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Africa, Music, and Heritage in the Gulf
This paper looks at African cultural production in the Indian Ocean world as the lens through which to explore longstanding and revised representations in establish and new museums and other heritage sites and in performances in the Gulf. Recent developments in the field of Indian Ocean Studies have decentered European imperial powers to consider the ways that environmental factors like the monsoon winds played in facilitating the circulations and interactions among people, ideas, practices, and objects between Africa, the Gulf, and India. This paper highlights that ways that people and institutions historically have adopted practices and objects during such interactions. It offers an analysis of exhibits that feature music at the National Museum in Bahrain (1988), the Bin Jelmood Museum in Qatar (2015), and the Sharjah Biennial 15 in the UAE (2023). While older, establish museums in Arab Gulf states name Arab elements, new museums and exhibits have begun to identify elements with Africa in ways that acknowledge the dynamism that has long shaped the development of societies.
Art/Art History
Religious Studies/Theology
Geographic Area
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