Music and Postcolonial Space: Aesthetics, Practices, and Politics of Contemporary Music in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Fine and Performing Arts


Intercultural music exchange has always been a common practice in Tanzania. However, new international encounters and resulting intercultural influences between the West and the rest of the world since the nineteenth century have given rise to the politics of cultural imperialism and racial superiority/inferiority consciousness. Consequently, postcolonial subjects find themselves in ambivalent situations in which they are pulled by forces of nativism and those of cosmopolitanism. This study examines the relationship between the postcolonial condition, consciousness, and experience on the one hand; and aesthetics, practices, and politics of contemporary music in Tanzania, on the other. Using perspectives from postcolonial theory, Judith Butler's theory of performativity, and Henri Lefebvre's theory of spatial trialectics, the study examines the aesthetics of intercultural music and dynamics of music intercultural exchange as well as the role of music in negotiating gendered, sexual, religious, and class-based forms of subject constitution in postcolonial Tanzania.