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Musicology Student Natalia Bieletto Reports On Arts Festival in Cuba

October 21st, 2013 · 1 Comment

Sin mapa o los “lugares” de la Am?rica Latina hoy

We have recently heard from Natalia Bieletto, a Musicology student who was recently invited to an Arts Festival in Havana, Cuba to talk about music research by young scholars. She says:

“Last September (17th to 21nd) I had the opportunity to participate in the event Casa Tomada organized by the Cuban cultural center Casa de las Am?ricas, in Havana Cuba. Since its foundation in 1959 Casa de las Am?ricas has been a leading institution fostering the socio-cultural and intellectual relations between the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean Region. Currently presided by the prominent postcolonial writer and poet Roberto Fern?ndez Retamar, this institution has contributed to disseminate the work of leading Spanish-speaking intellectuals and artists and it played a crucial role as a site of artistic debate during the cold war. Following this tradition, the event Casa Tomada 2013 promoted the encountering and interaction of contemporary young Latin American artists, writers and scholars. During five days, musicians, poets, actors, play-writers, poets, film-makers, as well as theater, music and film scholars of at most forty years of age, got together to discuss the current state of Latin American art making and art-related scholarship.

My participation started with the opening round table entitled ?Sin mapa o los lugares de Am?rica Latina hoy?, which can be translated as ?Mapless?, or the current ?places? of Latin America today?. Debate mainly centered around such topics as geopolitics of current artistic creation, trans-nationalism and critical perspectives of Pan-American artistic dialogue. On the second day I conducted a musicological workshop in which I presented a brief overview of the transformations that Latin American musicology and related music studies have undergone for the past two decades. I also presented one chapter of my doctoral dissertation concerned with the ?carpas shows? or itinerant musical theater troupes in Mexico City in the 1920s. This allowed me to gather feedback from scholars who, from their diverse disciplinary and cultural perspectives, encouraged me to consider similar cases of musical theater in other Latin American countries during the same period. Their generous comments have also prompted me to consider implications that go beyond the historic and musicological realms. Finally, I participated in a panel that engaged with the challenges that artistic creation in Latin America faces today. Migration, the contrasting political alignments of current Latin American governments and the particularities of cultural policies in each country were some of the topics in debate.

Besides the generous invitation from Casa de las Am?ricas, which entirely covered my five-day stay in Cuba, I would like to thank the HASOM Student Opportunities Funds for having made my arrival to Havana possible by refunding my plane ticket. The vivid academic life of Cuba does not typically enjoy the visibility it deserves in view of its influence over the Latin American region. I therefore feel truly grateful for having had this experience and I am sincerely hopeful that this brief review will contribute to raise other students and professor?s interest in the music, artistic culture and academic life of this highly influential Caribbean Island.”

Tags: Alumni · Ethnomusicologists · Ethnomusicology · Faculty · Music History · Music history · Musicologists · Musicology · Musicology · School of Music · Students · World Music · World music

1 response so far ↓

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