Accepted Paper:

Music, marginality and resilience: performing heritage as adaptive strategy  

Author:

Fiona Magowan (Queen's University Belfast)

Paper short abstract:

While music has been deployed in conflict and post-conflict settings for a range of ends, one of the major challenges facing the world today is how refugees and forced migrants have drawn on the power of music to find hope and healing following trauma, violence and the aftermath of conflict.

Paper long abstract:

While music has been deployed in conflict and post-conflict settings for a range of ends, one of the major challenges facing the world today is how refugees have drawn on the power of music to find hope and healing following trauma and violence in the aftermath of conflict. This paper analyses how it is both in turning emotional weakness towards a music of persuasion in tandem with how others listen to lament as well as to responses around displacement that a new language of emotion emerges in the interstices of intercultural experience. This paper will discuss how a musical and emotional nexus of displacement can generate an emotive language of persuasion, which goes beyond the music-making itself. While Juslin and Sloboda (2001) have noted that emotional registers are difficult to measure, Gabrielsson (2001: 448) notes that 'it remains a fascinating challenge, although frustrating at times, to investigate how, why, and in what context we can be so strongly affected by music'. Drawing upon narratives of musicians who are working with refugees, this paper considers how refugees have been inspired by their musical heritage to reshape new spaces of resilience, as well as hope and recognition for their futures.

Panel P04
Performing heritage, sustaining livelihoods: resilience, recognition and relationality