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1- Becoming Peace? Revisiting the Legacy of Protest Music Performances through the Lens of Local Peacebuilding - Lauren Michelle Levesque, Saint Paul University

1:30 PM, Saturday 25 May 2019 (2 hours)
Coffee break   03:30 PM to 04:00 PM (30 minutes)
This paper explores the conceptual implications of understanding protest music performances as sites of ‘peace’ in Canadian urban contexts. Using research on music in peacebuilding (Sandoval 2016) and the spatial dimensions of peace (Bjorkdahl and Kappler 2018) as starting points, I ask: Can protest music performances provide insight into building local cultures of peace in Canadian urban contexts? This question aims to problematize the legacy of protest music performances as privileged spaces of social and political dissent in narratives of constructive social change (Robertson 2015). The role of musical performances in shaping progressive social movements is not new (Freidman 2016); however, I argue that analyzing these performances through scholarship on peacebuilding opens up reflections on protest music as an emergent, creative process that leverages the possibilities for imagination and action in local, urban communities. Addressing these possibilities can craft new narratives that expand theoretical engagements with popular music as social and political dissent and protest music performances as important vehicles for imagining and enacting grassroots modalities of peace. Such theoretical engagements include considering the unexpected ways popular music studies can contribute to advancing knowledge on local cultures of peace in Canada and peacebuilding itself as an emergent, creative process.
Saint Paul University
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