Session/Séance 4c: CSTM Panel 2 Friday/vendredi 26 May 2017. 9:00 – 10:00 am, EJB 215.
Unruly Voices from the Performance Archives
Chair: RAJ SINGH (York University)
1. The Fassi Connection: Enduring Echoes of al-Andalus in Post-Independence Moroccan Cultural Policy
Hicham Chami, Columbia University
The transition of Moroccan society following French colonial rule invites an examination into the fate of indigenous Moroccan culture. Counter to French cultural policy during the Protectorate years (1912-1956), which preserved “pre-colonial customs and traditions” (Sater 2010) to bolster its own agenda, “specific local traditions” were later sidelined in order to “establish a rather monolithic, clear-cut, and reassuring image of the newly born State of Morocco” (Baldassare 2004). I contend that the “anointing” of Andalusian music as the premier Moroccan musical genre maintains the iron-clad persistence of the linkage between al-Andalus and Fes and reifies the elite Fassi power structure. I discuss how Pierre Bourdieu’s two-tiered model of arts perception (Bourdieu 1993) elucidates this inquiry into post-colonial cultural policy. The central question: How did Moroccan cultural policy after 1956 both promote nationalism and mirror “the politics of exclusion and inclusion” (Sater 2010)?
2. The Contemporary Historical: Reading UN Archives for Performance in Annexed East Timor
Julia Byl, University of Alberta
Music scholars working on historical topics have long been constrained by the quality of their archives. And yet the absence of sources like musical notation or treatises can advance alternative strategies for describing past sound- worlds, in all their sonic, performative, and musical richness. Can these enhanced methodologies also help to recuperate a performative past sundered by geography and conflict? In annexed East Timor, a territory occupied by Indonesia, the documentation of musical life seemed trivial compared to human rights offenses. Scholars were denied access to the area by Indonesia, making recent East Timorese musical history as inaccessible as any historical topic. Yet crisis and trauma have never stopped the musical and the performative. In this exploratory paper, I will speak on the recuperation of the performative past from the UN reports on East Timor, seeking to find how the "ethnographic ear" works in the silent world of records.