A Day for the Hunter, a Day for the Prey: Popular Music and Power in Haiti

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University of Chicago Press, Apr 15, 2008 - Music - 306 pages
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The history of Haiti throughout the twentieth century has been marked by oppression at the hands of colonial and dictatorial overlords. But set against this "day for the hunter" has been a "day for the prey," a history of resistance, and sometimes of triumph. With keen cultural and historical awareness, Gage Averill shows that Haiti's vibrant and expressive music has been one of the most highly charged instruments in this struggle—one in which power, politics, and resistance are inextricably fused.

Averill explores such diverse genres as Haitian jazz, troubadour traditions, Vodou-jazz, konpa, mini-djaz, new generation, and roots music. He examines the complex interaction of music with power in contexts such as honorific rituals, sponsored street celebrations, Carnival, and social movements that span the political spectrum.

With firsthand accounts by musicians, photos, song texts, and ethnographic descriptions, this book explores the profound manifestations of power and song in the day-to-day efforts of ordinary Haitians to rise above political repression.

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page 37 musiciens haitiens ŕ Paris


The Discourse of Authenticity
François Duvaliers Dictatorship and Konpadirčk
Critical Discourse in Music under Baby Doc Duvalier
Photos following page 160
Dechoukaj and Its Aftermath
Carnival of Hope

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Page 3 - To substitute strategy for the rule is to reintroduce time, with its rhythm, its orientation, its irreversibility.
Page 2 - ... themselves become removed from everyday experience, their members coming to see popular behavior as something to be educated, improved, disciplined. At the same time, the people on whose behalf such movements claim to speak often find the language and the mechanics of these movements remote and alienating. The complex and problematic relations between social movements and disorderly popular culture, involving distinctions of class and gender, ethnicity and race, roughness and respectability,...
Page 3 - ... normative functionalism' of Parsons and the 'structuralist Marxism' of Althusser exaggerates the degree to which normative obligations are 'internalized' by the members of societies. Neither standpoint incorporates a theory of action which recognizes human beings as knowledgeable agents, reflexively monitoring the flow of interaction with one another.
Page 8 - ... naturalization" of their subordination. To the contrary, there is ample testimony in informal discourse (especially proverbs, peasant songs, and folktales) that reveals a sophisticated class analysis and an ironic and playful commentary on the rationales and mechanisms of their subordination.

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