Our project investigates contemporary musical practices that engage with the memorialization of the Nazi period and WWII in Germany, with a focus on resistance to and persecution by the regime. The project builds upon the premise that people construct representations of the past through musical practices, and takes into account a wide range of musical genres (e.g. singer-songwriters, experimental and art music, punk rock and hip hop), social actors and sociocultural milieus. Considering memory as a mediator between narrated past, lived present and imaged futures, special attention is devoted to the novel musical resources and collective sensibilities mobilized in the process, and to how sounding the memories of the Nazi past offers a critical arena to address current social issues in Germany and in Europe, including racism against immigrants and refugees, the resurgence of far-right and xenophobic movements, and the struggles resulting from socioeconomic marginalization and inequalities based on ethnicity, religion or gender. The project pursues these objectives through four complementary research scenarios, emphasizing different aspects of musical practices of memorialization. These encompass a study of the Sinti and Roma minority (cultural identity), a study of the urban memoryscapes of Berlin (locality), a study of current media practices and musical performances (mediatization/performance), and a study of musical practices and remembrance in Hip Hop (genre/music scenes).
Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG)