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Music and environmental rights futures in Africa: Accelerating action

Spring 2021
Tuesday, Apr 20, 2021 at 3:05 PM (ET) to Tuesday, Apr 20, 2021 at 4:20 PM (ET)

Angela Impey’s ethnomusicological research links to larger themes of international development, environmental conservation, gender, and local economic access to resources. She demonstrates that development processes are, in fact, cultural processes, revealing how music fits within this frame. Her lecture at Salem State will focus on two current projects.

The first reflects on a 10-year research project conducted in a remote southeast Africa borderland that utilized women’s memories of walking songs to reconstruct land and livelihood histories, drawing attention to the widespread implications of externally supported programs for transboundary conservation expansion.

The second project, as yet in its iinfancy, brings together eco-musicology, soundscape ecology, conservation biology, and locally embedded citizen scientists to co-produce maps of shifting bird phenologies and human-bird interactions in three sites along the African Eurasian flyway: namely, Namibia, Ghana and Kenya. The project brings together locally-held knowledge of seasonal bird behaviour and attendant biocultural adaptation - much of it manifest in songs, dances and ritual practices - with remotely-sensed data on climate change. This project seeks to make evident cultural processes in the otherwise atomized science-based climate debate, and to build more locally inclusive policies on climate resilience and environmental governance more broadly.

This program is part of Salem State's Earth Days 2021 schedule of events. 

Co-sponsored by the Salem State University music and dance department, geography and sustainability department and the Center for Creative and Performing Arts. 

To request an accommodation for this event, please contact disability services at 978.542.6217 or email

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