you does not need to be in close proximity to you because you could find more people who relate to you.
NON’s presence on the Internet means more than just sharing music between people who relate to each other, it also means connecting people on a worldwide platform that allows people all over the world to use music to not only