From Kafka to Colonial Biases. Implementing Decolonial Approaches
in Education and Culture
In my work as a researcher, teacher, and curator, I am constantly trying to use and implement decolonial approaches on different levels, from my own attitude and behaviour to the theories I use and the topics I address.
In this paper, I will focus on experiences I made in various contexts with topics from the field of artistic audiovisual practices (music videos, audiovisual performances etc.) and analyse them in a decolonial perspective.
The field of artistic audiovisual practices as discussed in academia is deeply rooted in the Western discourse of sound and image relations (in visual music, for example) and still dominated by a Western canon as well as Western cultural practices. As one example, the analysis of the exchange with the Brazilian audiovisual scene can show how and which products from the Global South are viewed and discussed in Western or Westernized institutions. And my work with African music videos in the context of the exhibition and research project “Connecting Afro Futures. Fashion x Hair x Design” can serve as another example, of the Kafkaesque obstacles and colonial biases one encounters when trying to implement decolonial approaches in a certain kind of cultural institution.
The analysis of these examples will lead to an understanding of the mechanisms of exclusion and inclusion and the discourses at work in these processes. I propose to use the insights gained by the analysis to develop more general ideas for decolonial perspectives in musicological approaches in teaching, researching and curating.
Decolonizing Turkish Pop Music Historiography. Anatolian Rock Studies as an Example
Recently, things have changed. Inside and outside Turkey, there has been an English turn in Turkish music studies. For a few years now, especially since 2018, a new wave of Turkish musi-cology scholars has published their research in English. They are participating for the first time in a global, English-dominated discourse about music and music history (which is language-wise, of course, a colonial heritage). Gedik even writes about his own fundamental book Made in Turkey “that such a comprehensive collection [of articles dealing with music from Byzantine times until today] does not even exist in Turkish.”
Scholars from Turkey participating today in the global music discourse allow for the very discourse to take new perspectives on Turkish music history. A lot of up to now outside Turkey not well known information is entering the discourse, being debated and developed further, opening also new – decolonial – perspectives on Turkish music history and historiography.
Ayas for example states: “The theoretical framework built in the West to classify popular music reflects the socio-historical characteristics of the Western societies.” He argues that “this framework is not suitable to understand the music debates in Turkey.” A new framework is started to be built by Turkish and Non-Turkish scholars and will be presented in an overview using discourse analysis combined with decolonial thinking. This framework includes approaches like an (Re-)Ottomanization, a Balkanization, a Mediterraneanization, and a transnationalization of research.
More information: https://www.iaspm.net/sound-music-decoloniality-a-research-colloquium/