Abstracts & Biographies



Abstracts & Biographies (in alphabetical order):


Åberg, Erica  -  Bachir-Loopuyt, Talia  -  Christidis, Ioannis  -  Dankić, Andrea  -  Dražić, Lena  -  D’Urso, Alexandra  -  Gardner, Abigail  -  Hornabrook, Jasmine  -  Inoue, Takako  -  Kiwan, Nadia  -  Lindholm, Susan  -  Mazurenko, Anastasiia  -  Öğüt, Evrim Hikmet  -  Piškor, Mojca  -  Pistrick, Eckehard  -  Snyder, Andrew  -  Yoneno-Reyes, Michiyo  


Abstracts (in order of the program):


Nadia Kiwan

Rethinking Political Community and Belonging in a Hostile Environment: Migration in the Age of ‘Fortress Europe’

In this paper, I will reflect on the notion of ‘Fortress Europe’, which has developed against the background of the contemporary ‘refugee crisis’, exploring how it constitutes a distortion mirror of the issues which are the focus of this conference, namely migration, belonging, citizenship, and coexistence. In particular, I will consider the escalation of the border control regime in the UK, under the post-Brexit Conservative government, whereby ‘taking back control of the borders’ has led to the political weaponization of what British politicians and media have dubbed the ‘small boats crisis’ and ‘asylum backlog’. Following in the footsteps of the former Home Secretary and Prime Minister Theresa May’s flagship policy of the ‘hostile environment’, designed to discourage would-be ‘illegal’ migrants, the two most recent Home Secretaries, Priti Patel and Suella Braverman have intensified hostility efforts by actively seeking to undermine the right of asylum itself. Their attack on the human right of asylum, enshrined in the 1951 Refugee Convention, of which the UK is signatory has taken wide-ranging forms: from the discursive manifesto mantra of ‘breaking the business model of the people traffickers’ to establishing the UK-Rwanda Deal, the France-UK Joint Strategy, the Illegal Migration Act, to the coercive removal of asylum-seekers onto an ‘accommodation barge’ (the ‘Bibby Stockholm’) anchored off the south coast of England. The politicisation of asylum-seekers by the current government is part of a broader fetishisation of the UK Border which has developed over the last decade at least. However, the nationalist politics of border control are part of a transnational system – the UK-Rwanda Deal, the French-UK Joint Strategy, the fact of Brexit itself are all testament to the inevitable intertwining of nation-centric preoccupations and global processes. As such, my talk, whilst prompted by the UK’s ‘hostile environment’, will also speak to the broader European context. Beyond the empirical conditions of what some observers have astutely called a ‘crisis of hospitality’, my paper above all seeks to make a conceptual contribution to the discussions that are taking place at this conference. To that end, I will examine the notion of political community and how this concept could be a useful way to reflect on our contemporary period. What might a hospitable as opposed to a hostile political community look like? What would a foundational commitment to such a community on the part of our political institutions, governments and media achieve? What would an ‘unlearning’ (Azoulay 2019) of the ‘border-control reflex’ do to conventional understandings of citizenship and belonging? What conditions and which social actors can facilitate such a process? How do diasporic and displaced artists complexify national models of citizenship and belonging through their transnational and locally-embedded networks?  


Evrim Hikmet Öğüt

Guests or Hosts? An Overview of Syrian Musicians’ Experience in Istanbul‘s Tourism Sector

How can “guests” develop a sense of belonging in a new destination? Who or what makes them “guests” instead of “locals” or “hosts”? Or, how long can a community be considered a “guest”? In the 12th year of migration, these rhetorical questions are still highly effective in determining the daily experiences of migrant communities, mainly the Syrian community, in Turkey.

While Syrian communities in Istanbul establish lives, businesses, and civil organizations in the city, they also face increasing discrimination. Furthermore, the discourse shaped by the guest-host dichotomy still dominates the public view about migration. This paper applies Derrida’s (1997) well-known discussion on “hospitality,” which reveals the asymmetrical power relations behind the discourse of hospitality, to give an overview of the professional experience of Syrian musicians in Istanbul.

