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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The formulaic revolution: 'song and the 'popular memory' of the Mozambican liberation struggle
Author:Israel, Paolo
Year:2010
Periodical:Cahiers d'études africaines
Volume:50
Issue:197
Pages:181-216
Language:English
Geographic term:Mozambique
Subjects:Makonde
songs
popular music
Frelimo
memory
populism
Abstract:This article presents a historical reconstruction of the formation of Makonde 'revolutionary singing' as a genre of memorialisation of the liberation struggle in Mozambique, tracking the 'descent' of formulas and slogans produced by the revolutionary elites and which were made a part of popular orality. Wartime genres that were later forgotten or seen as belonging to bygone times refer to moments when the 'space of experience' and the 'horizon of expectation' of the struggle were still filled with uncertainty and the sense of possibility. Progressively, these singing expressions were reorganized around socialism's nodes of meaning; while ideological tropes, elaborated by Frelimo's 'courtly' composers, were appropriated in popular singing. Characteristics such as unofficiality, heteroglossia, metaphor, and poetic license that appear in genres that have been marked out as 'popular' in academic discourse, are by no means intrinsically 'popular'. On the contrary, they might well be the first victims of populist modes of political actions, that is, of a politics grounded in a concept of 'people'. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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