Location Convention Centre Auditorium I
Date and Start Time 06 April, 2012 at 11:00
The third plenary,
The third plenary.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
Aesthetics and Contexts. Visual Cultures of the Muslim World
Examining the aesthetics and contexts of Muslim visual cultures in their multiplicity of perceptions, complexity and fundamental equality I call for a more inclusive understanding of their different genres. Drawing on aesthetic anthropology I argue that in various contexts objects engage multiple senses simultaneously.
By examining Muslim visual cultures along an aesthetic-contextual axis I focus primarily on perceptual experience when discussing various genres of visual and material culture. After critically questioning terminology and classification I focus first on the magic of beauty in Islam as well on the perception of 'sensible objects' before investigating different cultural contexts. By contexts I mean not only utility, historical significance and the symbolic content of things, in short their cultural integration in societies marked by Islam stretching from North and West Africa to South and Southeast Asia, but also the questioning or responding setting in which things are located and which enables them to speak to us. Thus, communication, relational qualities, sensory perception, interaction with material things and agency are important categories of analysis when discussing contexts such as power and status, materialization of experience, popularity and commodification as well as subaltern visual cultures. In this paper I address the interrelatedness of aesthetics and contexts situated at the crossroads of art history, visual studies, media studies, anthropology of aesthetics and material culture studies mainly through an anthropological lens.
In view of the diversity and complexity of artistic forms of expression among Muslims, I advocate broadening the visual canon to include creations of neglected social groups and call for a more inclusive understanding of its different genres.
The local in the times of the global: interventions of an ethnomusicology archive
This paper will present cultural and methodological questions that arise out of a project of the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology entitled Archives and Community Partnership carried out in Western Rajasthan and Goa. It will examine the attempt at evolving the archival space from academic use to focus on practitioners and tradition bearers.
Though it has been clichéd to talk of change, and threats to what may be called traditional cultural expressions, or more recently elements of Intangible Cultural Heritage for many decades now due to the influence of mass media, industrialisation and urbanisation, we now talk of globalisation as one of the major factors that has accelerated this change. However we do not think of documentation and research as an intervention , as we identify, attribute authenticity or conduct "fieldwork" to corroborate our hypotheses.
This paper will examine a recently concluded pilot project of the ARCE entitled Archives and Community Partnership which attempted to reverse some of the trends discussed earlier by "bottom up" documentation and archiving of musical traditions working with communities to record what they wished to archive. Archives such as ours have been the preserve of academia, and this project also thus attempted the evolution of the archival space and the role of audio visual recordings from research to practice. I will look at the issues that emerged from this work on the methodology, rights issues, and identity.
The aesthetics of diaspora: sensuous milieus and literary worlds
to The affective power of transnational aesthetics, of the milieus imported and actively (re)created in exile through oratory, objects, foods, music, dance and drama, derives in this view not merely from a nostalgic desire to recapitulate or replicate a lost ambience. It emerges from dialogical forging, in the here and now, of shared canons of taste among diasporic producers and consumers who collectively define what makes for social distinction, who claim ownership over spaces and places, and who together recreate the pleasure of joint celebration and worship.
My address draws on a special edited issue on the ‘Aesthetics of Diaspora’, to challenge the definition of aesthetics as merely ‘sensuous cognition’, (Wiseman 2008: 7). Instead, aesthetics is defined as ‘sensuous participation’ – the appreciation and making of beauty, distinction and sheer sensual pleasure as these come to be embedded and re-embedded in social worlds of literary, artistic, musical and performative celebration in diaspora. The affective power of transnational aesthetics, of the milieus imported and actively (re)created in exile through oratory, objects, foods, music, dance and drama, derives in this view not merely from a nostalgic desire to recapitulate or replicate a lost ambience. It emerges from dialogical forging, in the here and now, of shared canons of taste among diasporic producers and consumers who collectively define what makes for social distinction, who claim ownership over spaces and places, and who together recreate the pleasure of joint celebration and worship. This is equally true of the high cultural literary worlds of diasporic writers, I propose, as it is of the demotic worlds of labour migrants living on the margins of global cities.
Art and waste management
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.