In March 2016, an electronic music concert at the Institute of Sonology sparked a contentious discussion on a social media platform (Facebook). Comments back and forth became complex and personal and focused often on the ‘aggression’ of the initial comment (from a woman), rather than the context of the whole. Semay Wu decided to shift this energy into a constructive, discussion-based event through which the basis of NE was founded. With the enthusiasm and support from the students, staff and participants, the event evolved into a series outside of the institutional environment which, within two years, was officialized in a new, independent foundation.
The NE discussion series practices and promotes a Safe Space for its participants to discuss a wide range of perspectives, opinions, theories, and strategies to achieve change.
NE sets itself the goal to raise awareness for under-represented voices to develop a language of their own and to present themselves confidently within a field that is still largely dominated by their white cis-male colleagues.
Understanding the cultural and political views around us, the Safe Space allows a genuine curiosity to emerge while exchanging experiences and encouraging interactive dialogue. NE wishes to motivate people to question themselves and their environment, and to contribute towards the reshaping of toxic realities into a functioning cultural discourse.
Throughout the discussions, NE realized that there was a real need for action-based solutions that not only allow the voice of artists to come through but also to claim and occupy more space for their music. A self-curated series of concert events was, thus, launched to support the new music of artists and composers advocating equality in the experimental music scene.
In the same philosophy, NE has started a series of online publications and workshops that focus on presenting the voices, opinions, and history of artists through media such as podcasts, online articles, educational practices, and mentoring programs. This allows a greater accessibility to a wider audience, strengthening awareness of our fractured social space through a richer, more diverse conversation.
By collecting perspectives, we initiate Change, not by demanding Change, but by creating space for people to listen to each other.