Music and Antifascism: Reflections on the Past and Possibilities in the Present

This two-day conference provides a forum for an international exchange of knowledge, insights, and perspectives on specifically musical and sonic interventions in global struggles against political oppression, both past and present. The resurgence of ultranationalist, xenophobic, discriminatory, and authoritarian regimes throughout the world has threatened democratic governance systems, basic human rights, social justice, and ecological sustainability. The current momentum of progressive social movements worldwide and the gravity of the issues at stake in the struggle against the violent and repressive fascist ideologies makes this topic a timely one. As a ubiquitous cultural practice, music has been mobilized effectively in anti-oppressive struggles across time and across national borders. The effectiveness of music is evident in its ability to draw communities together, embody messages of antifascist resistance, build social solidarity, and inspire direct action. Music has also aided in the recording, preservation, and remembrance of past struggles in ways that serve to inspire and inform contemporary antifascist movements.

Click here to download the full conference program (PDF)

For more information, please contact musicandantifascism@gmail.com

To register, please visit: https://musicandantifascism.wordpress.com/conference-registration/

Thursday, July 7th

8:30–10:00:  ANTIFASCISM AND MUSIC AESTHETICS

Chair: Matthew Zeller

“MOB art & tone ART: Populist or Anti-fascist?”
Lucia Agaibi, University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz, Austria

“Third Reich ‘n Roll”: The Popular Music and Performative Anti-Fascism of The Residents”
Marcel Bouvrie, University of Utrecht, Netherlands

“Anti-fascist Songs from the Spanish Civil War in the Music of Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra: A Political and Aesthetic Point of Departure”
Juan Vinuesa, independent researcher, Spain

10:15–11:45 – SONGS OF RESISTANCE

Chair: Zachary Milliman

“Antifascist Singing in Interwar England: Alan Bush, the Workers’ Music Association, and Handel’s Belshazzar”
Stewart Duncan, University of Indiana

“‘This peopled planet remains in need of song’: The Power of Ukrainian Songs of Resistance and Liberation from ‘Hey Hey, Daloy Politsey!’ (1897) to ‘City of Mary [Mariupol]’ (2022)”
James Wright, Carleton University

“The Edelweiss Pirates of Cologne: Young Germans Opposing the Hitler-Youth and Gestapo through Voices and Guitars”
James Deaville, Carleton University     

LUNCH ON-SITE (12:00–1:15)

1:15–2:45 – ANTIFASCISM IN POPULAR MUSIC SUBCULTURES

Chair: James Deaville

“West Coast Gangsta Rap, Antifascism, and Moral Panic”
Justine Walker, Carleton University

“Bicommunal Struggle in Europe’s Last Divided Capital: Antifascist Festivals as Models of Autonomous Self-Organisation and Resistance”
Rebecca Pericleous, King’s College London

“Fascism, Antifascism and Contested Ambiguities in Extreme Metal: The Steelfest 2022 Controversy”
Owen Coggins, Brunel University London 

3:00–4:00 – ANTIFASCISM IN PUNK AND SKA SUBCULTURES

Chair: Allyson Rogers

“Ska Against Racism: Antiracist Collective Action Frames in a Music Subculture”
Matt Zeller, McGill University, Montreal

“Punk Rock, Political Education, and Anti-fascism in 1970s Great Britain”
Justin Paulson, Carleton University, Ottawa

4:15–5:30 – KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Dr. Ana Hofman, “Is Antifascism Enough? Singing and Listening to Contested Histories and Possible Futures”

6:30-8:00pm: Dinner at La Khaïma, 142 Fairmount Av. O

8:00-9:00pm: Reception at La Sala Rossa (4848 Blvd. Saint-Laurent, 2nd floor restaurant)

9:00pm: Concert at La Sala Rossa (4848 Blvd. Saint-Laurent, 3rd floor music venue)

Sunk Heaven (noise, Brooklyn)

Dong Won Kim (master percussionist, South Korea)

Egyptian Cotton Arkestra (free jazz, Montreal)

Friday, July 8th

FRIDAY JULY 8th

9:00–10:00 – ANTIFASCISM AND THE POSTWAR LANDSCAPE 

Chair: James Wright

“The Vienna Philharmonic, An Ambassador of Peace? Musical Diplomacy in Post-war Austria (1947)” 
Gabrielle Prud’homme, Université de Montréal 

“Opera and Antifascism in Postwar Hungary”
Zachary Milliman, McGill University, Montreal

10:15–11:15 – CONTEMPORARY RESISTANCE

Chair: Gabrielle Prud’homme

“Music and Antifascist Protest in Korean Culture”
Dong Won Kim, Wonkwang University, South Korea

“Resisting Authoritarian-populists: Musical Challenges to Trump’s America and Erdoğan’s Turkey”
Lyndon Way, University of Liverpool

11:30-1:00 – ANTIFASCIST SOUNDSCAPES  

Chair: James Wright

“Every Eviction Has its Price!” Sonic Warfare Against the Eviction of Berlin’s Autonomous Housing Projects”
Max Jack, Max Planck Institute, Berlin

“RADIOPIRATA/PATRIA ODIAR: Covert Listening Practices as Modes of Resistance in Fascist Italy”
Danielle Simon, Dartmouth College

“Bombs, Chants and Democracy: Sonic Techniques of Football Antifa Fan Groups”
Pedro Marra, Federal University of Espirito Santo, Brazil

1:00 – CLOSING LUNCH – Universel – 2055 rue Peel

This conference is generously supported by the following:

Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

School for Studies in Art and Culture: Music (Director, Mitchell Frank), Carleton University

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (Dean, Pauline Rankin), Carleton University

James McGill Professor of Urban Media Studies (Will Straw)

Canada Research Chair in Music and Politics (Marie-Hélène Benoit-Otis)

Suoni Per Il Popolo

International Jacques Ellul Society

Wonkwang Digital University, South Korea