Street Sounds: Exploring Afro-Colombian Música Callejera

This project will document the expression of Afro-Colombian history and identity through música callejera (street music) in the coastal city of Cartagena de Indias. By tracing the history of specific Afro-Colombian street musicians and their music, I will ask how history becomes both expressed and understood through música callejera, thus viewing music as a platform from which to conceptualize historical struggle and socio-political identity. In other words, I will be looking at the history of what it means to be Afro-Colombian in an urban space through the eyes of musicians whose music can attest to and trace such a history. Through an ethnographic documentary, I plan to tell the stories of street musicians in their own words, as well as explore the relationship between music's historical role in Afro-Colombian life and the racial and political contemporary issues that shape the country's ongoing conflicts, particularly those surrounding land dispossession, race relations, and poverty. I will do this by looking at how identity is constructed within and around música callejera, a particularly significant form of Afro-Colombian expression that occupies a vital social role by shaping the city's public spaces and influencing the interactions that go on within these spaces. With this project, I am aiming to raise awareness of the importance of Afro-Colombian music as an expression of historical realities and political identities. By looking at the ways in which music is utilized as an instrument of socio-cultural representation, I hope to shed light on the primary themes that constitute Afro-Colombians' relationship with the various social spheres throughout the country.

Location

Colombia
  • Nicholas Carter | August 23rd, 2013
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    Nicholas Carter | January 16th, 2012
    I am beginning with mapalé because it seems to be the most commonly performed rhythm and dance here in the streets of Cartagena. Furthermore, it is one of the Colombian rhythms from the Atlantic coast that is most heavily associated with purely...
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    Nicholas Carter | January 11th, 2012
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