IASPM International Conferences - Proceedings, Situating Popular Musics

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Performing the archive: The ILAM For Future Generations exhibit, Music Heritage Project SA and Red Location Music History Project
Diane Janell Thram

Last modified: 2013-01-22


This paper reports on recent projects of the International Library of African Music (ILAM) involving research, community outreach and dissemination/repatriation of archived recordings. The ILAM-Red Location Music History Project addresses the lack of research on Eastern Cape jazz of the Red Location in the Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan area (Port Elizabeth). The project combines collection of oral history data with community outreach and education in its effort to do meaningful intervention in the community that passes on to younger generations the uniquely South African style of jazz that is their heritage. ILAM's For Future Generations museum exhibit displays Hugh Tracey's legacy for African music. The ILAM Music Heritage Project SA seeks to fulfil Tracey's vision for keeping the music he recorded alive in its communities of origin by developing music education textbooks that utilise Tracey's field recordings. Outcomes of the ILAM-Red Location oral history project that uniquely combine documentation with community outreach, education and empowerment initiatives are presented along with examples of ILAM's dissemination/repatriation efforts which are returning ILAM's field recordings through music education textbooks created for the mandated creative arts curriculum in South Africa and reaching countless school groups and the general public through its traveling exhibition, For Future Generations. This paper advocates for archives to become sites for heritage activism.

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