The song ‘The Politics of Dancing”, was released in 1983 by the British group Re:Flex. Analysis of the lyrics suggests a blurring of media lines, where “deejays become the new politicians” but the popular understanding behind it’s rallying cry is more that dancing is true democracy, able to bridge social divides. With this phrase in mind, we set out to politicize our own dance for the lecture series, “The Spectre of Fascism”, presented by SFU’s Institute for the Humanities.
When originally discussed with Samir Gandesha, facilitator of the series, the idea was of a salon of sorts; a weekly series of lectures by invited guests, followed by hopefully lively discussion, and a dance party. Because ultimately, what better way to resist the weight of the world, right?
But it turned out a simple dance mix was a lost opportunity to truly investigate the importance of music for social movements. We decided to dig deeper and try to create a soundtrack that might help to frame these discussions, and give sound to the conditions specific to each topic. Plus, it was a great way to further research and prepare for each lecture. Many of the playlists are topical, while some are focused on region. Some of the artists are presented for the persecution they endured, not necessarily for the political message of their music.
This series will continue through November 2017; the archive below will be updated after each lecture. Each playlist is titled by it’s corresponding lecture title.
Below, is a link to all the current playlists.