I'll be facilitating a panel at SXSW called Breaking Out of the World Music Ghetto on Friday March 18 at 3:30 pm. When I proposed the topic on the SXSW Panel Picker, it started a small riot of debate among commenters on the SXSW website. To whet your appetite, here are some of the comments that came in:
- "people hear the words 'world music' and they throwback to sitting still for childhood music lessons"
- "little white raver kids and Indian aunties and uncles can party together"
- "The 'World Music' category continues a process of orientalism and exotification that is a legacy of colonial imperialism. This is the 21st century of global connections, a time of greater and greater specializations."
- "...tell it from the artists perspective. Stop making comparisons between the Ali Farka Tourés and the John Lee Hookers because you think folks don't get it."
- "My fellow journalists are the biggest barrier to culture-based music reaching wider audiences in a non-exoticizing way."
- "With US indie rockers studying old African highlife records and intl DJs overhauling cumbias and favela beats, this panel couldn't be more timely."
Read the rest of the comments and add your own here. Part 2 of this article will appear tomorrow with brainstorm about how to break out of the "world music ghetto."
-- Dmitri Vietze, CEO, rock paper scissors, inc., world music publicist
(photo above by Shadi Ghadirian, a Tehran based photographer whose work challenges international preconceptions about the role of women within an Islam state)