Music and HIV/AIDS: The Performance of Gender, Identity, and Power in Tanzania


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Fine & Performing Arts


This study investigates the intersection of music, gender, religion, and state agencies in the war against HIV /AIDS in Tanzania. It explores how music, gender and sexuality, religion, and state agencies impact one another in the creative processes of musical and dramatic performances that address HIV/AIDS. The study views performance from multiple perspectives: as an avenue for the production of diverse types of knowledge such as musical, biomedical, religious, and localized or indigenous knowledge about healing in the context of HIV/AIDS; as a space in which gender and religious ideologies and identities are displayed and contested; and finally, as the space in which the manifestations of negotiations of power relations take place. Further, the study demonstrates that performance is more than space for message-oriented or crowd-attracting activity but serves as a site upon which readings of the social transformation of gender roles through performance take place.