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Distinguished Lecture Series in Musicology: Prof. Mark Katz, University of North Carolina

“The B-Boys and Voguers of Bandung: Hip hop, Conflict, Queerness, and International Diplomacy”

  1. Friday November 22 5:00pm
Earl V. Moore Building, Glenn E. Watkins Lecture Hall

This talk tells the story of a 2016 U.S. State Department–funded hip hop workshop in Bandung, Indonesia that brought together two communities of dancers, unintentionally generating conflict between the two. Working together for the first time, the two groups–b-boys (or breakdancers) and voguers–brought different views on choreography, fashion, gender, and sexuality into the workshop, differences that nearly led to the cancellation of a planned public performance. The U.S. facilitators were initially unaware of the conflict and were only able to avert disaster with the help of a local dancer who was serving as an interpreter. This case study opens up space to discuss a range of broader issues and subjects, including cross-cultural artistic collaboration, conflict transformation, diplomacy, gender constructions, queerness in dance, and the history of U.S. intervention abroad. The presentation draws on the author’s participation in and observation of the program, as well as interviews with U.S. and Indonesian participants. Photos and video of the workshop and performance will accompany the presentation.

Free - no tickets required