Few projects can claim to be as socially engaged, globally far-reaching, and culturally revelatory as the truly innovative Ten Cities Project, the brainchild of the Goethe-Institut in Kenya, in collaboration with thinkers and collectives from across Africa and Europe.

The social practice of going clubbing has been one of the most exciting phenomena in global cultural development in recent years. Clubs are venues for experimenting with the appropriation of space, with (sub)cultural practices, for the creation of public spheres and for experimenting with identities and lifestyles. As a culture, it is one of the most dynamic cultural forms worldwide with regards to space and the public sphere.

Globalisation allows the development of a virtual network of influential connection between electronic musicians around the world. Indeed, musical creative today keep in touch with global pop culture via the Internet, and inspire a local explosive creativity, which itself finds its way back into the Western world, and a Eurocentric culture of powerful and contemporary club music. However, this often leads to a lack in both the appreciation of the African cultures within which all western styles of club music have their roots, and in the physical exchange between musicians and activists between the two continents.

The Ten Cities project answers these concerns. Through a combination of music production, photography, and interdisciplinary research, the project acts to investigate the points of interaction between these varying cultures when directly responding to each other, and provide the possibility for a new form of cultural, creative, and political exchange.

The cities in question are Berlin, Bristol, Kiev, Lisbon, Naples, Johannesburg, Cairo, Luanda, Lagos and Nairobi. These have all been identified as meeting to some extent the criteria set down by the project: cities with highly developed club cultures with outstanding musicians, cities with specific local forms of music and characteristics in terms of urban development, or home to well established subcultures and subaltern public spheres and voices.

Here at the 405, we are excited to announce our partnership with the project, to bring you extensive coverage of it. As part of the two-year initiative, fifty producers from between the scenes of the earmarked cities will collaborate to create new music together, under the guidance of local curators, with one such meeting currently taking place in Johannesburg. We’ll be bringing you exclusive streams of some of the track produced from these meetings, alongside interviews and insights into the inner workings of the project, right up to the project’s culmination in 2014, with the Berlin festival of concerts, exhibitions, publications and discussions.

What other project can boast covering ten countries, two continents, three disciplines, 20 main acts, 30 network friends, 22 concerts, 10 photographers, 23 authors, and a long lasting cultural, social and artistic influence?