The Performance of HIV/AIDS in Uganda: Medical Ethnomusicology and Cultural Memory

Gregory Barz

in The Oxford Handbook of Medical Ethnomusicology

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199756261
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:
 The Performance of HIV/AIDS in Uganda: Medical Ethnomusicology and Cultural Memory

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This article advocates positioning music within memory in order to understand rememorying as an ongoing process of cultural engagement and change. Cultural memory is frequently maintained within musical responses to health and healing in contemporary Uganda, and in no area is this more present than in the localization of HIV/AIDS. Changes in and adaptation of memory—rememorying—often combine active memory work with intentional manipulation; there is nothing passive in this process, as is demonstrated here. The act of rememorying aggressively engaged in the present suggests that the passive notion of “collective memory” may perhaps be an artificial construction. The activities of social memory, specifically those that are musical, are the focus of this article as it attempts to come to grips with the intentional ways in which rememorying functions as both a rejection of historical memory and a carrier of new memory-bearing performances.

Keywords: memory work; rememorying; cultural memory; Uganda; HIV/AIDS

Article.  9202 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Ethnomusicology

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