Rapso Warriors: Poetic Performance, Revolution, and Conscious Art Music in Trinidad and Tobago
The dissertation charts rapso's path from the socio-historical context of the late 1960s and 1970s Trinidad and Tobago (with its pervasive Pan-Africanist consciousness and Black Power Revolution) to the present moment, when the arts are increasingly employed to promote non-violence, racial tolerance, and nation-building. The history of this art form lends unique insight into the politics of performance, identity, and the music and festival industries in Trinidad. I examine how revolution as a dominant trope in the discourse of oppressed people has shifted over time to index different struggles, priorities, and goals, from rejecting oppressive colonial structures and ideologies, to contemporary struggles against local and global hegemonies in the circulation of cultural production, and rising violence.
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