Accepted Paper:

(Can we) do it like this? Politics and the sounds of a convivial 'desi' London space  


Helen Kim

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the relationship between 'desi' urban music and the possibilities of making of a political, convivial space for Asian cultural production in London. More broadly, it asks whether popular music can still provide critique or 'resistance' to a dominant way of thinking or being and even whether that is still a relevant or right question to ask.

Paper long abstract:

This paper will discuss the production of specific 'desi' 'Asian' spaces through cultural production and how 'Asianness' is performed and produced within the Asian urban music scene by looking at particular artists, songs and music videos. The production of 'desi' spaces through the different styles and sensibilities of London's 'indie' underground urban cultures seek to disrupt dominant narratives of the Asian diaspora(s). I discuss how this space is not without conflict where cultural producers are also making claims to an anterior Asian 'authenticity'. I look at how scene members negotiate the complex relationship to a politics within the scene especially in looking at how varied the development of meaning around politics is construed and 'lived out' within this scene.

Panel P27
Technologies, industries, practices: examining the soundscape of Indian films