Musician Neo Muyanga spent most of his time as 2013 artist-in-residence at the CHR investigating the aesthetics of the liberation song, as represented in collections of audio and video recordings at the UWC-Robben Island Mayibuye Archives. These included live protest marches of the 1980s and 1990s; 1980s broadcasts of Radio Freedom, the ANC radio station in exile; and documentary films about the ANC Culture Desk in exile. The materials were used to develop an original operatic production based on liberation songs of South Africa.
Muyanga also performed at concerts and with various musicians and groups, including the Insurrections Ensemble, a group of Indian and South African musicians. In addition, Muyanga performed with El Warsha, one of Egypt’s oldest independent and most successful cultural troupes, during the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism (JWTC), hosted by the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (Wiser) (28 June – 2 July, 2013). The aim of this workshop was to tease out and compare the aesthetics of protest song and story-telling modalities in South Africa and Egypt.