Tag Archives: popular music

Workshop “Popular Culture in Africa- and Diaspora-related Research”

Invitation to join us for a

WORKSHOP

on

Popular Culture in Africa- and Diaspora-related research:

Politics and Positionalities

 

24 May, 2017

1:00 – 6:00 pm

Location:

Seminarraum 4,

Department of African Studies

University of Vienna Spitalgasse 2-4, Hof 5.1.

1090 Vienna

 

Has scholarly thinking about popular culture in Africa changed in the discipline of African Studies since Karin Barber (“ Popular Arts In Africa,” 1987) published her highly influential article on popular arts in Africa 30 years ago? If so, how might we tie these changes to new social and cultural ways of perceiving and narrating societies in Africa in the last twenty years or so? What, if anything, does the rise of the new media have to do with the way popular culture is produced, disseminated and consumed?

On the basis of some selected texts dealing with the issues raised above and drawing from insights from current research projects by Onookome Okome, who is visiting the Department of African Studies, and members of the research project “Popular Culture in Translocal Spaces” at the same department, this workshop revisits key issues raised in Barber’s essay as entry points into questions such as:

Is the category of popular culture still useful in Africa- and diaspora-related research and in what sense?

How does it relate to other categories such as popular arts or, more recently, social media?

How can the relationship of popular culture and politics be thought through?

How might we think through the politics of popular culture and the representations of politics in the age of the new media?

What are the positions and what are the methods from which we can approach research on popular culture?

 

All are welcome to join the discussion – especially also interested students and younger scholars!

 

Preliminary Schedule:

1:00 – 1:30 pm:                 Introduction of the aims and format of the workshop,  introduction of all participants

1:30 – 3:30 pm:                 Discussion of concepts and approaches on the basis of selected texts

3:30 – 4:00 pm:                 Coffee break

4:00 – 6:00 pm:                 Panel with short inputs and time for discussion, with contributions by

 

  • Onookome Okome (University of Alberta) on „Nollywood“
  • Birgit Englert (University of Vienna) on film translation into Swahili in Tanzania
  • Katharina Fritsch (University of Vienna) on popular culture in the context of ‘Franco-Comorian diaspora’ in Marseille
  • Hanna Stepanik (University of Vienna) on ‘Cape Verdean’ popular cultural practices and ‘diaspora’ in Lisbon

 

Key texts as input for discussion:

Englert, Birgit. 2008. Popular Music and Politics in Africa – Some Introductory Reflections. In: Englert, Birgit (ed.). Popular Music and Politics in Africa. Special Issue of Stichproben. Vienna Journal of African Studies, Nr. 14, 1-15.

Newell, Stephanie; Okome, Onookome. 2014. Introduction. Popular Culture in Africa: The Episteme of the Everyday. In: Newell, Stephanie; Okome, Onookome (eds.) Popular Culture in Africa: The Episteme of the Everyday. New York / London: Routledge, 1-23.

Willems, Wendy; Mano, Winston. 2017. Decolonizing and Provincializing Audience and Internet Studies. Contextual Approaches from African Vantage Points. In: Willems, Wendy; Mano, Winston (eds.). Everyday Media Culture in Africa. Audiences and Users. New York / London: Routledge, 1-26.

Further suggested reading:

Barber, Karin. 1987. Popular Arts in Africa. African Studies Review 30(3): 1-78.

 

Please register until 22 May 2017 by sending an email to birgit.englert@univie.ac.at.

The texts will then be sent to you via email.

 

Organised by Birgit Englert, Katharina Fritsch and Hanna Stepanik of the research project „Popular Culture in Translocal Spaces“

(https://translocalculture.com/)

funded by the Austrian Science Foundation (FWF) together with Prof. Onookome Okome, (University of Alberta).

In cooperation with the Department of African Studies, University of Vienna

(http://afrika.univie.ac.at/)

Vortrag im Afrikakolloquium der Humboldt Universität zu Berlin: “Translokale Narrative in franko-komorischem HipHop in Marseille”

Am 18. November 2015 präsentiert Birgit Englert Teile ihrer Forschung in einem Vortrag im Rahmen des Afrikakolloquium am Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin:

“Translokale Narrative in franko-komorischem HipHop in Marseille”

Wann: 18.11.2015 von 18:00 bis 19:30

Wo: Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften, Invalidenstr. 118, 4. Etage, R. 410

Abstract:

In diesem Vortrag geht es um HipHop in einem diasporischen Kontext, konkret um Franko-komorische Künstler in Marseille. In der zweitgrößten französischen Metropole im Süden des Landes hat ein hoher Anteil der Bevölkerung Bezug zu den Komoren, der Inselgruppe im Indischen Ozean. Im Zentrum der Analyse, die eine Mobilitätsperspektive einnimmt, stehen Soprano, einer der gegenwärtig populärsten Rapper in Frankreich, und Ahamada Smis, der als Slam-Künstler eher in einer “Weltmusikszene” verortet ist.

