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City of Musicians

City of Musicians

(p.51) 2 City of Musicians
The Revolution's Echoes
Nomi Dave
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the ‘afterlife’ of revolutionary Guinean music, considering official and popular memories of the Revolution today. It revisits Bembeya Jazz in 2009 after a coup d'etat in Guinea, encountering the once-revolutionary musicians as old men, and examines the attempts of a new military regime to appropriate their earlier music. It considers how sounded fragments of the Revolution continue to reverberate today. The narrative centers on Bembeya Jazz’s role in the ‘new’ cultural policy, and on the re-circulation of their 1968 song ‘Armée Guinéenne’. The discussion describes the musicians’ hopes in this process, as well as their sense of marginalization and uncertainty as the Revolution is publicly contested. Through the lens of post-socialism, this chapter explores nostalgia to show how pleasures of recognition become distorted and complicated.

Keywords:   post socialism, nostalgia, cultural policy, memory, military coup

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