Spam are all the undesired messages which are sent to us, which we may or may not open but which nevertheless influence our lives, connect us and tell a story of our contemporary. Understood this way, we can for instance call the Congo conference of 1884–1885 one of the biggest spams of human history — sent out to millions of people before the internet or the idea of spam even emerged. With SPAM: A radio program of undesired-desired messages, the Afrika Diva Collectif activates four spaces in Germany (Berlin and Halle a.d. Saale) and the D.R. Congo (Kinshasa and Goma), to discuss connections and disconnections, colonial repercussions, im-/possible ways of interacting beyond colonial power structures and other spam.

Six clusters — held together by Jasmina Al-Qaisi and Ralf Wendt (Halle), Jeunialissime (Scaly Kepna and guests [Kinshasa]), Nyabinghi Lab (Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro, Saskia Köbschall and Tmnit Zere [Berlin]), ACUD Macht Neu (Ange da Costa, Laba Alamazani Ebisa, Tresor Ilunga Mukuna and guests [Berlin]), Cécile Walo and guests (Goma), and of course the Afrika Diva Collectif itself (represented by Majousko, Bernie Bobina Mpia, Gina Ndaya, Sarah Ndele, Orakle Ngoy [Kinshasa]) — use radio waves to broadcast and share conversations.

One of the characteristics of spam is that senders and receivers are present in an unfathomable amount. With this project we open up a space, where the public can connect by being allowed to listen in to personal experiences and questions that they may know all to well, or from which they may be learning. The project creates a space where external influences — that shape our lives whether we want it or not — are addressed. We want to go from the forgotten and ignored to (re-)discovered realities. From what was not transmitted to the realization of how much these realities arrange the codes of our contemporary and how we could imagine rearranging them. Including all the impossible translations, misunderstandings, and idiosyncratic language mixes. The realities of experiences and the broader, interconnected frames in which they exist, are at the center of the sonic encounter with “SPAM”, so as to make apparent that the relations between them are not novel, but have long been there — that they are in need of a continuous undoing in the way we live our lives, through our behaviors, our paths, our education etcetera.

Radio waves are our chosen medium to do this common work — as a radical medium of transmission into all sorts of contexts and even beyond the terrestrial.