Join the curators for the opening of the exhibition with a guided tour and Q&A on

19 October 2023 at 18:00 SAST

Meeting-ID: 994 3250 3846

Password: 192011

Every day we experience in our personal environment and on a broader level, that music is an essential factor in the formation, expression and sustaining of personal as well as collective identity. Our identity lies in the relationship between these personal experiences and the society we live in. Just as the music, which we create, perform or listen to, positions us in relation to or sharing it with other people. Often identity is constructed in association with class, gender, ethnicity, age, disability and religion (to name but a few). The same holds true for preferences in music, and both music and identity interact with each other. We listen to and make music in order to belong to a specific group, but also to express a certain attitude in relation to the society around us. Identities are not stable, just as our listening preferences change over time. In addition, identity can be used to liberate and oppress, just as its expression in music can be used to include and exclude.

In the exhibition we, students and staff from the Musicology Department (Detmold/Paderborn) and the South African College of Music (University of Cape Town), explore four areas in which music and identity interact: gender, colonialism (ethnicity), class and religion.

The story behind exhibition

As part of a collaborative seminar between the Musicology Department Detmold / Paderborn and the South African College of Music (University of Cape Town), ten students from Detmold/Paderborn and seven students from Cape Town explored questions about music and identity. Based on four major topics (class, colonialism, gender, religion), the students developed (supported by four lecturers) their own research questions and presented their findings at a student conference at the SACM at the beginning of April 2023. Following this first part, which was characterised by research-based learning, it was important to make the results accessible to a broader public in the spirit of scientific communication. The medium chosen was a virtual exhibition, which you can visit here. In many weeks of work, the students dealt with curating the exhibition, attended a workshop specifically about music-related exhibitions, and developed ideas for presenting the topic as appealingly as possible and through different media.

This project could only be realised thanks to the financial support of the DAAD and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the IVAC programme.