Nabihah Iqbal calls out 'injustices' of Damon Albarn's Africa Express project

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  • Iqbal says she and other artists who travelled to South Africa recently were issued contracts requiring them to waive all recording rights for £1.
  • Nabihah Iqbal calls out 'injustices' of Damon Albarn's Africa Express project image
  • Nabihah Iqbal has accused Damon Albarn's Africa Express organisation of exploitation. Iqbal posted images on social media of a contract issued by Africa Express, an organisation founded by Albarn in 2006 for promoting collaborations between African and Western artists. Iqbal was part of a week-long recording project in South Africa organised by Africa Express, after which they were issued contracts stating they must waive all recording rights for £1. The group also included Ghetts, Nick Zinner, Sibot, Spoek Mathambo, Infamous Boys, Remi Kabaka, Petite Noir, Dominowe, Jakinda and Otim Alpha. The contract states: "In consideration of the payment of £1 receipt of which is hereby acknowledged you hereby give and grant us all necessary consents with regards to making recordings(s) of your performance ('the Recordings') and to filming you making those Recordings together with any interviews you have have given... You acknowledge that we will own all of the copyrights and other rights in the Recordings, the Footage and any photos we may take of you (the Album), so that we are able to use them throughout the World in all forms, formats, means and media." Petite Noir, AKA Yannick Ilunga, also took issue with the contract, which he posted on Facebook with the caption "21st colonization is still alive!" In a statement on Facebook, Africa Express said the contracts were negotiated and agreed upon: "AE is not run to make a profit. As we pay all the travel, accommodation and other costs for Western artists joining us on trips, we ask them to volunteer their time. They can make a contribution to our costs if they are willing. We do not pay them. All our contracts are negotiated, discussed and agreed, not inflicted." The post continues: "The artists in Africa are treated differently, reflecting often different circumstances. We do pay them for their time." Resident Advisor has reached out to Africa Express for comment.