‘Migration, Exile and Music in Latin America’
Friday 27th October 2023 – Victoria Rooms, University of Bristol
The idea of Latin America has always been related to migration. With the colonial encounter between the indigenous peoples inhabiting the region, European settlers and conquistadores, and imported enslaved Africans, Latin America has constantly signified human mobility, cultural exchange and mestizajes in the context of power relations. This was furthered during the building of national states and identities, a process which relied on the contribution of European scholars and statemen invited to the region. Even during the authoritarian governments of the second half of the twentieth century human mobility was still present, as manifest in the exiled politicians and artists who found refuge in European countries such as France, East Germany, and the United Kingdom. Finally, over the last thirty years, neoliberal policies promoted the mobility of Latin American workforce toward regional centres, the United States and Europe, thus highlighting the dynamism of South-North and South-South migration. Cultural practices, especially music, have played a key role in these processes, accompanying, representing, and affecting the diverse forms migration takes place in the region.
The symposium ‘Migration, Exile and Music in Latin America’ brings together scholars, artists and activists and aims to address the diverse forms in which the experience of human mobility and exile are explored through musical practice in Latin America and by Latin American musicians abroad, allowing us to recognise the growing presence of Latin American and Caribbean communities in the United Kingdom. The activity will also commemorate the 50th anniversary of the military coup in Chile, celebrating the resilience of those who arrived in the UK in the context of the authoritarian governments in the region.
The activity includes two panels, led by Chilean expert on migration and racism Dr María Emilia Tijoux and British ethnomusicologist Dr Henry Stobart, who will be joined by artists, activists and scholars. The symposium will finish with a concert by Chilean-British ensemble Quimantú.
The symposium is funded by:
- Royal Musical Association
- Music & Letters Foundation
- Migration Mobilities Bristol, University of Bristol
- Department of Music, University of Bristol
- Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, University of Bristol