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Popular Culture and the Political Imagination

  • Croquemort (Didier Lalaye)
  • Kno’Ledge Cesare (Jerry Luther King Afriyie),
  • Mirjam de Bruijn
Wednesday 20 April 2016
African Arts and Literatures Today
Museum Volkenkunde, Research Center for Material Culture
Steenstraat 1

Whether slam poetry, hip-hop or reggae, youth culture and popular music are important sites for critical reflection on contemporary society and social change. Many of these forms of cultural expression, which enjoy global popularity, emerge from so-called ‘spaces of Blackness’ within the African Diaspora. They emerge not only as entertainment, but also as forms of protest and critique, in response to various forms of discrimination and marginalization, inequality and injustice.

In this programme, spoken word artists from Africa and the African Diaspora are invited to explore questions such as: what forms of political imagination emerge from youth culture and popular music? How do these imaginations coincide or clash with existing ideas about democracy, freedom, equity and justice? What forms of local, national, and transnational belonging do these popular cultural expressions make possible (e.g. racial belonging and transnational blackness or local, place-based belonging in the context of urban marginalization and global imaginations of ‘the ghetto’)? This programme will be introduced by Mirjam de Bruijn. 

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