In the musical experience of Syrian musicians, perhaps the only context where the concept of “hosting” may be applicable is their performances in restaurants and on ferries, targeting tourists from Arabic-speaking countries. However, even in this scenario, their position as hosts is dubious and diverges from the authoritative stance of the host that Derrida highlights. Consequently, this experience of providing hospitality in an environment where they are outsiders can be considered as contributing an additional dimension to the discussion around the concept.

In this paper, I will initially shed light on the pivotal elements that have influenced the migratory journey of the Syrian community in Turkey, particularly under the lens of the hospitality concept. Subsequently, I will examine a particular and largely unexplored musical practice employed by Syrian musicians engaged in Istanbul’s tourism sector.


Mojca Piškor

Music, Sound and the (Im)Possibilities of Belonging on the Balkan Route

This paper presents an attempt at thinking about the ways in which music, sound, and sonic agency participate in the negotiation of the shifting and often impenetrable boundaries of belonging shaping the lives of the people on the move along the so-called Balkan migratory route. After the official disintegration of the Balkan Refugee Corridor in March 2016, continued fortification of borders – epitomised in proliferation of border walls, razor wires, surveillance technologies and increasingly more violent and cruel border regimes – transformed perceived linearity of migrant trajectories into hypermobility in circulation between and across closely guarded borders and territories outlining the periphery of the European Union. Continuous illegalization of the people on the move inevitably led to further precarization of their position and consequently translated into invisibilization of practices and silencing of experiences of border crossing effectively making them not knowable to those not forced to clandestinely move across multiple borders. In common understanding of migration as linear movement of people between countries of origin and countries of destination, the Balkan territories are often perceived primarily as spaces of transit. Such understanding effectively obscures experiences of prolonged strandedness and at times potentially indefinite forced waiting, as well as makes both music and sense of belonging seem like matters-out-of-place. Drawing on insights gained through ethnographic research on contemporary border regimes and their impact on lives lived and lost while crossing clandestinely through the European periphery, the author will try to underline the instances in which sound, music, and sonic agency play a role in disrupting (and at times reinforcing) the boundaries separating those deemed “deserving” from those deemed “undeserving” to belong.


Talia Bachir-Loopuyt

Music from Middle East and North Africa in France: Multiple Belongings and the Questions of Visibility

The MENA region poses particular challenges for researchers working on the complex and shifting dynamics of belongings related to music and migration. While some historical and anthropological studies have highlighted the growing importance of national, ethnic and religious boundaries after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, (ethno)musicologists have rather often tended to emphasize the “bridges” between repertoires and social groups within this area and the paradigmatic space of the ‘Mediterranean’ (see, for example, the most recent conference of the ICTM-Mediterranean Study Group on “Bridges and ässages”). Contemporary musical practices also reflect in multiple ways contradictory narratives of nationalism and cosmopolitism.

Without seeking to resolve these tensions, this paper aims to show the heuristic value of relocating the questions of ‘global history’ in the context of a European society such as France. Relying on various observations that I’ve made in the last 15 years on music practices from Turkey and the former Ottoman Empire in France and, more recently, on music practices from Algeria, I will address the challenges and difficulties of a multi-sited approach of music and migration from the MENA-region. If an overview proves impossible and even suspect for the field of Turkish music (Bachir-Loopuyt/Cler 2023) as well as for the one of Arabic music or music from Maghreb, I will argue that only a multi-sited, somehow ‘dispersed’ approach crossing different perspectives and scales makes it possible to become aware of the shifting dynamics of belongings driving musical practices, to take into account a multiplicity of 'scenes' (in diasporic spaces as well as in musical institutions and popular music networks), to grasp what does and does not circulate from one  to another. Thus, this heterogeneity also leads to explore the question of visibility, to ask what is audible for which publics and what is not and to reflect on the constitution of publics, as processes and practices of “paying attention” (Dayan 2014). It may also help to bring to light some specific features of the French context (as compared, for example, to Germany) as well as of the situation of specific repertoires and diasporic groups.


