Moving Sounds, Controlled Borders: Asylum and the Politics of Culture

Back, Les. 2016. Moving Sounds, Controlled Borders: Asylum and the Politics of Culture. Young, 24(3), pp. 185-203. ISSN 1103-3088 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article reviews some of the key political interventions by black and Asian theo- rists on the migrant experience and the politics of culture. Stressing the political dimensions of this work, it argues for a reconnection to the interventions made by Stuart Hall and Paul Gilroy who introduced a repertoire of theoretical tools to understand migration, new ethnicities and multiculture. A case study of an anti- racist musical project based in Kent during the early 2000s is used to illustrate this argument. This initiative brought Asian dance music DJs from east London together with Czech and Polish Roma musicians and culminated in the making of a CD called Asylum. The article documents how the CD provided a resource used in anti-racist education in predominantly white schools in Kent. It argues that music is politically important because it can challenge the way migration and identity is understood and offer alternative expressions of multiculture and belonging. The article also stresses musical culture’s capacity to organize social life differently in a way that bridges cul- tural differences and establishes a shared form of likeness and commonality.

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New ethnicities, music, youth culture, racism, migration

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19 November 2015Accepted
3 May 2016Published Online
1 August 2016Published

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Date Deposited:

19 Jul 2016 09:26

Last Modified:

10 Mar 2021 14:47

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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