Music, Knowledge and Transmission

Keynote Lecture by Felwine Sarr

Keynote lecture of the performative discussion event UNEXPECTED LESSONS – Decolonizing Memory and Knowledge, June 11-12 2021 at Academy of the Arts, Berlin, in Nairobi and online.

Felwine Sarr's notes on his keynote lecture:

Knowledge production is important because it sustains and reproduces a political, economic and a social order. In order to imagine and construct different futures, it is necessary to interrogate the enunciation of knowledge paradigms. The unexpected lessons I am seeking are linked to how knowledge is built in African societies. The Western epistemology is mainly a logocentric one, based on written text and rationality. History, political sciences, anthropology, cultural studies, all these disciplines are built on written text. A way of challenging the exclusivity of the logocentric episteme as well as the reason, defined by written mode, is to acknowledge the plurality of modes of knowing and ways of archiving knowledge; and to explores the existences of other libraries and sites of knowledge such like: orality, bodies, material culture, music, and various topographies of social discourses.

The lecture focuses on the following questions: Why music as a main entry to analyze African Societies? The epistemological questions of what type of knowledge? How are they produced, for which purposes, and how are they fundamental for Africans in their struggle for political, cultural and economic fulfilment?

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Felwine Sarr by Thabo Thindi
UNEXPECTED LESSONS Keynote: Music Knowledge and Transmission – English
UNEXPECTED LESSONS Keynote: Music, Knowledge and Transmission – Felwine Sarr – German