Philosophische Fakultät

Music and Wellbeing in the Global South: exploring the politics of music and sound in daily life

Monday 27 July / 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm (Germany & South Africa) / 1:00 pm (Brazil)

Panel with:  
Oladele Ayorinde (University of the Witwatersrand): Singing Nationalism in the Keys of Crisis: Music, ‘Wellbeing’ and Subjectivity on the Streets of Lagos, Nigeria
Christina Richter-Ibáñez  (University of Tübingen): Song and dance for a better life: Celia Cruz’s ‘La vida es un carnaval’ performed and heard in the Global South
Felipe Trotta (Universidade Federal Fluminense): Annoying Music Against Wellbeing: space, sounds and health in daily life

watch recording of presentations:

In preperation to this Session, please have a look at this material:

Fuji music (audio and video) and live performance: 
(from 2:27…): 

Celia Cruz’ performance in Viña del Mar, Chile 2000: 
Angélique Kidjo’s cover and music video directed by Chris Saunders, 2019: 

The role of music in daily life is often referred to as something valuable and, at the same time, challenging. In many places of the so-called “Global South” music is often played loudly in streets, public transport or neighborhoods and dance constitutes an important element of convivial gatherings. Although the lives of impoverished people or those in countries with difficult economic or climate conditions are rather exhausting, music often serves as a tool for producing subjective happiness. In this panel, three case studies will be discussing the role of music and sound throughout and beyond the Global South. The aim here is to raise issues and topics to encourage further debates across and after the International Forum. 

Oladele Ayorinde describes how the notion of ‘crisis’ shapes lifestyle among ‘common people’ in Lagos, and how Fuji music—an African popular music from southwest Nigeria— shapes subjectivity among this people. Christina Richter-Ibáñez analyses performances of Celia Cruz’s famous song ‘La vida es un carnaval’ which recalls that in spite of difficult conditions life has to be faced and it is easier borne by singing. In contrast, Felipe Trotta focusses on forced music experiences and sound in public space that prevent people’s wellbeing. Join in for broadening the discussion!


Oladele Ayorinde

Oladele Ayorinde, a pianist, musician and scholar, is a ‘THInK’ (Transforming the Humanities through Interdisciplinary Knowledge) Doctoral Fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, South Africa. Oladele is also a Research Fellow of the Africa Open Institute (AOI), Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa.  

Christina Richter-Ibáñez

Christina Richter-Ibáñez is Post-doc researcher and lecturer in musicology at the University of Tübingen. Research and publications focus on contemporary and Latin American music: Mauricio Kagels Buenos Aires (1946–1957). Kulturpolitik – Künstlernetzwerk – Kompositionen (transcript, 2014), Übergänge. Neues Musiktheater – Stimmkunst – Inszenierte Musik (Schott, 2016). Trayectorias. Music between Latin America and Europe 1945–1970 / Música entre América Latina y Europa 1945–1970. Ibero-Online 13 (2019).

Felipe Trotta

Felipe Trotta is Associate Professor at the Universidade Federal Fluminense and researcher of National Council of Research (CNPq). He is author of several papers and articles about music and society and the books O samba e suas fronteiras (UFRJ, 2011) and No Ceará não tem disso não (Folio Digital, 2014), and co-editor of Made in Brazil: Studies in Popular Music (Routledge, 2015) and Annoying Music in Everyday Life (Bloomsbury, 2020).