‘Musical traffic’: transnationalism and reconstruction in Rwanda and Uganda

Whatley, Ceri Natasha (2019). ‘Musical traffic’: transnationalism and reconstruction in Rwanda and Uganda. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis focuses on popular music in the “New Rwanda” (Rwanda Rushya). It starts from life on the ground: to examine how young cultural producers in Kigali adopt and adapt genres, styles and languages, activate and block support networks, form “collabos” with Ugandans and other international artists and producers, create songs and music videos, promote and circulate their work, and nurture aspirations while overcoming obstacles in their quest for stardom in the Rwandan context of post-genocide reconstruction. Drawing on 12 months of ethnographic research conducted in Rwanda and Uganda, this thesis addresses how and why musicians travel physically, with specific focus on musical connections between Kigali and Kampala, and additionally how they and their work travel digitally. I address how cultural producers often circumvent state regulation while simultaneously drawing on official government rhetoric and occasionally support, and through all of these activities, reflect upon, shape and articulate the experience of living in 21st century Rwanda. Taking a wider view, the thesis focuses on transnationalism and border-crossing within Africa through a popular culture perspective. The narratives of the young, urban people in my research illuminate histories of exile and return, split identities and memories of living in both countries.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of African Studies and Anthropology
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/9974


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