Dr Janne Rantala (University College Cork), ‘A Sonic Biography of an After-Life: The Expelled Liberation Leader Uria Simango in Mozambican Rap Performance’
This talk is the product of my on-going research into how public political memory is shaped in contemporary history disputes in Mozambique. It focuses on two interlinked trends in public memory: the rise of alternative heroes and parallel invocations of seemingly incompatible heroes through Mozambican rap performance in three cities, particularly as they relate to invocations of Frelimo’s ousted Vice-President Uria Simango. The empirical material was produced by listening to rap music, attending shows, carrying out interviews and having conversations with Hip Hop artists in Beira, Chimoio and Maputo. This primary material is cross-examined with academic literature and historical documents, and situating this material alongside other types of public and private remembering provides the context. I argue that critical rap music allows insightful examinations of the links between young generations’ historical memory, the present experiences and visions of the future. Rap tracks also help to examine closely how the hegemony of official memory is loosening in Mozambique.
Janne Rantala (Marie Skłodowska-Curie research fellow) is a southern Africa based Hip Hop scholar, currently working in the Music Department of the University College Cork. His EC funded project ‘Performing Political Memory’ focuses on Hip Hop's performance of historical knowledge in four Mozambican cities. With his original concept ‘political ancestor’, his research cuts across the rarely-associated fields of global Hip Hop studies and political memory studies in southern Africa.
IN PERSON EVENT: 13 University Square/OG/010 (Performance Room)