The „Rise & Shine“ festival is Austria’s first dub, roots and sound system culture festival, established by Austria’s dub-ambassadors ‚Shalamanda Hifi‘. Since it takes place in the countryside, many people attend who have no idea what sound system culture and/or dub music is all about. We always tried to welcome all people and to establish a form of communication, where one could learn about the cultural practices during the festival itself. That is why we built the „Roots & Culture Yard“ where we held lectures, documentary-screenings, workshops and reasonings with our guests and artists – together.
In 2014 we had the idea to make an exhibition on the history of sound system culture within the culture yard. But in order to do that, we realized, we had to first research this history our own due to a lack of structured information available on the web. After some serious sessions of researching and writing we took 10 pages with varied focus and one overview map to the production stage. From that year on, this exhibition became a fixed part of the festival and a smart tool to communicate not just with the people from the nearby town, but also with already experienced guests, artists and the new generation of sound system lovers.
This year we had the honour to be invited to attend the „UNOD Weekender“ with our exhibition. We realised that we would therefore get the chance to verify and check everything we have worked on so far. Furthermore we would be able to expand this collection of knowledge with the aid of people that actually initiated parts of the story we are trying to tell and thus trying to preserve it – together.
In order to do that we wanted to provide a tool, where everybody could share what they know about the genesis of our precious culture within a certain region or period. So this website with its archive should serve as a data base that everyone can access and participate in the process, as the story gets told as a polyphonic dialogue.
Ever since the first sound systems arose, a lot of great names were involved in forming this unique culture from its roots to the modern days. Yet there are many unknown and forgotten names that have been essential too. Sound system culture as such was spread all over the world by various people and sometimes just the idea itself migrated to places, where no Jamaican or UK veteran has ever set foot.
The whole story is still untold, so let’s try to make our history ‚we-story‘ – make it our story, and tell it in the perspective of one and all – together!