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Building an Anticolonial Aurality: Gwoka modènn as Counterpoetics

Building an Anticolonial Aurality: Gwoka modènn as Counterpoetics

(p.59) Two Building an Anticolonial Aurality: Gwoka modènn as Counterpoetics
Creolized Aurality
Jérôme Camal
University of Chicago Press

Chapter 2 explores the role that music played in the construction of an anticolonial aurality. It foregrounds the work of G象‎rd Lockel, a guitarist and nationalist ideologue who created gwoka mod筮‎, a form of music that lays virtuosic instrumental improvisations on top of the rhythmic foundation of gwoka. The chapter demonstrates that, for separatists activists, gwoka–whether traditional or modern–was more than a sonic symbol of the nation or a musical rallying point. Rather, the music, along with the Creole language, participated in an anticolonial aurality from which a “new culture”–that is to say radically modern and liberated ways of thinking and being–could emerge. Animated by a “reversion drive” to a romanticized subjectivity freed from colonialist influences, the sounds and ethics of gwoka were supposed to help Guadeloupeans “think and act as Guadeloupeans,” as the nationalist saying goes. The chapter concludes by arguing that gwoka mod筮‎ illustrates what Glissant calls “forced” or “counter poetics,” symptoms of a persistent desire for an emancipated language that is faced with a manque–lack or void–that renders impossible the emergence of a collective expression.

Keywords:   anticolonialism, nationalism, modernity, Lockel, gwoka mod筮, Glissant, forced poetics, reversion drive, nostalgia

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