Cultural Mapping and Musical Diversity - Britta Sweers

Cultural Mapping and Musical Diversity - Britta Sweers

4. Mapping 'Inconvenient' Music Heritage

Cultural Mapping and Musical Diversity - Britta Sweers

Ana Hofman [+-]
Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Ana Hofman, Ph.D., is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Culture and Memory Studies of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts in Ljubljana. Her research focuses on the intersection of memory, music, and sound studies, with a focus on activism and the social meaning of resistance in the past and present. She uses both archival and ethnographic methods to examine musical sound during socialism and the present-day conjuncture of neoliberalism and postsocialism in former Yugoslavia. She has published many articles and book chapters, including two monographs: Staging Socialist Femininity: Gender Politics and Folklore Performances in Serbia (2011) and Music, Politics, Affect: New Lives of Partisan Songs in Slovenia(2015), which deal with the sonic reatualizations of cultural memory on anti-fascism in post-Yugoslav context. She is currently working on the monograph Socialism, Now! Music and Activism after Yugoslavia (2019).


The method of cultural mapping – more particularly the concept of counter mapping (Duxbury, Garrett-Petts, and MacLennan 2015: 6) – can also serve as a critical theoretical avenue of escaping the rigid discourses of post-socialist heritage management that operates within “socialist totalitarianism” vs. “post-socialist democracy” dichotomy. Drawing on authors that have examined heritage as a political and cultural process of remembering/ forgetting, this chapter offers critical reading of the politics of heritage by showing that anti-totalitarian paradigm in heritagization of socialist musical past is not ideologically neutral or unproblematic, but strongly related to both ideologies of nationalism (and revisionism) and neoliberal capitalism. Although scholars agree that every heritage is contested, the concept of the so-called “inconvenient heritage” (Dearborn, Lynne and Stallmeyer, John C, 2009: 34), contested or dissonant heritage (Tunbridge and Achworth 1996), incorporates greater degree of the problems of ownership, control and representations. The heritage management generally promotes the dominant or authorized interpretations of such contested heritage by obscuring or removing the politically inexpedient parts. This is exemplified in a case study addressing the contested discourses of heritage management related to the socialist musical past in the post-Yugoslav context. This chapter thus examines the political aspects of heritagization of contested genre of partisan songs (antifascist resistance songs during WWII) as the leading genre of socialist music legacy, which has been after the collapse of socialism and breakup of Yugoslavia proclaimed “inappropriate heritage of totalitarian past.”

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Hofman, Ana. 4. Mapping 'Inconvenient' Music Heritage. Cultural Mapping and Musical Diversity. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 67-83 Feb 2020. ISBN 9781781797594. Date accessed: 07 Dec 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.35826. Feb 2020

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