The Culture of AIDS in Africa: Hope and Healing Through Music and the Arts

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9780199744473: The Culture of AIDS in Africa: Hope and Healing Through Music and the Arts
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The Culture of AIDS in Africa enters into the many worlds of expression brought forth across this vast continent by the ravaging presence of HIV/AIDS. Africans and non-Africans, physicians and social scientists, journalists and documentarians share here a common and essential interest in understanding creative expression in crushing and uncertain times. They investigate and engage the social networks, power relationships, and cultural structures that enable the arts to convey messages of hope and healing, and of knowledge and good counsel to the wider community. And from Africa to the wider world, they bring intimate, inspiring portraits of the performers, artists, communities, and organizations that have shared with them their insights and the sense they have made of their lives and actions from deep within this devastating epidemic.

Covering the wide expanse of the African continent, the 30 chapters include explorations of, for example, the use of music to cope with AIDS; the relationship between music, HIV/AIDS, and social change; visual approaches to HIV literacy; radio and television as tools for "edutainment;" several individual artists' confrontations with HIV/AIDS; various performance groups' response to the epidemic; combating HIV/AIDS with local cultural performance; and more. Source material, such as song lyrics and interviews, weaves throughout the collection, and contributions by editors Gregory Barz and Judah M. Cohen bookend the whole, to bring together a vast array of perspectives and sources into a nuanced and profoundly affective portrayal of the intricate relationship between HIV/AIDS and the arts in Africa.

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About the Author:

Gregory Barz is Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology, Graduate Dept. of Religion, and African American Studies at Vanderbilt University. His publications include Singing for Life: Music and HIV/AIDS in Uganda (Routledge, 2005); Performing Religion: Negotiating Past and Present in Kwaya Music of Tanzania (Rodopi, 2003), and Shadows in the Field: New Perspectives for Fieldwork in Ethnomusicology, Second Edition (co-editor with Timothy Cooley, OUP, 2008).
Judah M. Cohen is the Lou and Sybil Mervis Professor of Jewish Culture and Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University. He is the author of Through the Sands of Time: A History of the Jewish Community of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (Brandeis/University Press of New England, 2004).


"...must reading for anyone involved in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, a book destined to become both popular and a classic text... Within its pages are precious stories of resilience, courage, and human-dignity-preserved during a crisis unimaginable to the average citizen of the industrialized world, or even to health providers and to artists." - Dr. Clyde Lanford Smith, MD, MPH, DTM&H, FACP, President, Doctors for Global Health

"The central strength of the book is that the subject is meaningful and important to human life, in a word - it matters, which is unfortunately too often not the case." - Benjamin Koen, editor, The Oxford Handbook of Medical Ethnomusicology

"Whether explicitly or by example of their work, the authors of this volume all make impassioned calls for further work. By amplifying the diverse perspectives and
media that shape The Culture of AIDS in Africa, this collection constitutes an outstanding contribution to understanding the impact of music and visual arts on illness and wellness. It will surely impact future directions of medical ethnomusicology, and it should become a useful resource in the arts, humanities, international studies, and allied social sciences." --Journal of Musicological Research

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Published by Oxford University Press
ISBN 10: 0199744475 ISBN 13: 9780199744473
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