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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:City textualities: 'isicathamiya', reciprocities and voices from the streets
Author:Gunner, LizISNI
Periodical:Social Dynamics
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:popular music
urban life
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02533950802280030
Abstract:This paper explores the entwining of city and song with a focus on the genre of 'isicathamiya', a capella choral music performed mainly by men, in the city of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. It argues that the making of song involves the shaping of new subjectivities and it looks in particular at the role of isicathamiya performance in the making and re-making of a particular urban space. It argues that the life and history of a city or town holds within it the songs and singers that shape it culturally and thus write themselves into the memory and being of the place. The paper searches for a new cultural topography of place that embraces this view. It situates a study of two isicathamiya groups, the Washing Boys and Naughty Boys, within a study of the life of the changing and suffering city and argues that the resilience of the genre and of its singers gives it a unique place as an interpretive voice in the New Era of post-1994 and in the Pietermaritzburg of the present. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]