Reflecting the city through urban reggae (Port-Vila, Vanuatu)

Abstract : With the increasing urbanization and rapid industrial development of Port Vila, significant changes have occurred in the lives of the inhabitants of the capital of Vanuatu over the past 10 years. The emergence of certain forms of poverty and the social fragility of much of the population (unemployment, difficulties in accessing education, increases in the cost of living, etc.) have been accompanied by changes in behaviour amongst the new urban generations and modifications to their reference points. These transformations are also reflected through urban music practices, an area which plays a crucial role for some of young people in Port-Vila. Music is one of the ways through which youth can address marginalization. With the possibilities afforded by a number of associations which provide a set of musical instruments, music classes and rehearsal studios, music has became more accessible to the young. This musical development meant that the number of local music bands significantly increased during the 2000s. Music not only allows young people to spend time together, but it is also a leisure activity with educational aspects, a means of socialization beyond social and cultural borders. It offers possibilities for public expression, peaceful political claims, dreams, etc. But music is also cements networks between musicians and music lovers that enable the exchange of various services. These range from musical entertainment at fundraisings and the borrowing of sound equipment, to the circulation of digital music recordings or sharing the stage at public shows. The study of the development of reggae music, along the appropriation of its symbolics, philosophies and political ideas, can illuminate many aspects of recent change in the city of Port Vila.
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Submitted on : Sunday, December 28, 2014 - 10:00:54 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 1:30:03 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-01098670, version 1



Monika Stern. Reflecting the city through urban reggae (Port-Vila, Vanuatu). Urban Vanuatu, Melanesia Research Seminar - British Museum, Nov 2014, London, United Kingdom. ⟨hal-01098670⟩



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