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Book Cover
Author Steingo, Gavin, author

Title Kwaito's promise : music and the aesthetics of freedom in South Africa / Gavin Steingo
Published Chicago ; London : The University of Chicago Press, 2016
Online access available from:
ProQuest Ebook Central    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource
Series Chicago studies in ethnomusicology
Chicago studies in ethnomusicology.
Contents The struggle of freedom -- The experience of the outside -- Platform, or the miracle of the ordinary -- Immobility, obduracy, and experimentalism in Soweto -- Acoustic assemblages and forms of life -- Black diamonds -- Times and spaces of listening -- Epilogue
Summary "In mid-1990s South Africa, apartheid ended, Nelson Mandela was elected president, and the country's urban black youth developed kwaito--a form of electronic music (redolent of North American house) that came to represent the post-struggle generation. In this book, Gavin Steingo examines kwaito as it has developed alongside the democratization of South Africa over the past two decades. Tracking the fall of South African hope into the disenchantment that often characterizes the outlook of its youth today - who face high unemployment, extreme inequality, and widespread crime--Steingo looks to kwaito as a powerful tool that paradoxically engages South Africa's crucial social and political problems by, in fact, seeming to ignore them. Politicians and cultural critics have long criticized kwaito for failing to provide any meaningful contribution to a society that desperately needs direction. As Steingo shows, however, these criticisms are built on problematic assumptions about the political function of music. Interacting with kwaito artists and fans, he shows that youth aren't escaping their social condition through kwaito but rather using it to expand their sensory realities and generate new possibilities. Resisting the truism that "music is always political," Steingo elucidates a music that thrives on its its radically ambiguous relationship with politics, power, and the state"--Publisher's website
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Kwaito (Music) -- Philosophy and aesthetics.
Kwaito (Music) -- Political aspects.
Kwaito (Music) -- Social aspects.
Musicians, Black -- South Africa.
South Africa -- Social conditions -- 1994-
Form Electronic book
ISBN 022636268X (electronic bk.)
9780226362687 (electronic bk.)
Other Titles Music and the aesthetics of freedom in South Africa