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Rhythm Returns: Movement, Memory, and Salsa in Benin

Rhythm Returns: Movement, Memory, and Salsa in Benin
35 St. George Street, Galbraith Building, Room 119
Time: Mar 19th, 4:00 pm End: Mar 19th, 6:00 pm
Interest Categories: Music, Faculty of , English and Drama (UTM), English (UTSC), English (FAS), Diaspora/Transnational, Critical Theory, Caribbean, African
Lecture by Ananya Kabir, King's College, London

The Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies is pleased to present:

Ananya Kabir, Professor of English Literature, King's College, London

Rhythm Returns: Movement, Memory, and Salsa in Benin

The Afro-diasporic music styles that developed in twentieth-century Cuba and their corresponding social dances from rumba to mambo to what is now called salsa, have been returning to West and Central Africa since at least the 1930s. Different frameworks have shaped this transatlantic movement of Afro-diasporic rhythms: transcolonial exchanges, decolonization, the Cold War, and, today, globalisation, social media, and other internet-enabled technologies of communication. These rhythm returns present an exciting case of the complicated cultural transactions between diaspora and homeland that mark our transnational world. Additionally, their kinetic dimension the necessity of human vectors for cultural transmission in an increasingly virtual age. But what do these rhythm returns signify in a deeper memorial context? What does it mean when a music and dance form marked as diasporic is embraced as “originally ours?”

Drawing on recent research conducted in Cotonou, Benin, Professor Kabir’s lecture will reveal the somatic and affective ties binding salsa, memory and movement in the (new) Black Atlantic.

The lecture draws on the work of Modern Moves, a research project funded by a European Research Council Advanced Grant, which Professor Kabir directs. www.modernmoves.org.uk

This event is free and open to all. Registration is not required. For further information, please contact the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at 416 946-8464.

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