Monday, March 15, 2010

Back to Buenos Aires....

The five months that I spent in Buenos Aires during my study abroad term in 2008 was truly life changing. I arrived as a gringa mute and deaf to Porteño español, and left having written essays on La Politica Exterior de Argentina. It was in Buenos Aires that I started my love affair with cooking, that I would jam with jazz musicians, where I tested the academic waters with an independent project. I was so enamored with the city that I almost deferred my college studies to play soccer in Buenos Aires.

My time was about language immersion with beer in hand, singing, dancing, and constant activity, activity, activity.

This time, though I'm super hyped about the future prospects, my focus will be completely different. My experiences during this grant process will focus on answering the following questions: Do I love research? Do I want to get a pHd? Do i want to study hip-hop/music/& black people in latin America...?

Do I want MORE formal education?? A LOT more formal education? Will higher education eat my brain??

When I signed up for the study abroad experience in 2008, I was embarrassingly ill-informed about the country and the culture. I was looking for a sexy spanish, salsa, rice and beans, and brown people...none of which are easy to find in this city. As I looked for ways to supplement my African American studies major, I was literally laughed at on arrival. You can't study that down here...

Befuddled as to how a city that was a former slave port could claim to have no black people, black history, no black roots, nor any culture to teach about, I started investigating on my own. This independent investigation became my thesis "From Candombe to Hip-hop: Generational shifts in black Ideology"

This time, I'll be focusing my studies almost completely on Hip-hop.

To get started on the right foot I've made a list of possible goals and research questions.
How the project will develop from here, only time can tell.

Exploring the significance of hip-hop culture in Buenos aires as it grows from it's incipience

Exploring hip-hop culture as it specifically relates to the black community in Buenos aires

Exploring a new sentiment of organizing (around diaspora)?

Exploring a new concept of blackness—less localized more globalized?

Can music continue to be a unifying entity for the community? (Is the word community even applicable to a dispere group of people who happen to be afro-descendientes?)

Is community something that the diaspora in Argentina is searching for?

Can music be a teaching and galvanizing force for the community?

Aside from hip-hop, what are some of the most important musical genres for young Afro people?

Will hip-hop be a way for Argentines to view and recognize blacknesses, while Afro-Argentines realize their own blackness? (Will this give Afro-Argentines a cultural identification?)

Will this alternative culture gain a voice although there is little appreciation for hip-hop in the mainstream culture?

Can hip-hop ever be a non-political entity??

No comments:

Post a Comment