Abigail Gardner

Mapping the Music of Migration: Songs to Battle Silence

Mapping the Music of Migration (2019–2021) was a pan-European, 2-year listening project that aimed to add sound where there was silence by listening to stories from migrants talking about a song or piece of music that was important to them (Gardner and Hansen 2023). The intention was to try to counteract prevailing discourses that render the migrant voiceless, homogenous and either a threat or in need of saving (Braidotti 2013; Chouliaraki and Georgiou 2022). We wanted to de-exceptionalize displacement and provide routes to understanding through listening. Being listened to, being rendered audible, is key to a mode of belonging which is not only related to place and community (hooks 2009) but to time and memory. It is core to Listening, Belonging, and Memory (Gardner 2023), where I argue that connected listening lies at the center of current debates around whose voices might be listened to, who by, and why. Arguing that listening has to be understood in relation to the self, nation, age, witnessing, and memory, the book uses examples from empirical research and critical media analysis to highlight connections between listening and power (Radano and Olaniyan 2016, LaBelle 2018, Solnit 2022).

Drawing on the chapter, ‘Listening, Migration, Voice and Place’, this paper focuses on the team’s methods and the migrants’ stories, arguing that connected listening can open up enunciative spaces that afford witnessing and agency. With its focus on these small micro-engagements crouched within the superstructures of violent border control and the often-censorious policing of sonic citizenry, Mapping the Music of Migration illustrates the dynamics and politics that lie in and between listening and silence.


Eckehard Pistrick

Migratory Aesthetics – Critical Ethnomusicological Perspectives through a Biographical Lense

This presentation focuses on the concept of “migratory aesthetics” as constructed by Bal (2008) and Bohlman (2011). Based on ethnomusicological long-term research with musicians from Iran, Afghanistan, Syria and Burkina Faso in German reception centers, this presentation asks about the validity of this concept in relation to real performative practices, creative imaginaries and claims for cultural and juridical citizenship.

It also questions the relevance of the aesthetic in situations of humanitarian emergency and exclusion and in relation to the potentialities of integration. What aesthetics are considered as suitable by musicians and cultural policy makers for being displayed? How do strategies of integration interrelate with aesthetic choices? How does the brand “refugee-musician,” charged with notions of an “authentic affectivity,” becomes an effective label in the world music business?


Ioannis Christidis

Echoes of the 2011 Syrian uprising in Europe – Music and political belonging among Syrian forced migrants in Greece and Austria

Political belonging, in addition to the relationship between individuals and structured political formations such as nation-states, political parties or political organizations, can also refer to the affiliation of individuals to certain political ideals concerning public life, to the commitment to moral value systems inspired by these ideals and, finally, to the social and cultural habits in which these ideals are reproduced and transmitted.

The social uprising of “freedom and dignity” in Syria in 2011, as well as those in other Arab countries within the so-called Arab Spring, marked a historical moment of manifestation of new forms of mass political mobilization under authoritarian regimes, which gave rise to new collective experiences of political activism and shaped new political (non)belongings that were nevertheless marked by the trauma of deadly repression, social collapse, war and forced flight. Furthermore, these experiences varied by gender, class, ethnicity, as well as religious beliefs and political views.

Much of the research on music in the context of Syrian forced migration to Europe has focused on what people do with music within spatial “regimes of exception,” such as European refugee camps and reception centers, the absolute spaces of the European asylum/border regime, as well as in the context of resettlement and so-called “refugee integration.” In both scenarios, as local political and social conflicts become particularly apparent, the previous individual and collective political belonging of Syrian migrants in relation to the social and political situation in Syria tends to be overlooked. Yet aspects of Syrian migrants' musical output echo this affiliation.

