“The Community is a Family and the Choir is the Glue”: Power and Belonging in Gaiman Music School, Patagonia

“The Community is a Family and the Choir is the Glue”: Power and Belonging in Gaiman Music School, Patagonia
Date
7 November 2019, 5.00pm - 7.00pm
Type
Seminar
Venue
Room 780, UCL Institute of Education, Bedford Way, Bloomsbury, WC1H 0AL
Description

Lucy Trotter, LSE and Aberystwyth University


This paper is based on 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork in the village of Gaiman with a community of Welsh descendants who live in Patagonia, Argentina. From 1865, there were a series of migrations from Wales to the Chubut Province of Patagonia, motivated by the desire to escape the Englishness of Wales along with an offer from the Argentine government of 100 square miles in the prairie on which to live. Today, over 150 years later, Welshness is thriving in the Chubut Province, where we find around 5000 Welsh speakers, many Welsh choirs, Welsh tea-houses, Welsh traditional dancing, bilingual Welsh-Spanish schools, Welsh nurseries, Welsh chapels and Welsh festivals such as the annual ‘Eisteddfod’. This paper draws on fieldwork as an anthropologist, cellist and singer in Gaiman Music School to explore what rehearsing and performing Welsh music can tell us about notions of community and belonging in Gaiman. It also encourages us to think about the personal politics beneath the tutti through a consideration of what music can tell us about the power relations between those who identify as Welsh-Patagonians, local Argentinians, and tourists from Wales in this context.

All are welcome. Attendance is free. Booking is recommended

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Contact

Olga Jimenez
olga.jimenez@sas.ac.uk
020 7862 8871