After several weeks off, EthNoise! will resume our more regular workshop schedule beginning this Thursday, May 2, at 5 PM. We will meet in Rosenwald 301, and the speaker will be Dr. Kaley Mason, former UChicago faculty and Assistant Professor of Music and Area Coordinator for World Music at Lewis & Clark College. Dr. Mason will be presenting “Mollywood at the Borderlands: A Song of South Indian Solidarity with Latinidad,” an abstract for which is included below.
“The people of Southwestern India have experienced widespread economic emigration since the Malayalam-speaking state of Kerala was formed in 1956. After electing India’s first communist government in 1957, Kerala’s strong unions discouraged investment in industry, which prompted many workers to seek economic opportunities abroad. As a result, nearly every family has an archive of stories about migration and encounter, themes that have figured prominently in the region’s film industry, Mollywood. Until recently, the cinema focused on migration to the Middle East, but the 2017 film, Comrade in America, portrays a young Indian communist leader who travels to Nicaragua to join others on a journey to the Mexico-US border. Drawing on conversations with the film makers, this paper will examine the repurposing of a popular communist anthem to express solidarity with asylum seekers and refugees against the backdrop of the Trump Administration’s anti-immigration policies.”
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns, and I look forward to seeing you on Thursday!