Music Program and Bard Ethnomusicology Present
Monday, September 18, 2017
Lecture by Professor Noriko Manabe (Temple University)
Why Japanese musicians don't get into politicsJapanese musicians face strong disincentives from participating in politics generally and the antinuclear movement in particular. While Western entertainers attract media coverage to their causes, the Japanese media has ignored, censored, attacked, and blacklisted politically engaged entertainers. Musicians invested in antinuclear activism often are parents, were outsiders as children, or come from towns affected by the nuclear industry. They also need to be able to risk taking a political stance, either by not being affiliated with a major label, or by having sufficient stature or longevity to market themselves despite lost media exposure. They fashion their performances as appropriate for cyberspace, demonstrations, festivals, and recordings. In addition to performing, musicians take on the roles of educators, publishing papers (Gotō Masafumi of Asian Kung-Fu Generation) and educational websites (Shing02), and mobilizers who organize antinuclear events (Sakamoto Ryūichi), run charities (Likkle Mai, Ko, and Anamizu Masahiko), and keep the movement going through hard times. The talk will begin with an explanation of the structures that shaped media coverage of the Fukushima nuclear accident and finish with a short reflection on the ways in which similar power structures in the media industry may also inhibit American musicians, particularly people of color, from taking an explicit political stand.
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Time: 4:30 pm
Location: RKC 103