An ethnomusicological perspective for a television documentary film shot in Calabar (Nigeria)

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D'Amico, Leonardo
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University of Valladolid
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In August 2012 a television documentary about traditional music was shot in Calabar, Nigeria. The main focus of the documentary was to find the roots of cumbia music, originated by the Afro descendents in the Atlantic coast of Colombia and widespread in all Latin American countries. I was involved in this project as scientific advisor and cameraman along with two Nigerian ethnomusicologists. This experience reveals some theoretical, methodological and ethical issues related to filming music in traditional cultures: is it possible to convey an ethnomusicological content through a television format directed to a wide audience? What kind of contribution can a team of ethnomusicologists make to a research project whose ultimate goal is the production of a documentary for TV broadcasting? What are the dynamics that take place between the stakeholders involved (insiders/outsiders, academics/musicians, cultural mediators/village chiefs) inside the dialectical tension between culture and entertainment?
Audiovisual ethnomusicology , Filming traditional music , Television documentary film , Cumbia
D'Amico, L. (2016) 'An Ethnomusicological Perspective for a Television Documentary Film Shot in Calabar (Nigeria)', in de Landa, E. C., D'Amico, L., Isolabella, M. N. and Yoshitaka, T. (eds), Ethnomusicology and audiovisual communication: selected papers from the MusiCam 2014 Symposium, University of Valladolid, 5-8 Nov., pp. 201-218. isbn: 9788460892915