Die aktuellen Alben beider Künstler tragen bereits Dimensionen von Mobilität in ihren Titeln: “Cosmopolitanie” (2014) von Soprano und “Origines” (2013) von Ahamada Smis. Beide schaffen – auf sehr unterschiedliche Art – in ihrem Werk translokale Narrative, welche die Dichotomie zwischen „Komorisch“ und „Französisch“ herausfordern und neue Perspektiven auf die Stadt Marseille und die vermeintliche „Komorische Gemeinschaft“ werfen. Aber auch die Verortung der Komoren und nicht zuletzt auch die Verortung des Genre Rap selbst wird verschoben.

Presentation at the Conference “Postcolonial Mobilities in the Francophone World”

This weekend Katharina Fritsch will present a paper based on her research within the POCUTRAS project at a conference organised by the

Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies
In association with Liverpool University Press

Postcolonial Mobilities in the Francophone World

Friday 13 & Saturday 14 November 2015

Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London,
Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

–> Panel 5b: Mobility and the Diaspora (Torrington Room)

    Chair: Claire Launchbury (IMLR/IHR, University of London)

Katharina Fritsch (University of Vienna), ‘Mobilizing ‘Comorian diaspora’ in Marseilles – Twarab and Marseilles’ biopolitics of communitarization

Sheila Petty (University of Regina), ‘Relational Histories in African Cinema’

Clément Cayla-Giraudeau (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), ‘Politics from Abroad: the Case of the Senegalese and Djiboutian Diasporas’

Film “Creating Comoria” gets its own blog!

“CREATING COMORIA – a documentary on the Franco-Comorian music group Afropa in Marseilles” – the film which resulted from our audiovisual fieldwork conducted before the official start of research project POCUTRAS has been shown in Bayreuth in June 2014, in Vienna in October 2014, at various occasions in Marseille in winter 2014/15 and recently parts of the film have been shown as part of a presentation at a conference in Innsbruck (March 2015).

Each screening provided us with lots of feedback and numerous changes were made in reaction to these. The changes are probably most visible in the continuous shortening of the film which was first shown with a length of 96 minutes, later with 86 minutes and is now down to 76 minutes… And even the title of the film changed as a result of this process… :-)

Our most recent achievement is the blog where the film is presented, at present a password is still required – please don’t hesitate to contact us in case you want to watch it!

So please have a look at http://creatingcomoria.com/

First screening of “Creating Comoria” in Vienna

Afropa_at_BrickCity01Screening of the Documentary

“CREATING COMORIA. Popular Culture and the Comorian Diaspora in Marseilles”

(88 Minutes, HD, French with English subtitles)

by Birgit Englert and Andres Carvajal

Featuring the group AFROPA

Popular culture among Franco-Comorians in Marseilles is viewed through the lens of artists who are on the one hand outsiders with regard to the “Comorian community”, and on the other hand contributing to the creation of “Comoria” in the sense of a translocal and transcultural space. Two musicians, Cheikh and Chaharani, who founded the group „Afropa“ which plays Afro-folk in Shingazidja and French, are at the center of this music documentary which stars also slam artist Ahamada Smis and others.

When: October 30, 2014, 6 pm

Where: Seminar room 1 in the Department of African Studies, UniCampus Hof 5, Spitalgasse 2-4, 1090 Vienna

The screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmakers.

Free entrance – all welcome!

Film-Preview: “Creating Comoria” in Bayreuth

Afropa_at_BrickCity01

Pre-view of the Documentary

“CREATING COMORIA. Popular Culture and the Comorian Diaspora in Marseilles”

by Birgit Englert and Andres Carvajal

95 Minuten, HD, French with English subtitles

Featuring the group AFROPA

9. Juni 2014, 7 pm,

Bayreuth University, Venue: AI, H33

Popular culture among Franco-Comorians in Marseilles is viewed through the lense of artists who are on the one hand outsiders with regard to the “Comorian community”, but on the other hand contributing to the creation of “Comoria” in the sense of a translocal and transcultural space.

Two musicians Cheikh and Chaharani, who form the group „Afropa“ and their Afro-folk in Shingazidja and French are at the centre of this music documentary which stars also slam artist Ahamada Smis and others.

The screening is part of the Swahili Kolloquium and Afrikanistentag.

Free entrance – all welcome!