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University of Chicago Press
Awakening Spaces: French Caribbean Popular Songs, Music, and Culture / Edition 1

Awakening Spaces: French Caribbean Popular Songs, Music, and Culture / Edition 1

by Brenda F. Berrian


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The fast-paced zouk of Kassav', the romantic biguine of Malavoi, the jazz of Fal Frett, the ballads of Mona, and reggae of Kali and Pôglo are all part of the burgeoning popular music scene in the French Caribbean. In this lively book, Brenda F. Berrian chronicles the rise of this music, which has captivated the minds and bodies of the Francophone world and elsewhere.

Based on personal interviews and discussions of song texts, Berrian shows how these musicians express their feelings about current and past events, about themselves, their islands, and the French. Through their lyrical themes, these songs create metaphorical "spaces" that evoke narratives of desire, exile, subversion, and Creole identity and experiences. Berrian opens up these spaces to reveal how the artists not only engage their listeners and effect social change, but also empower and identify themselves. She also explores the music as it relates to the art of drumming, and to genres such as African American and Latin jazz and reggae. With Awakening Spaces, Berrian adds fresh insight into the historical struggles and arts of the French Caribbean.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226044569
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 06/15/2000
Series: Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 302
Sales rank: 985,499
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Brenda F. Berrian is professor of Africana Studies, English, and Women's Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a visiting professor in both Europe and Africa and is the author of Africa, Harlem, Haiti: The Great Black Cultural Revolution and coeditor of Bibliography of Women Writers from the Caribbean: 1831-1968.

Table of Contents

1. The Safe Space: Malavoi's Nostalgic Songs of Childhood and Exile
2. Creole, Zouk, and Identity in Kassav's Optimistic Songs
3. More Than a Doudou: Women's Subversive Songs
4. Cultural Politics and Black Resistance as Sites of Struggle
5. Public Performance, Marketing Devices, and Audience Reception
6. The Recontextualization of Urban Music
7. A Deferential Space for the Drum: The Ambivalence of a Cultural Voice
List of Interviews

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