Without considering the “Syrian opposition” as a single category of political belonging, this paper aims to present the different ways in which the Syrian uprising of 2011 and the vision of a peaceful, democratic and free Syria resonate in the music of Syrian migrants in Europe, in settings further characterized by discriminatory refugee discourses, attitudes, and policies. It is based on field research in Greece 2016, Austria 2019-2023, and online-field-research.


Anastasiia Mazurenko

Forced Migration of Ukrainians and Belonging Performance through Choral Music in Slovenia

The Ukrainian community in Slovenia numbered about 2500 people, settled throughout the country. With the beginning of the full-scale Russian army’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, a large migration wave of Ukrainians to the West began. More than 9000 Ukrainians moved to Slovenia and received the status of temporary protection, so a much larger community of Ukrainians in Slovenia was formed. Since then, the national identity of Ukrainians has manifested itself to a much greater extant in various countries. The return to traditional music as a promotion of “national roots” and using its motifs in various has become one of the trends in the period of the current war. People who ended up outside their country, despite the possibility of getting information through the media, formed their own means of national identification and reproduced their sense of belonging it in the context of a foreign culture. Thus, amateur choirs of Ukrainian migrants and refugees emerged in Slovenia to establish contacts with compatriots, build connections with people from the same cultural background, and express patriotic and nostalgic feelings through music. Their repertoire consists of various Ukrainian songs – arranged church and folk songs, popular (often from the Soviet era, but also modern) songs with traditional motifs, songs from the host country, etc. To the extent that the participants choose the repertoire together, this reflects their idea of a collective Ukrainian culture, which in most cases was first formed abroad, so we can observe how collective belonging is formed in the new circumstances in which they find themselves.

The author examines the activity of Ukrainian amateur choirs in Slovenia from the point of view of manifestation of national belonging through musical culture in the context of forced migration.


Michiyo Yoneno-Reyes (Chair)

PANEL: “Unsilent Strangers” and Cohabitation: Japan’s Multicultural Coexistence and Musicking as Seen through European Experiences

Two presenters in the panel represent contributors to the book Unsilent Strangers: Music, Minorities, Coexistence, Japan, edited by Hugh de Ferranti, Masaya Shishikura, and Michiyo Yoneno-Reyes (National University of Singapore Press, 2023). The edited collection examines the central role music plays in the ongoing adjustment, conciliation, and transformation of newcomers and “hosts” alike. Studies therein highlight migrants’ proactive engagement with music vis-à-vis relations with their respective host societies. They reveal inherent issues and dilemmas, as well as opportunities for connection and for abandonment of simplistic stereotypic positioning through encounters with cultural Others—encounters that become unavoidable for the members of the host society as they struggle to “live together” with anonymous, unchosen, and unfamiliar neighbors. In addressing real-life manifestations of both the ideal and the slogan of “multicultural co-existence” of the Japanese government and stakeholders, contributors to this book responded to the concept of “cohabitation,” which Judith Butler introduces as a form of “ethical obligation” for us to live with the Other by all possible means (2012, 2015). Building upon Hannah Arendt’s insights on the precarious lives of Jews, Butler affirms that living with others is not a matter of choice, but in so far as we respect the equal value of lives, an obligation (2015: 122).

This panel takes the opportunity to further deepen theoretical understanding of Butler’s notion of “cohabitation” by examining musicking activities of Filipino and Indian migrant groups in Japan in comparison with counterparts in the U.K. and elsewhere, against the backdrop of colonial history.


Video message by Hugh de Ferranti: “Music Communities of Ethnic and Cultural Minorities in and from Japan”

At the beginning of this panel, Hugh de Ferranti, the primary editor of the book Unsilent Strangers, offers an introductory video message, followed by excerpts of a fieldwork footage compilation DVD which features musical activities of migrant communities in the Tokyo region in the 2010s; namely among South Indians, Brazilians, Filipinos, Nepalese, and people of the Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands.


