Resource of
Open Minds

STONE TOWN RECORDS

Themes: Gender, Art Practice, Community, Freedom of Expression,
Region: East Africa
Country: Tanzania

Workshops and Events

As a way to empower more female artists, Stone Town Records collaborated with the WomenXpress initiative to launch a series of workshops and live shows called ‘Stone Town Cypher’. This series creates a space for intercultural knowledge exchange and artistic expression to depict the daily realities faced by the artists and to empower women to take an active part in these activities. The ongoing series of workshops is based on the five key elements of Hip Hop: DJing/producing, MCing, breakdancing, graffiti, and knowledge. Each workshop focuses on one of the five elements. The participating artists learn about its foundation and history and end with either a live performance or exhibition. Stone Town Records believes this series will have an overall positive impact on the artistic community in terms of learning and expressing critical content. It provides a safe space for these artists to come together and connect, to exchange knowledge with local and international influencers. At the same time the artists are provided with a stage to freely express themselves, something that is otherwise crucially missing from the Zanzibar cultural map.

Stone Town Records is a multidisciplinary community of artists (musicians, producers, fashion designers, painters, artisans, graffiti artists), which was formed in 2015. Built around a recording studio and community space in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Stone Town Records is one of the few spaces where people can meet and create freely despite the limitations set by a restrictive society. Such societal limitations are especially faced by female artists and those pursuing music careers within Zanzibar. Stone Town Records therefore aims to empower individuality, creativeness and community formation through the creation of content, events, opportunities and careers. The organisation provides mentoring and recording activities for aspiring artists, as well as workshops at the community site.