Abstract of Talk
The development and expansion of hip hop in East Africa has opened up many opportunities for youth to create and perform music while embodying multiple identities and values. In this talk I will share knowledge from my two decades of research and writing on hip hop by highlighting how youth in East Africa embody multiple cultural values and identities through performance. In performance the youth can create, recreate, appropriate, and even embody new identities and values. What effect do such performances have on the performers, the music, and their consumers? Opportunities brought by social media allow these identities to be shared and encouraged through mass distribution and in turn reach many consumers.
Mwenda Ntarangwi is a cultural anthropologists based in Nairobi, where he works with the National Defence University-Kenya. He holds a B.Ed. (Language Education) and MA (Swahili Cultural Studies) from Kenyatta University in Kenya and a MA and PhD (Cultural Anthropology) from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is widely published on popular culture, youth culture, African Christianity and the practice of anthropology and a sought-after speaker globally. His publications include the following books: The Street is my Pulpit: Hip Hop and Christianity in Kenya (2016); Engaging Children and Youth in Africa: Methodological and Phenomenological Issues (2015, co-edited volume); Jesus and Ubuntu: Exploring the Social Impact of Christianity in Africa (2011, edited volume); Reversed Gaze: An African Ethnography of American Anthropology (2010); and East African Hip Hop: Youth Culture and Globalization (2009).