Popular Music History, Vol 2, No 1 (2007)

Music, poetry, and the politics of identity in Réunion Island: an historical overview

Guillaume Samson, Shawn Pitre
Issued Date: 26 Jun 2007


The article describes the ways language, poetry and musical creation had been used, in Réunion Island, to negotiate identity in colonial and post-colonial contexts. Focusing on three main currents since the end of the eighteenth century, it examines in detail the semantic role of literary and musical choices in a multicultural society. It shows in particular how political struggle for autonomy or French belonging had conditioned, in the seventies, the creation of a musical and literary dichotomy between 'folklore' and 'tradition'. The article analyses various recordings from 1930 to 1980, establishing boundaries for the study of the recording industry of the island.

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DOI: 10.1558/pomh.v2i1.25


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