Music that promotes empathy in middle of pandemic
Friday, May 22, 2020 0:01


Labelled Human. PHOTO | COURTESY 

Last week on Thursday night, I was invited to a private online viewing on Vimeo of the ‘one-shot’ music video dubbed “Labelled Human”, a collaboration with an eclectic group of young Kenyan musicians: Clef & Bandana; Bakhita; Sogallo and Caleb, with production by Phinoshey. It premieres on May 25 and will coincide with the Africa Day, which celebrates the meaning of African creativity and how it can help shape a bright future for the continent.

The music video has a moderate pulse and it allows the viewer to steadily interact with the actors, the beauty, the colour and the energy. The melody grows on you and I’d weger it will soon find its way into many a music lovers playlist. It showcases the basketball court restoration, murals, community exhibition, ‘The Urban Residency’, and accessibility features created during the festival which has been published as a case study called ‘Paint The Court’ on Nairobi Design Week (NDW) website. It seeks to inspire other communities to collaborate and create impact. The producer, Phinoshey says, “I want people to make this a global anthem…feel the lyrics because the artists were singing from the soul.”

The production was done live during the 5th edition of NDW festival held in March this year. NDW is essentially a community, festival and design studio that celebrates the Kenyan design community.) The theme was ‘Design is for Everyone’ and involved a week of jam sessions, mural painting and other design activities. The whole video was done in one shot, no retakes! Rango, the video director hopes the audience appreciate it as much as they loved making it.

‘Labelled Human’ is a movement that unites humanity through our differences and similarities. It was conceived by Adrian Jankowiak and David Stretton-Downes to encourage empathy. Adrian says, by sharing the labels that we’ve all been victims of, they become insignificant. Since its launch in 2018 at the Refugees’ Pavilion at the London Design Biennale, over three thousand people from across the world have shared their labels on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter so far.

Indeed, during this Covid-19 pandemic crisis, once again we have been forced to tap into the empathy imperative. Everything around us is challenging us to move past the superficial and learn to appreciate deep meaningful interactions.