Michiyo Yoneno-Reyes

Our Version of Coexistence: Filipino Migrants’ Musicking and Migrant Singers in Japan and the World

Filipinos in Japan, the third largest foreign community among those with permanent and long-term visa status, have held a nationwide singing contest called Utawit since 2005, with about ten regional rounds and a national grand championship each year. Its conception is rooted in the presence of thousands of female mid-skilled entertainers in Japan since the 1980s. The ethnographic account of their management of the contest, a relatively large-scale event, implies their version of coexistence with the host community members in Japan––they hardly need the intervention of public or civic Japanese sympathizers while strategically making use of the public community facilities local government units provide for their residents. It suggests their integration into the local community to a certain degree. By accommodating Japanese participants and Japanese songs in the contest, the Utawit organizers exercise agency independently of the so-called multicultural coexistence initiatives of Japanese bureaucratic gatekeepers, as well as local community and NGO groups––this is where cohabitation in Butler’s sense is in evidence.

This study responds to historical accounts of musicianship in Western music and overseas work by Filipinos since as early as the 18th century, as a result of experiences of colonialism, as well as contemporary fieldwork-based studies that depict the significance of karaoke singing in identity formation among Filipino diasporas in the U.K. and elsewhere. The research suggests a condition of rather flexible or “loose” integration of migrants in host societies.


Takako Inoue

Musical Activities among Cosmopolitan Indians: Case Studies on Asian Underground and Tyagaraja Aradhana

India has the highest number of immigrants in the world, with a rapid increase since the 1990s, after the Indian government began to promote and support the economic activities of the Indian diaspora through the implementation of economic liberalization policies in 1991. The history of mass emigration of Indians as plantation laborers is traced back to the 19th century during British colonial rule. Most of them were not able to return to India and became permanent residents in the places they migrated to. By comparison, new emigrants since the 1990s have mostly been sojourners prepared to move on to other countries, especially English-speaking countries. Both settlers and sojourners share some cosmopolitan characteristics today, while maintaining their own ethnic practices.

This paper examines two contrasting musical phenomena as case studies. One is the Asian Underground, a hybrid of hip-hop, EDM, and traditional South Asian music created primarily by English-speaking South Asians, which includes bhangra (Punjabi pop music developed in the UK) and folk-hop (bhangra with hip-hop and EDM influences). The other is Tyagaraja Aradhana, a memorial to Tyagaraja (1767–1847), the sacred composer of traditional Carnatic music, which has developed into a week-long music festival held in Tiruvaiyaru, Tamil Nadu. Today, the festival has become globalized and is celebrated wherever South Indians live. Music of the Asian Underground has been developed mainly by second and third generation immigrants, while music of Tyagaraja Aradhana has been enjoyed not only by settlers but also by sojourners. Today, South Indians living in Tokyo are mostly new immigrant sojourners. They have not created their own distinctive style of hybrid music comparable to the style of Asian Underground yet, but they do hold Tyagaraja Aradhana every year. On the other hand, in London, where both settlers and sojourners live, both are practiced. Through a close examination of these two cases, I explore the meanings of musical cosmopolitanism, syncretism, and a sense of belonging, as well as prospects for “cohabitation without precarity”.


Jasmine Hornabrook

Belonging Across Borders: Multiplicity and the Politics of Sonic Belonging in the Tamil Diasporic Music Scene

Belonging in and through musical sound and practice become all the more complex in diasporic music scenes that traverse multiple socio-political contexts and across multiple publics. For instance, the Tamil diasporic music economy is manifested through its transnational networks and is generated by the ‘homing desire’ (Brah 1996) and the aspiration for connection and belonging after the dispersal of mass forced and economic migration. Multilocal belonging, in the case of carnatic raga-based music and its associated Tamil devotional forms, reiterates a common inheritance and sense of relatedness that encompasses communities around the world, emphasises the permeability of boundaries and draws connections across time and space (Ramnarine 1996, 151; 2007, 9). However, this multiplicity extends to exclusions as well as inclusions, and musicians must navigate complex configurations of belonging and non-belonging along caste, gender, national, religious, ethnic and racial lines that emanate both from South Asia and the diasporic space. At a time when boundaries are hardened through communalism, it is even more important to understand the fluidity and multiplicity of sonic belonging and socio-musical exchanges, particularly when music is used for exclusionary agendas along ethnic, political and religious lines (Kalra 2015; Sykes 2018).

