of rene garzke
When haircuts and style of music become a political issue… A band concert in Bern, Switzerland, has been canceled because of many white musicians wearing Rasta hairstyles and playing reggae.
The ensemble “Lawworm” performed last week at the alternative restaurant “Brasserie Lorraine”. During the concert, many visitors expressed “discomfort with the situation”, organizers said on social networks.
On the one hand, guests would be upset that some white musicians wore Rasta hairstyles. And on the other hand, in general, because they play reggae at all – the genre originated in Jamaica, specifically among the black indigenous population.
If white people now adopt these customs, staunch critics speak of “cultural appropriation”. According to the allegation, first whites suppressed the black population during colonization and now they are also “stealing” their culture.
From the point of view of critics, nothing changes, as with reggae bands, the aim is not to despise the culture concerned, but to let it come to life.
Nevertheless, the Swiss organizers said: “We would like to apologize to all who felt bad about the concert.” They failed to deal with the subject in advance and “protect” the guests.
that’s what the band says
The group “Lowworm” criticized the cancellation of their concert. Band boss Dominic Plumetaz said that “New Zurich Newspaper” Now: “We felt isolated because no one in the audience was approaching us when we were playing that evening.”
There was a great atmosphere during his performance, he told the portal “20min.ch”. Although some visitors complained directly to the organiser, the band boss continued to tell NZZ.
About the allegations, Plumettaz said: It’s about his performance ribbon Neither provocation nor cultural appropriation. “We are inspired by other cultures and other styles of music, developing them further and making our music that way.”
For this reason, some of the band members wear traditional clothing or traditional clothing from African countries such as the Gambia or Senegal. “Because some bandmates can identify with it,” Plumetaz says. Society is in the midst of a multicultural transformation in which cultures are merging.
The band boss promised: “We stand by our music and will continue to do so in the future.”
After this, the operators of the restaurant also issued a new statement on Tuesday evening. To someone’s surprise, the cancellation of the concert “created such waves,” it says.
Then there are cautious skeptics about our own actions: “We do not claim that we did the right thing by ending the concert. However, it felt wrong to let it continue. We might even call it excessive demand.” A discussion on this subject is to be held in the evening in three weeks.
In late March, a similar case in Hanover sparked a violent storm of protests: climate activists from “Friday for the Future” held a Ban on performance against musician Ronja Maltzan (28), That too because of his dreadlocks.
At the time, the Climate Group gave an ultimatum to the musician that was particularly bold: “If you decide to cut your dreadlocks by Friday, we’ll certainly welcome you to the demo and let you play.”
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