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Le Guess Who? 2017 Festival Review: The 11 Best Performances

on November 15, 2017, 5:30pm
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Moor Mother


Moor Mother’s set was scheduled for Cloud 9, but by the first moment of electronic burn and Camae Ayewa’s steely gaze, it was clear that this performance wouldn’t be comparable to anything heavenly. Ayewa is far too concerned with exposing the injustice, pain, and terror of the present. “How do you find joy in the struggle?” Ayewa repeated, somehow both enraged at the possibility and seeking an answer. Moor Mother demanded to be heard to the point that hecklers were urged to leave if they couldn’t just listen. “Did you see it on the news?” Ayewa repeatedly asked later in the set, reciting details of a young man shot by police and left dead in the street. Throughout the set, one of the members of the Invaders (a black militant group, on which a documentary was based that was also screening at the festival) stood front and center, holding up his phone for photos and nodding appreciatively. It was at once beautiful to see protest this powerful, but also tragic that it’s still so ultimately necessary. That duality is essential to the entrancing, concussive power that is Moor Mother.

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