This paper will explore the multileveled politics of belonging at play, extending from the ‘homeland/s’ of Sri Lanka and South India, along the transnational networks to the diasporic space of contemporary Britain. In particular, the paper will focus on case studies from the Tamil diaspora in the UK that resist religious, national and gender boundaries through the syncretic production and performance of devotional musical forms to demonstrate a sense of belonging built on the negotiation of new ‘routes’ and spaces and of difference and sameness (Kim 2012, 560) across multiple localities.


Andrew Snyder

Inter-Migrant Belonging for Non-Brazilian Migrants in Brazilian Carnival Practices in Lisbon, Portugal

Brazilian migration to Portugal began in considerable numbers in the 1980s, and Brazilians are now the largest national minority. With varied representation of class, race, geographic origin, the most recent wave began at the end of Portuguese austerity and has included an increase in middle-class musicians, students, and artists. This last demographic has been key to the formation and exponential growth since the mid-2010s in Lisbon of a “street carnival,” referring to free musical events in public spaces and distinct from the more famous samba schools.

Organized into blocos, or carnival music ensembles, participants learn instruments, technique, and repertoire through paid oficinas, or classes. The majority of these participants are of Brazilian origin, and this example fits a model of diasporic music-making through which migrants engage in a common culture that provides a sense of belonging in a new country.

However, non-Brazilian migrants, as well as Portuguese, are also notable participants in these groups, many of whom have pre-established contact with Brazilian culture and music and have found Lisbon attractive for its Brazilian music scenes. For these migrants too, Brazilian migrant practices, though not their “own,” can provide a sense of belonging in Portugal. Portuguese participatory musical traditions do not generally attract the same level of foreign participation, making Brazilian musical practices appear more cosmopolitan and Portuguese ones provincial by comparison. Importantly, because of the middle-class profile of the street carnival, the non- Brazilian migrants who participate are more likely to be white Europeans, North Americans, and South Americans rather than Black migrants from African ex-colonies despite sharing the Portuguese language. This presentation examines how migrant practices of ex-colonies might create spaces for belonging beyond the migrants generally identified with such practices, moving away from an essentialized conflation of migrant musics with bounded migrant communities.


Lena Dražić

Viennese Neighbourhoods, Invented Traditions, and the Global Village. (Post-) Yugoslav Neofolk as a Stimulus for Belongings and Identities

In today’s Vienna, neofolk music from the former Yugoslavia serves as a point of crystallisation for various belongings – belongings which are ambiguous and in part contradictory. In 2021, I investigated interactions with different variants of (post)- Yugoslav neofolk in Vienna, focusing on the meanings ascribed to the music by its listeners.

Most prominently, my research partners expressed their belonging with other migrants from the former Yugoslav region. In contrast to this ‘Yugonostalgic’ sense of togetherness, the affiliation with a specific ethnic group still seemed to matter to some listeners of neofolk. Yet on another level, my interlocutors also expressed ties to their Austrian place of residence – be it a particular neighbourhood, the city of Vienna, or Austrian society at large; thereby mirroring the various geographical scales on which an individual can feel ‘at home’ (Antonsich 2010, 646). At the same time, this belonging to Austrian society was counter-balanced by a sense of non-belonging, as listeners claimed to feel like outsiders in clubs playing anglophone pop music, while feeling at ease in places that featured music from the former Yugoslavia. In parallel to the more recent manifestations of neofolk which combine 1990s’ turbo-folk tunes with elements of trap music, younger listeners also exhibit a belonging to a globalised popular culture, as embodied by US-American rap musicians and hip-hop culture.

