This introduction sets out the two key arguments for the book. The first is that pleasure operates as a constitutive force in public life, generating alliances and allegiances and shaping sociopolitical relations. The second key argument interrogates pervasive assumptions about political music as a form of resistance and opposition, and instead calls for a less romanticized view. This chapter also introduces readers to Guinea and its history, and addresses theories of recognition in understanding local practices of naming, voice, quietness, and expressive ambiguity. It concludes with a brief discussion of methodology and ethics relating to the study of pleasure in a context of violence, poverty, and dictatorship.
Keywords: pleasure, political music, Guinea, naming, recognition