The Singing Voice in Contemporary Cinema - Diane Hughes

The Singing Voice in Contemporary Cinema - Diane Hughes

Singing a Life in Bondage: Black Vocality and Subjectivity in 12 Years a Slave

The Singing Voice in Contemporary Cinema - Diane Hughes

Gianpaolo Chiriacò [+-]
Universität Innsbruck
Gianpaolo Chiriacò is a Lise Meitner researcher at the Archive of Popular Music–Universität Innsbruck. He is mainly interested in the history and anthropology of black singing voices, and in musical expressions of Afro-Italian identities and communities. He has been a fellow researcher at the University of Chicago and worked for three years at the Center for Black Music Research (Columbia College Chicago) thanks to a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship. He authored the book Voci Nere. Storia e antropologia del canto afroamericano (2018) and curated the symposia “Black Vocality: Cultural Memories, Identities, and Practices of African-American Singing Styles” (www.afrovocality.com). Chiriaco taught ethnomusicology and popular music at the University of Salento, where he also earned his PhD, and at the Freie Universität Bolzano-Bozen.

Description

This chapter explores the role of singing voice in defining the condition of “free slave” within Steve McQueen’s 2013 12 Years a Slave. While comparing the movie to historical documentation of black American vocal expressions, it emphasizes how they ultimately represent - both in the documentation and in the movie - the unbroken search for a safe space through the delivery of vocal sounds.

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Citation

Chiriacò, Gianpaolo. Singing a Life in Bondage: Black Vocality and Subjectivity in 12 Years a Slave. The Singing Voice in Contemporary Cinema. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 52-72 Nov 2020. ISBN 9781781791127. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=35462. Date accessed: 22 Oct 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.35462. Nov 2020

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