These various belongings are created in interaction with the music, which was described by my interlocutors as the lowest common denominator uniting all ethnic groups from the former Yugoslavia in Vienna, while simultaneously spurring narratives of ethno-nationalism. Complementary to the concept of ‘belonging’, the construction of a collective identity evolved as an important category in my research – an ‘imagined community’ (Anderson 2006) serving both as a source of comfort to its members, and a delimitation towards mainstream society.


Andrea Dankić and Erica Åberg

‘Far away from home’ while ‘Live and direct from Nordvästra’ – Expressions of (Non)Belonging(s) in Nordic ‘Gangsta Rap’

Hip-hop culture and music are at times associated with a stereotypical identification often described as a racialized hyper-aggressive and hyper-masculine persona which is the center of attention in the subgenre ‘gangsta rap’ (Quinn 2005). Since the mid 2010s, a new DIY scene rooted in this subgenre has gained massive commercial success as well as being highly problematized in the public debate in the Nordic countries.

In this paper, we approach Nordic ‘gangsta rap’ as a digital diaspora (Ponzanesi, 2020; 2021), where privileged terms of spatiality, belonging, and self-identification are created and can be seen as articulating new possibilities for affective, social and political connections and rupture. Also, digital diaspora is understood as constituted through practices reflective of intersecting power relations (Candidatu et al. 2019, p. 34).

The material analyzed here is the Swedish ‘gangsta rap’ artist Yasin's album Pistoler, Poesi & Sex (2023) along with interviews of him made by various podcasts. This paper focuses on expressions of (non)belonging(s) through the use of the Somali language and soundscapes in the music. These practices create connections between past and present (Somali) popular culture and can be perceived as a restorative and unifying tool among Somali diaspora youth, but also their parents. How do these practices intersect with narratives of ethnicity, race, class and generation? Moreover, the paper also brings forth different sensibilities about the changing perceptions of closeness, home and belonging in the Nordic welfare state.


Susan Lindholm and Alexandra D’Urso

Re-imagining “Swedishness”: Intersectional Feminist Resistance and Reflection on the Work of Silvana Imam

This presentation provides a brief overview of the upcoming anthology Nordic Noise: Hip Hop, Culture, and Community in Northern Europe which sets out to introduce the field of Nordic hip hop studies to an international audience. It also introduces one of the chapters included in that anthology written by Susan Lindholm and Alexandra D’Urso. Focusing on the work of Swedish feminist rapper Silvana Imam, who received asylum in Sweden as a child, the presentation discusses how Imam uses hip hop culture as a platform to position herself in relation to shifting notions of Swedishness. Through her music and activism, Imam negotiates the understandings of a “good Sweden” (that is, imagining Sweden as an antiracist, tolerant, and feminist country) and an imagined “old Sweden” (framing Sweden as a homogenous nation) – constructions that Tobias Hübinette and Catrin Lundström have called the “double-binding power of Swedish whiteness.” Imam’s work is considered in light of the growing global body of work addressing intersectional understandings of feminism within hip hop culture and in relation to broader movements of resistance to discrimination or racism against Swedes with foreign background as articulated by Nordic hip hop artists. The presentation suggests that Imam’s work contests the notion of Sweden being a post-feminist, post-racial, and welcoming society to racialized residents and citizens.



Music and Belonging – Potentials, Challenges, and Preliminary Conclusions

In this roundtable, the ethnomusicologists Juniper Hill, Ulrike Präger and Britta Sweers are invited to a conference round-up discussion. Based on their own research experiences and perspectives each discussant will present a short input regarding the potentials and challenges of the perspective of belonging/s in music studies in general, and in music and migration studies in particular. Taking these inputs as a starting point, the following discussion will particularly review questions and aspects that arose throughout the two days of conference.

Britta Sweers: Diaspora and Belonging: Contradictions and Challenges

Juniper Hill: Challenges and Connections: Diverse Experiences of Post-Migrant Musicians in Germany

Ulrike Präger: Belonging and (Non-) Belonging: Rethinking Musical Impact for Migration