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Durham University


Geography, Music, Space

Maria Lindmäe (Geography, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona) - The Impact of Collective Practice of Music on Young People’s Behaviour Towards their Everyday Environment: A Case Study in Medellín

11:20-13.00 - Session II: Music and everyday space making

This paper will present the outcomes of my ongoing fieldwork in Medellín, Colombia that is currently being carried out in the city’s open-access music schools and neighborhood-based associations. Both offer free music lessons to children and youth with the aim of providing them with an alternative free-time activity in order to avoid participation in criminal gangs that are active in the territory. The study asks how musicking1 contributes to the construction of everyday spaces that compound the territory of a community. The aim of the research is to study how collective practice of music influences the becoming of a local community and its territorial relationships. The hypothesis is that in neighborhoods of low socio-economical income, the practice of music may become a way of resistance to illegal powers that control the territory and the freedom of mobility of its inhabitants. The paper will present the outcomes of the fieldwork, aiming to prove that the practice of music amongst youth that live in conflictive areas of the city has a positive impact on the participants’ relationship to their everyday surroundings, strengthtening the members’ relationship as a community as well as with their everyday spaces, musical practice being what allows them to re-appropriate space.

1 Using Nick Crossley’s expression in “Music Worlds and Body Techniques: On the Embodiment of Musicking” in Cultural Sociology, 2015, 1-22.